As a LAS scholar I had to take PHL 118, Moral Problems. This class was about moral problems in the world and different philosophies behind what should be done solve them. A few moral problem examples are abortion, euthanasia, or legalization of drugs. When we look at these topics, all involve heavy ideas that bring in people’s morals. It is important to understand these issues, as well as opposing views and why your point is valid through efficient claims making.
I found this class to be very similar to a previous LAS class, debate. However, we dove more in depth into just moral problems and connected our opinions on these issues to reasons other than just a “because”. We learned to dig deeper into why we feel a certain way about an issue as well as why certain things are morally debatable. This class was important in enlightening our minds to explore topics that are difficult to talk about and creating a discussion on them. A specific example is abortion, where women get to decide to abort their baby. The moral argument that is raised is when is the fetus a human regarding the latest a women can abort, does the women have say over her body, or does the baby have the right to life? When taking a stance on this topic it is important to give reasoning and connection to why your opinion is right, without backing up a claim there is no validity in it. This idea is universal in tackling any moral problem and I found this beneficial because it makes you slow down your thinking and really focus on the problem.
Moving forward I feel better educated on topics that are highly debatable. I have the confidence now to bring valid arguments and the use of philosophy to back my stances. This class has and will help me in slowing down my thought process to truly analyze situations and problems. I will continue to stay educated and informed in moral problems because they effect everyone and as a leader it is something that should be aware of.
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.
COM 461 is a course taken when being a part of the Leadership Program. Communication in Leadership was a class that explored how communication is crucial in a leadership role. There are so many different facets to communication, so it was enlightening to learn so much about how as leaders we can communicate in certain situations and the importance of how we do it.
I found the communication is so important for a leader. It can be the most difficult thing to master, especially in times of trauma or conflict. My favorite lesson learned about communication is transformation leadership. This is reflective of the Maslow Hierarchy. Transformation is at the top of the pyramid and only a few achieve it. What this leader does is lead by example to influence others for a certain change. This resonates within me because the leaders that have had the greatest impact on me were ones that were driven to make me a leader and inspire me to change. They were selfless in going beyond their innate ego to encourage others to become leaders, not just steal all the leadership power. Transformational leadership as well as the other lessons I learned in the class are so beneficial in understanding how to be a great leader. Leadership is not black and white. Many things are situational and should be dealt with differently by having the understanding of different communication skills and their results.
This class will help we in my future as I hope e-board positions in RSO’s, as well as when I continue in my career path. Event planning requires much leadership and communication skills to effectively execute an event and delegate tasks to others. I will use this class to better assist me in working with others and leading others. I am now encouraged to become that transformational leader and help others reach their goals in life because a true leader is inspired to turn followers into more leaders. Also, I have more confidence in dealing with traumatic events and conflict because of the lessons I learned in class. I will use it to best acknowledge the situation and better the relationships involved.
As part of the Leadership Scholarship it is required to take a sociology class. Through this class I learned about social issues in our world today. I found this class to be very relevant as leader. As leaders we want to change the world, but to do that we first must know the inequalities and problems being experienced. The class uncovered injustices and revealed answers to how we got to where we are and the present prejudices holding us back.
The class made a huge impact on myself. It open my eyes to injustices and why things are the way they are. It was intriguing to learn about different social classes and the perceptions within each. I found that it is important to understand that a society is so complex and it is are duty to educate ourselves on the complexities and problems in the world. If we are not educated we lack an understanding that can help change these injustices, as well as mindsets and prejudices that sometimes put us in these situations. For the final project in the class we had to research a social problem and I choose to do mine on hunger in the United States. For a country so bountiful it was surprising to see that millions of people had food insecurities. Also, I found that 1 in 5 children are food insecure. Children who do not have choose or much of a voice to change their circumstances. My concerns were how in the U.S. can we see people starving, as well as obese. How did we get both extremes. Learning about social problems was very eye opening and the class has inspired and impacted me to stay educated and aware of the world’s problems.
For the future I will use what I learned to stay enlightened about social problems, as well as the subconscious prejudices I might even have. I will continue to educate myself on social problems and what I can do to help the cause. I believe small acts towards many people can change the world. And this class gave me the knowledge and passion to do so.
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.
Inspire others to be a part of something bigger than themselves.