This year I wanted to try something new for community service. Going on an Alternative Break through CMU was something that I always wanted to do but it never lined up right with my schedule. This year though I finally had the opportunity to sign up for a winter break. I set my alarm for 7:00am and ranked all the breaks that were available. When the morning came I was lucky enough to get a spot on the break that focused on Animal Rescue. Throughout our numerous meetings, I was able to get to know the other participants on the break and the site leaders. I also found out that we were going to Florida to volunteer at the Everglades Outpost. Read more
Over a year ago, I began volunteering at the hospital in Mount Pleasant. I started working on the 3rd floor, helping out however I could. I mostly stocked shelves and cleaned residents rooms but I was also able to learn about the care provided to patients based on their symptoms. This year I had the opportunity to volunteer in the Emergency Department and in the Education Department. Both taught me many different things and introduced me to different sides of the medical field.
In the Emergency Department I was able to watch procedures such as a Pneumothorax and the removal of a Bartholin gland cyst. I also was able to witness a code red, which to most would not be an exciting thing, but I loved every minute of it. I met a lot of great people who helped my further my education by allowing me to watch these procedures and explaining everything they were doing during them to me. They also showed me how to read X-Rays and echocardiograms properly.
In the Education Department, I have the opportunity to work with they Nurse Educator at the hospital, who is in charge of keeping all the Nurses and Nurse Aides up to date on the always changing protocols in the hospital. When volunteering with her, I am responsible for making quizzes and assignments for the Nurses and Aides to complete to prove that they still know what to do in different situation. Some of the topics I have made assignments about are child abuse and neglect, intubation, and code reds. I also had the opportunity to organize crash carts and the supply room for them. This allowed me to learn about the uses for different medicines and tools used in an emergency.
I am so thankful for all the different opportunities volunteering at the hospital has presented me with. I plan to continue volunteering there for as long as I can because I feel like the things I learn at the hospital are just as valuable as the things I learn in the classroom.
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.