Community · Leadership Development

LEAD Team Reflection

Part of the Leader Advancement Scholarship protocol is to join what is called a “LEAD Team.” It is mandatory, but there are so many different teams to get involved with. All of the events are put on by the Leadership Institute and it is a good way to publicize the Leadership Institute, getting more people involved. The event I took part in was the Relay for Life. The Leadership Institute created a group of LAS recipients to raise money for the American Cancer Society. At the event, I along with others walked, ran a table, and got to talk to a lot of people. I am so happy that I was a part of this LEAD team because I walked in memory of my good friend Addy Donahue. She was an inspiration to so many people and I was honored to walk on her behalf. 

Our LEAD Team had many issues to start did not go as I thought it would. Each LEAD team has a team leader, and ours had conflicts with meeting times so it was handled all last minute. Many of us were confused as to how we were going to do well being as our leader stepped down but we had a few girls step up, and take charge and made our Relay very successful.  We ended up raising around 1,300 dollars, took third overall raising the money for the Relay for Life.

Overall, I loved being a part of the Relay for Life team and I hope to stay involved with it. This Relay really spoke to me and I want to get even more involved with the American Cancer Society. The hope in everyone’s eyes truly touched me and any difference we can make, I want to be a part of. Every Relay at CMU has a theme, and this year it was “birthday”. It was fun because the Relay for Life wants people fighting with cancer to get the chance to celebrate as many birthdays as possible.

As a LEAD team we faced our ups and downs, but I really couldn’t have been a part of a better team. The money we raised, and the hope and comfort we gave others, makes me want to get more involved and be a part of all of Central’s future Relay’s.

Community · Leadership Development · Leadership Education · Leadership Training

LAS in the D Reflection

On February 10, 2017,  there were about 70 members of the Leadership Institute who all went to the city of Detroit. This trip was a requirement for my scholarship, but I know and saw the excitement on everyone’s faces attending this trip. Lives were impacted in ways that are indescribable and it was a trip that I will never forget.

We started off our weekend at the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy where myself along with other LAS members led the students in Leadership initiative activities. I feel as if I took so much away from these students. They were so willing to participate and open up to stepping out of their comfort zones. With the few Leadership initiatives we got through 100%, I couldn’t help but recognize the excitement that was within each individual student. These students after talking with some, mentioned that they volunteered to stay after school to learn more about leadership. This was not required for any Jalen Rose student. As we went through the activities, they took time. The students gave full effort with only positivity filling the room. Even when the challenges were difficult, they never gave up and knew that working together and bringing each other up would be the best motivation to accomplish the tasks.

I had the opportunity to talk with some of the students in my group after our time was up at the high school. One student asked, “How do you define leadership?”. This made me so happy that the students, actually care about leadership and know that it is important. I responded to her and said that there is not just one leadership style. Everyone interprets leadership from different points of view. Some people like to talk while others like to sit back, watch, and evaluate. For myself personally, I told her to discover her “why”. Even though I recently just discovered mine, it makes it so much easier for me to explain what I think leadership is all about and what my purpose related to leadership is and why I do what I do. My “why” statement, “Inspire others to work together and strive for greatness, to maximize full potential” really went into play within the short few hours we were at Jalen Rose. I watched myself inspire students to work as a team and being positive the whole time, having them reach for their goals. The students accomplished that and reached the full potential. I felt as if I made an impact and I can’t wait for the many more opportunities for myself to help others reach their full potential.

img_2110

Next, after working with the students at Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, we made our way towards downtown Detroit to have dinner at Quicken Loans. Driving downtown Detroit was nothing new to me. Growing up in the metro-Detroit area makes Detroit a city that isn’t too “new” for me, but what was new, was my reaction to downtown. The buildings are newer and taken care of for the most part. The new companies, businesses, and restaurants are trying to change the stigma that Detroit has. It is a city in progress but I believe places like Quicken Loans are building up the city. When we arrived at Quicken Loans we were taken to a new, modern styled conference room where they served us dinner and left us with tons of gifts. It was really nice having a CMU alumni, who was a recruiter at Quicken Loans, gave us a presentation on the many internships they offer as well as how great the opportunities they have are. Then, the Vice President of Quicken was took over the presentation, demonstrating why he decided to work for Quicken Loans by not just explaining what the daily job is. This was honestly touching. I got the “chills” after he spoke. Listening to how passionate about what he and his company were doing for Detroit was very moving and powerful. They are not just a mortgage company that I originally thought they were, they are helping Detroit move forward for the better.

After learning about the company, they took us on tours around their outstanding facilities. All of the buildings and offices so out of the ordinary and makes their company so unique. The values of Quicken Loans is focused around their “ISMS” or ideals of a genuine workplace. Just walking around their workplace, you can inquire that this company cares for its employees, customers, interns, or whoever even steps foot in their building.

