As part of the LAS protocol I need to 30 hours of volunteer work. I had many great experiences this year through volunteer avenues. I was elected Food Chair for Up All Night. Up All Night is an free annual event that provides an alternative Friday night to people to enjoy food, games, and more! From late fall to the event in March we would have an one hour long meeting every Sunday and three hours of office hours every week, until the event. Also, I was elected the Pre-Registration Chair for the RPL Job Fair. Here we would have an hour long meeting every Monday from the beginning of the year to the event in February, as well as arranging all registered vendors on my own time. These are just a few of my larger volunteer experiences, but there were many more from spending time at a nursing home, volunteering at a Beef Dinner Fundraiser, Mount Pleasant Park Clean-up, etc.. My favorite volunteer involvement was being a Volleyball coach for 4th and 5th graders though Mount Pleasant Recreation. Every Thursday we would have practice 7:00-8:00 pm and on every Sunday we would have games at 2:00 pm. Their season lasted from September to December.
Being a volleyball coach was very influential not only for the participants, but for myself. I had to learn how to be an effective leader to an age group I was not use to, 4th and 5th graders. Also, I had to learn how to manage them through a sport, including how to keep them focused, what activities were age appropriate, and how to challenge them. It taught me a lot about my leadership and helped me become more well-rounded as a leader. As much as it taught, I used the experience to try to positively impact the players. These children are very easy to influence and I wanted to be a positive role model to them. When they were hard on themselves I gave them positivity and advice that could be relevant in all life situations. I wanted to be a positive role model in their life in case they did not have that at home. It only takes one person to be a role model in someones life and make an impact on them and I wanted to be that person. My favorite memory was when all the players laughed at me when I would say y’all. They all thought it was country and they would mock me in a country accent. Even though they laughed and thought it was funny, I used that experience to introduce them to inclusive language and my efforts to watch what I say so I do not discriminate or offend anyone. I believe that just by introducing it to them will leave an impact on them to maybe adapt a better vocabulary and be open to inclusivity because of me. Being a part of molding these child’s lives is so powerful and inspiring because of the opportunity to shape the leaders of the future.
I am going to continue to apply to be a coach through the Recreation Department. I will also pursue being a role model for the youth because I can see the impact it has made through being a coach. Overall, I have grown a passion for community service and will continue to do so throughout my life. Community service can help in small or big ways to make a difference in the world. I have so much love and service to give to others, and it is not going to stop here.
The Flint Active Crisis Team and Service is an organization that assists the community of Flint through service trips. Flint, MI has been without clean water since April of 2014. That is what piloted the creation of this organization. As a freshman I was able to be a site leader and a volunteer through a few of the Flint trips and from there I knew I wanted to make a difference in the city of Flint. The trips taken have ranged from medical trips to trips dedicated on blight. Some of the work done is cleaning up homes, parks, or public areas and restoring them for beautification efforts, as well as having a safe places for community members to enjoy. As well as donating water to local churches to pass out.
This year I was on the executive board of F.A.C.T.S., as well as preparing to be vice president. Holding this position I got to see behind the scenes on how to make a Flint trip happen. It is a lot of hard work, but the hard work is easier when there is so many people willing to help the cause. We partnered with local organizations to help place where we serve and what service we did. The planning process took a lot of effort because it included promoting the event, registering participants and site leaders, staying within a budget, planning the logistics of day, feeding and providing a shirt for everyone, having training, and much more. The day of the trip we did not get the amount of volunteers we wanted. However, it was okay because I knew that if one life can be changed because of the trip it was worth it. These trips change the lives of those we serve, as well as the participants. I can speak from experience that it changed my life when I attended as a participant. Being engulfed in an area of need and seeing those hurting in an area is eye opening. It leaves an impact on you to do more, be more to serve others in the world. As we unloaded the buses after the trip you could tell people were grateful for the experience, and like it did for me left an impact on them. But what we do in Flint is also important because they need help and our service can help change lives, too. As we were going to our next service sight we gave water out to random people outside and the gratefulness expelled from them was heartbreaking. These people should not have to struggle for a life necessity. I am proud of the work being done to help serve Flint and inspire others to not only serve Flint but to have greater compassion, gratitude, and love in life.
Continuing beyond the trip I want to educate others on the problems Flint is facing as well as inspire others to create change. I want to pursue serving Flint to enhance my leadership and event planning skills, as well as spread my love to community in need. I have found that with love many things can be accomplished and I will use that ideology in life. I will lead with passion and love to make a difference not only in Flint, but in the world.
