For my LEAD Team this year I had the opportunity to volunteer with Special Olympics during the second annual Leadership Launch. It is a program directed by the Special Olympics of Michigan and ran by student volunteers from Central Michigan University. We invite high schools to send their students with disabilities and the students who help these children to come to Mount Pleasant for a day, where we educate them on how to be inclusive and how to promote inclusivity in their schools.
Each we my LEAD Team meet to have trainings and learn how to facilitate the different activities throughout the day. This year, my team focused a large portion of our trainings on how to use inclusive language. I am so happy we did this because it has changed the way I think and talk about others. I learned to put the person before their disability like saying “the child who is deaf” instead of “the deaf child” and that very common sayings such as “Please raise for the playing of the National Anthem” are not considered inclusive language. Since these trainings I have noticed how common it is for people, especially students, to use un-inclusive language.
Instead of leading a group of kids through all the activities during the day, I was chosen to facilitate on the the activities with another CMU student. Our lesson throughout the day was that when we all come together we can make something bigger than ourselves. We did this by having the students color in random puzzle pieces and then place them on the board. At the beginning of the day, no one could figure out what the puzzle was making but as we collected more and more pieces the meaning became clear.
After the first couple groups we realized that the coordinates for the puzzle were wrong so it became an actual puzzle for us to do. With the help of nearly everyone working on it during lunch and at breaks throughout the day we were able to get it finished and show the students what they had been working towards all day. Two very important lessons can be learned from this; how important it is to work as a team and that sometimes things will not go as planned so being flexible and going with the flow is a crucial aspect when it comes to leadership.
This year I was fortunate enough to be apart of the Leadership Launch LEAD Team. A LEAD Team is basically a bunch of LAS scholars that join together to help plan, facilitate, or gather information from of for the Leadership Institute. This year I had the opportunity to be apart of the 1st ever Leadership Launch team!
Put on in correlation with Special Olympics Michigan, Leadership Launch is a program that invites high school students and their special needs peers that are enrolled in the program Project Unify in their school (Learn more about Project Unify here: http://www.specialolympics.org/projectunify.aspx.) Together we explored more ways to produce an inclusive environment in each of the high schools in every aspect, not just sports. Read more
For my Leadership Studies class, the 40 some of us were split into different groups. Each group was in charge of teaching the class a different leadership theory. My group was responsible for one of the harder topics: The Style Approach. I won’t go into too much detail, but basically, according to the style approach, there are four types of leaders in the world. Each of them leads in a different way and are more successful than others in certain situations. Read more
A lead chat is something that the Leadership Institute does every so often through social media, mainly twitter. They ask questions about every aspect of leadership and who ever wants to can reply or use the hashtag LEADChat to join in. My leadership cohort participated in one focused on mentor/mentee relationships. It was a week or so before we choose who we wanted to be a mentor to, so it was a good way to reflect on our relationships with our mentors and think about how to make those our relationships with our mentees even better. Read more
This trip was designed to help those of us who went, learn to lead, facilitate, and help even when we don’t think we can. We experienced all of these things within the two short days that we were there. The first day we met with the students at Jalen Rose Leadership Academy. Here was get assigned to a classroom where we facilitated a few activities for the students. Next we met with the butta and pilot students (much like a student council or NHS) where we taught them a few different games to play and how to run those. Read more
Every year, as a part of the Leadership Protocol, we are required to be a part of a LEAD Team. There are many different teams, including a social team, a newsletter team, and many others. The team that I got placed on was the Competition Day LEAD Team. Read more
Just like the typical farm girl (that I kinda am), I only know Detroit for what I have heard about it. I have been in Detroit multiple times, but only for things like Red Wings or Tigers games, so I really didn’t have any time to just stop and look around. The main issues that I know about are the ones that I hear on the news (when I watch to it) or from other people. These include a lot of crime, poor education, a lot of vacant land and a need for new growth in the area. Read more