After our time spent at Quicken Loans, my cohort and I attended the DIA (Detroit Institute of Arts). It was so amazing, especially from living close, I still have never been. For my first time ever, I felt connected to certain pieces of art. My favorite part there was looking at all the paintings. I never had an appreciation for art until after I left the DIA. The meanings and emotions behind every piece of art was incredible.

After the DIA, our cohort stopped for the night at the DNR’s Outdoor Adventure Center on Detroit’s Riverfront. The purpose of the center is to bring the outdoors to Detroit in a fun, learning manner along with new development for people who sow interests in a career with environmental sciences or other related fields. We also had the opportunity to huddle up with our small groups, debrief the day in general and talk about our passions and goals for our lives. I stepped out of my comfort zone and learned new things about myself that I plan on bringing to the table everyday of my life. I learned how others view me as a person and some of my fellow cohort members touched my heart, describing what an incredible person/leader that they believe I am. I became connected with people I haven’t gotten the opportunity to bond with much and I feel like I understand others better now, especially learning more about each others personal lives.

On the last day of our service trip, we attended the Cass Community Center. Cass does so much to help out the Detroit community; whether it be donating food or clothes, or hiring people who would be out on the streets without a job, they are truly making a difference. At the Cass Community Center, there were four groups of volunteers. There were the paper shredders, the kitchen staff, the floor mat makers, and the food/clothing organizers. It was really cool because my senior year in high school, I had the opportunity to be a matt maker. They used recycled tires throughout Detroit to create neat mats of all different colors, along with flip-flop sandals and key chains out of tire as well. This time was different. I helped organize the clothing donated to Cass. It was eye-opening because I always have donated clothes from home to Purple Heart, or other places that take donations, but I realized now why I did that and how I am helping. So many people are homeless or can’t afford food or clothing and just by getting rid of stuff I can’t use anymore to help someone in need is inspiring and up-lifting.

Overall this trip was one I will never forget. I learned more about myself and others, and I learned how I am actually incorporating my “why” statement into my everyday life . I know that after my cohort left this trip, we all felt as if one person can change Detroit, but it will take much time and effort, but so far, Detroit is coming a long way. I believe in this city and I am proud of what myself and my cohort did over this weekend. I know now for my future leadership stance, I am going to work hard, dedicate myself to my goals, understand and work with difficulties to maximize my full potential in the rest of my college years.

Community · Leadership Development · Leadership Education

Pre-Detroit Service Trip

This Friday and Saturday, February 10th and 11th, my LAS cohort and I are traveling to Detroit. We plan on volunteering at the (JRLA) Jalen Rose Leadership Academy on Friday and Cass Community Center on Saturday morning.

I live not too far from Detroit; so going downtown, eating out, and going to Tiger’s games with family and friends has been a part of my life for a long time. Hearing about so many negatives about Detroit has really inspired me to seek and find the real good it has to offer so I am beyond excited for this trip.

The one issue that is discussed repeatedly when you hear and think of Detroit is its school system. It’s so sad having to hear how poorly run these schools truly are. Last year, not one public school in Detroit compiled with the cities health and safety codes according to time.com. From the cracked windows and mold found in classrooms, this only unmotivates students to attend school. The atmosphere you are surrounded in can either bring you up or tear you down, and for these students in Detroit, it’s usually down. The leaders in these schools also make an impact. My mother, has been a leader in a school district very similar, River Rouge, for over 30 years and I have learned about the situations she has to deal with and move forward with everyday. From all the first hand stories I have heard, these students need more leadership incorporated in their lives. From role models and support systems, these students need this. It is very hard for teachers having an average class size in the mid 40’s. It’s hard for teachers like my mom to get her lecture across, it is hard for the students who want to learn, but are distracted, and it is also hard for the students being surrounded in the bad school and environment they are in to want to learn when pressure is high. Change has been happening and it only needs to grow further.

This trip I am about to make with my cohort correlated to what we strive for in the Leadership Institute. Our vision and purpose is to learn about this city and its issues. We want to get involved in our city and contribute in any way possible.We want to show others the importance of leadership. I am very excited to be working with the students at the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy and helping them discover what they are passionate about while having a good time. I’m excited to learn more about the city, and discover all that it has to offer and see all the potential it has for the future.

I really believe that this trip to Detroit will help me grow as an individual. I have been blessed my whole life to never have to worry or struggle. I have been fortunate enough for the Catholic education I have received and I am only hoping to learn things from these students. I went to Cass Community Center my senior year of high school and volunteered by making floor matts out of tire. Something so small and so little can truly make a difference in the world. People coming together for the good of others and the community really fits with my “why” statement. I am excited to see so much passion and potential this weekend, seeing how much people care and want to make a difference in the city of Detroit.

 

 

Community

A Leader who Inspires me

Pope Francis has many leadership qualities but I define him best as a man who shows acts of mercy, strength, integrity, service, love, compassion, and humility.