For my Leadership Advancement Scholarship Program we are given a mentor as a freshmen, as the year passes we get to become a mentor and the process continues. Before I became a mentor I remember being anxious and excited. I was very happy to be able to inspire and help my mentee transition into college. However, I was scared. I was scared that I was not ready and that I would mess up. I took a lot of time into thinking what kind of mentor I wanted to be and what I could do as mentor. What I have learned was there are things you can not plan for and that as much as you try to be perfect no can be and that is okay. I put so much pressure on being the perfect mentor, but it is not about being perfect. I found that being vulnerable and creating a relationship is so powerful, you do not have to be perfect. Caring and being open to a relationship is enough. This year as a mentor I learned a lot about myself through mentoring my mentee as well as letting him teach me a few things as a leader.
This experience was so beneficial for both my Kyle, my mentee, and I. I was able to help him through hard times be the listening ear, giving advice, and just having long talks about life. We gained a great friendship out of the mentoring program and it taught me a lot about friendship. Kyle’s compassion and selflessness inspires me everyday to surround myself with people like that and to also strive to be a better person each day. I learned that as much as I helped him as a mentor, he taught me many things as well. I found that mentoring is much more than that it is building a friendship and being there for them when they need you. Through our friendship I learned that with open and honest communication you can build a better relationship and grow, by acknowledging what you can do better. I learned what he wanted out of a mentor and what I can improve on to better fit his needs in a mentor. I am so happy for this experience because I can watch my mentee grow and become a better leader and soon a mentor for someone else and I can see myself grow and become a better leader too because I now know what it takes to be a great mentor. And my greatest goal is that I have impacted Kyle in positive way that will inspire him to have a similar relationship with his mentee: goofy, fun, supportive, open, and honest.
This opportunity taught me the power of being presence and it encourages me to be present in my g-mentees life at CMU, that many do not have. I want to continue to help Kyle grow, as well as learn from him because he is truly an incredible person. I will take what I learned and apply it in other aspects of my life through building other friendships, working with others in organizations, and becoming a better person. And here’s to becoming a G-mentor! Yahh!
Rotaract is a service organization I continue to be a part of in my college career. Being elected Social Chair for this year I was able to implement new ideas and grow my leadership skills through the organization. To learn more about Rotary visit my previous blog post What is Rotaract?
Previously, the social chair was responsible for icebreakers and socials to bond the club. Also, as an e-board member I had say in what fundraisers, socials, advertising events Rotaract did. As I took over the position I used my leadership skills and event planning knowledge to take more roles as a social chair. I volunteered to create, enhance, and run the annual state conference. This is annual conference where all Michigan Rotaracts are invited to attend. I had never attended one previously, but I was filled in on the general scope of what they were. I wanted to amp it up and infuse the conference with fun leadership activities.
I was able to produce a fantastic event, as well as learned and received many valuable experiences. I had to create a conference from scratch being that I was using a whole new concept. From there I learned on how to manage a team to execute my vision. Also, I gained more public speaking skills being the emcee of the conference. The event gave me confidence in my leadership and event planning skills because I was able to take an idea and recreate it into something beautiful. Everyone enjoyed the leadership activities and it allowed many Rotaract clubs to network and build stronger relationships with others. Moving forward I am excited to continue to use my new ideas to enhance our old traditions, as well as inspire and enlighten others through my leadership skills.
Beyond the conference I was able to be a part of great things that our club did that is illustrated below. I was able to promote Rotaract at main stage and excite others to serve the world through our service organization. I was given the opportunity to lead leadership icebreakers in general meetings to get to know new and old members and unify our organization. Once more I was able to emcee and host the annual conference. My favorite parts were our service opportunities like making tie blankets to donate, making Valentine crafts for the nursing home, delivering the cards and spending an afternoon at the nursing home, volunteering at the Rotary beef dinner fundraiser, and many more not pictured. Also, pictured below I was able to promote our annual dodge ball tournament by being interviewed at local radio stations. This was an incredible opportunity to share Rotaract, as well as enhance my speaking skills.
All these experiences have helped me grow as a leader, as well as instill passion for service into me. I want to continue to share my passion for service to others and continue to be a part of such a great organization as I enter my second year as Social Chair. I have many more ideas and I cannot wait for them to put in action.
Rotaract is a collegiate level club rooted from the international club called Rotary. Our slogan is service above self and we do many projects locally and internationally. For example, last year the Rotaract club made a ball field for a local trailer park. This year through the organization I was able to make blankets for a local homeless shelter. Also, we sent books to the Philippines and made a mini library for a local trailer park. Not only do we do a lot of service projects, but we get a lot of guest speakers that offer individual volunteer opportunities.
I joined Rotaract because of learning about Rotary in high school. Junior year I was selected to go to a leadership camp called RYLA, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. I was selected along with one other student and we were both funded by the communities Rotary club. Who or what is this Rotary club? Well, let me tell you! Many Rotary clubs can be seen in communities around you and even in other countries! There are over 1.2 million Rotarians in the world. The first service project of the first Rotary club was in Chicago where they worked on the installation of public toilets in the city. Also, Rotary and it’s partners are the reason for reducing polio cases by 99.9% worldwide. At the time I did not know what Rotary was and how much this organization does for their city and world. I would say Rotary is like a hidden gem, many people do not know about it, but they pass things that were made by the local Rotary club. For instance, here at CMU I was walking through a park and I went over a little bridge with a roof on top and it had a sign on it saying sponsored by the local Rotary club. Other places you could see this hidden gem is even on highways, many Rotary Clubs like to adopt highways and clean them up or even build little libraries. Rotary clubs do so much for the community, but they do not get the appreciation or even awareness they deserve.
