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.
Being a member of the Track and Field team is honestly an emotional roller coaster. Some days being on the team is one of the best decisions I’ve made while other days I question why I put myself through all the stress. It definitely challenges me both mentally and physically and there are so many things that I have to give up in order to be on the team that sometimes it doesn’t seem to be worth it. Then I have to remind myself what I am getting from being a part of the team and all the people I am lucky enough to meet through it. Read more
This year I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to volunteer at the hospital here in Mt. Pleasant. Although I am required by every club I am a part of to have volunteer hours, volunteering is something that I genuinely enjoy doing. Having the ability to help someone and using that is one of the greatest things that someone can do in my opinion. Read more
As a part of my Leadership minor I was required to take a class that challenged me to look at the world differently. Philosophy 118 is a class where you got to talk about all the topics that are banned in every other classroom. Topics like abortion, rape, and capital punishment were talked about on the daily in the class. 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
The American Experience.
This class was probably the worst thing that I have ever experienced in my life and I think that if you talked to anyone else in the class, they would agree. I like history, so I was really excited for this class at the beginning of semester, but as soon as the first lesson was over, I knew it was about to be rough. 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