Pope Francis shows mercy by repeating consistently that God never gets tired of welcoming and forgiving his lost children home. The way that Pope Francis shows mercy is very heart-warming. Sometimes being the bigger person and letting things go, makes the world a better place. Forward thinking and how to move on from things in a positive way is mercy.

Strength is being able to uphold yourself in difficult situations and not backing down. Through all of the worlds struggles today, Pope Francis urges peace. He sets an example of this by taking in a refugee family that is Catholic from Syria. He believes there is a religious obligation to help these refugees in need. I believe this shows strength and integrity by wanting to help others who desperately need it because they are not safe living at their home. We are all God’s children and have a duty to help those in need.

Humility is another quality that Pope Francis holds because for example, he lives in a Vatican guest house. He could live in a huge palace but he chooses to only take what he really needs. He feels the need to be simple and to live life with just the basic necessities.

People are motivated to follow Pope Francis. There are different reasons behind this that are because they are either loyal to the Catholic Church, they like his acts of compassion and simplicity, he talks like a regular human being who is realistic and doesn’t act “above” the average person, and he is relatable. He understands how people aren’t perfect and how everyone is created in the image and likeness of God.

One quality that I really admire about Pope Francis is how he lives a simple life. I tend to forget at times how blessed and lucky I truly am to have a family, a house, friends, a college education, food, and just not very much to worry about. Sometimes, as humans we forget that how we dress and the brands we own really don’t matter at all. Some people don’t have family or a place to live and many times, people like myself will take that for granted. Being more self-less like Pope Francis would be a goal that all people should consider.

Overall the leadership style Pope Francis portrays, I feel is very relatable to how I want to live my life. Not taking anything for granted, living life to fullest, appreciating ALL life, serving others, and showing that I am a strong person will make me a harder worker and be more understanding of others and myself in general.

Community

Finding my home away from home

Phi Sigma Sigma CMU

The best part about coming to Central was definitely going through Sorority Recruitment. It was one long, exhausting, stressful process but one I wouldn’t change for the world and would encourage any woman looking for strong, determined, caring, and beautiful souls to be surrounded by to go through. The process started off Thursday September 22nd and went all the way to bid day which was Friday September 30th.

All who participated in recruitment were put with Gamma Chi’s and they are women who are part of a chapter but disaffiliate for us potential new members(PNM) to help us throughout the whole process. There were roughly 500 PNM’s and that was overwhelming but like everyone says, you just have to “trust the system!” and everything will work out.

The first day of meeting all the sororities on campus was a lot. I met with members for about 10 minutes in each chapter and then by the end of the day, I had to rank my top 8. By the next day, I received my 8 chapters back and was happy. So I met with those 8 chapters and this next day was Philanthropy Day. This day was really cool because I really got to learn about the values of each chapter and what they stand to help and raise awareness/money for. By the end of that day, I had to rank my top 5. This was very easy for me. The next day I got 5 chapters back and was still very happy. Sisterhood day was one that stood out to me like no other. By the end of this day I had to rank my top two sororities and this was not hard for me to do. There was one chapter I was 100% set on. Then came the worst part of it all…having to wait 4 days until I find out if my top 2 chapters asked for me back. Stressed beyond belief, Thursday came and my two preference parties were both the ones I wanted. Preference Parties were unbelievably moving. Hearing active members talk and open up about how much their chapter meant to them really made me think that I could really see myself being a part of one. I then had to rank my top choice and I prayed that they still wanted me back because I fell completely in love with everything this chapter offered.

Bid Day came and when I opened my bid, I actually screamed with complete happiness with one other girl I became close with in my Gamma Chi group named Dani. Dani and I both went through this whole process together and we both found out we were jumping Phi Sigma Sigma together.

I can say full heartedly that Phi Sigma Sigma is home. Our philanthropy is school and college readiness and the service that we do as a chapter is amazing. Our sisterhood is like no other. Knowing that no matter what, I am surrounded by beautiful women inside and out who aim high, lead with integrity, consider others before themselves, motivate me to fulfill my aspirations in life, and want nothing but the best for myself is just exactly what I needed in my life. These are the women I can count on to have my back for life. I know I could go up to any single one of them and easily hold a conversation and just laugh all day long with. I know that long past my graduation, I will be life long friends with them.

Reflecting my whole new member process as now an active member, It really is one I will never regret. There are 32 women in my new member class of Fall ’16 and I have never been so close with a group of women in my life. We all have had sleepovers, ate a little too much food, ranted about boy problems, and I can say that each of us has really learned so much about one other and I’m blessed to be surrounded by them all. I also have the best big in the game. Morgan Clark, I love you and you have been the best role model, mom, friend, and sister I could’ve ever asked for. I can’t wait for the many more memories to come! One a Phi Sigma Sigma, always a Phi Sigma Sigma. LITP