After the RYLA camp I found that there was a thing called Rotary Interact. Most of the students at the camp came for their high school’s Rotary Interact Club. That is when I began to ask my self, why do we not have one! I came back senior year determined to get a Rotary Interact club. I was able to present to the local Rotary about the camp and thank them for the opportunity, but also ask them to partner with me and the new Rotary Interact club I wanted to start at my school. In different terms, Rotary is the international organization’s name and this club is made of community members. Rotary Interact is the high school name for the club it is just high school students. Lastly, Rotaract is the college level of Rotary made up of college students. After a few months of promoting the club, getting members, getting approval of the city, and partnering with another high school by us we finally started our Rotary Interact club. Since, it was all new to us and we started later into the year, we decided to just do a local service project, in which fulfills part of the club’s requirement to do a local and international service project each year. We actually were able to do two local service projects the first was to help out the local businesses. I come from a small town and most of any funds we need at the school come from the community. I wanted to do this project because all the support and donations the local businesses have done fore us. What we did was contact a few businesses and asked them what we could do to help them. What we ended up doing at some of the businesses was mostly sweeping the parking lot and picking up trash, it may not have seemed like a big deal, but you could see the difference and the owners were very appreciative of the work we did. Secondly, I wanted to bring education and passion back to the outdoors. My home town is located on the Saginaw Bay. Many people in the community do not even know that we have a county park on the bay. For me I love nature and it was sad to see people not appreciate what was in their back yard. This is when I had the idea to have a nature day camp, free for the children in the surrounding county’s. I worked very hard in getting donations so that the children would have a provided lunch, as well as fun activities to do. Through this organization I found my passion(s). I learned that the youth is important because they will soon be our working generation, so I make sure I can be a role model for any child. Also, I learned that service for others can make a huge difference in individual lives, as well as for the community. If we all take a little less and give a little more we can be the ripple effect of the change we want to see.
When I graduated I knew that I had to find a Rotary club in college and did. I mentioned some of the service projects we have done this year in Rotaract and I am excited for all the new service opportunities for next year. I have such a strong passion for this club. It has brought me joy to give back to the community, as well as internationally. You get to give and be a part of something bigger than yourself. I hold the values of the club close to mine, especially service above self. Rotaract inspires me each day to better the lives around me and help change the world. I learned through the club the importance of service and I got to first hand see the impact it makes for others.
While, the year is coming to a close I decided to run for an e-board position. I was elected the social chair meaning I am in charge of making social for the group members and with meeting other Rotaract clubs. I am excited for this position because I feel that the club members internal cohesion with others is important to the success of the club. Also, by being able to socialize with other clubs we will be able to learn new ideas and opportunities we can take back to the club or even partner with them and make an even bigger impact on the world.
I am incredibly excited for the future and being able to have a voice on the e-board. I want to do more service projects. I also want to do a project that brings nature appreciation to Mount Pleasant. I want to raise more funds than we ever have before, so we can help more people. In the future I am going to live a more self-less life because I know the importance of service and a living a life that is beyond just my own. Lastly, it is my mission to educate the community on what Rotary is and what is had done for others and myself. It is important for others to know about this great opportunity in order from them to be a part of a great club devoted to service.
How great leaders inspire action is a Ted talk I was assigned to watch in my leadership class. Simon Sinek, a visionary thinker, explains the golden circle and explains why people follow certain ideas.
Simon encourages to do things working inside out. Why are you doing this? How are you going to get there? And what are you doing?
In life we see a lot of people starting from the outside working in and those people do not know their purpose because they work on why last. With anything in life you should no why you are doing something and work off of that because that is more impacting because you started with a purpose.
People will start following you when you live by your why, because you will bring people on board with the same beliefs as you. You empower others by the purpose you have, not by what you are doing. By starting with why you are able to explain why something is important to you and gain support from others who believe in the same.
I can admit I am guilty of working outward in occasionally, but after this video it has open my eyes and refocused me to focus on my purpose in life and why I do the things I do. I now have a clearly meaning of how working with why first can be more powerful when leading others. The best leaders are those that inspire others and by doing so I now will stay determined in incorporating this theory of starting with why in my life. Everyone wants to have their own legacy and work for a purpose by realizing this it helps with attracting people with your why. The way I think has changed and everyday I challenge myself to live more with purpose. Some people float by going through the motions, but I want to bring meaning to the things I do.
Inspire others to be a part of something bigger than themselves.