Random

To my beautiful Mentee

{Books! And Cleverness? There are more important thing – Friendship}

I thought it was only fitting to start this blog with a quote from our one of our favorite fiction characters. Anyways, welcome to the family! I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am to welcome you to Central and LAS. You are about to make one of the biggest changes of your life and I, my friend, will be right with you the whole way. While at Central, you will embark on the journey of finding your passions, best friends, and yourself in many ways.

Everything happens for a reason, my mentor Em and I both believe that. Em and I meeting was fate and today she is my everything. But neither of us were expecting what happened with us to happen again. But my dear it did and the universe graced me with you. Maybe it was not the universe but it was Michelle who is always looking out for me. From the moment Michelle introduced us I knew you were a special human and that I wanted to be a part of your journey through Central. I also knew that you would be a perfect addition to our little LAS family and would fit in perfectly with all of our love and quirkiness. You were such a genuine person who was also super funny and kind that first day we met. When you left I went up to my room and gushed about meeting you to my roommates and told Em all about you. I was so happy that after competition day we started talking and began to get to know another. Today you are the strong, independent, passionate women I have gotten to know. Han, you never fail to brighten my day and you are truly a blessing in my life.

I know these past few months have been difficult but you are a part of our family now and we will always be here to love and support you. Anything you need I and everyone else in the family will be there for. We already are so obsessed with you and can’t wait for you to join us at Central! Our wonderful family includes you, me, your G Emily, GG Danielle, and your GGG Clare who just graduated (also others but I don’t personally know them lol). So excited for you to become a part of out little family and come to Central with us. 

I can’t wait to get to know you even more and to become mentor and mentee. You will love Central so much and LAS will be a wonderful program to be a part of especially since we have one another. Your college experience will be amazing and I can’t wait to share that with you. Fire Up Chips! To end, here is a quote from a show we are both obsessed with ♥

See you soon love!

{You’re my family. What is you, is me. There’s nothing you could ever say to make me let go. I love you.}

Welcome to the Fam Bam Hanna!

 

Community

Alpha Sigma Tau

{My home away from home}

With all of the stereotypes about sororities, here is why I joined one and how my experience is nothing like what you see in the movies. If you would have asked me as a senior in high school if I would be a part of Greek Life I would have laughed and said heck no. I, like so many other people, had these crazy ideas about sororities until I met my mentor, Emily. She is and was then, exactly like me but she was involved in Greek Life. Through her, my knowledge of sororities grew and I went through recruitment my Freshman Year.

September 30th, 2016 was the day I, and multiple other girls, jumped home. I found my home in the Central Michigan Chapter of Alpha Sigma Tau. Here, I fell in love with the colors Emerald Green and gold, sisters, Anchors, and philanthropy. I have so much love for my sorority and the women in it, I have no idea how to put it into words but I will attempt.

AST has given me so much this first year, and I always try my best to give back. For my new member class, I was the Historian, along with Shelby and we made the scrapbook, anchor, and teacup for the chapter. It was fun being able to see everyone’s different photos and have digital evidence of my class blossoming into our chapter. Currently, I am the Director of Fundraising and planned our Grilled Cheese Fundraiser. The Grilled Cheese Fundraiser is something my chapter does every semester and the money we raise goes to our philanthropy, Pine Mountain Settlement School. This year I planned our first ever Philanthropy week which was absolutely amazing. If you want to know more about Grilled Cheese and our Philanthropy week, there is a specific blog all about it! Also, I participated in the 2017 Greek Week, other chapter’s philanthropy weeks, and endless AST events. On Central’s campus, Alpha Sigma Tau has over 1,000 hours of community service for this semester, the highest GPA, and members from all parts of campus. We are a tight-knit, passionate, and welcoming group of people. Alpha Sigma Tau and all of my sisters mean the world to me. They always have my back and I always have theirs. When something happens to one sister, it happens to all of us because we support and love one another. Being a Tau is part of who I am today, it has made me more confident, compassionate, and strong.

Through AST, I found so many important people in my life, and yes they will probably be my future bridesmaids. First to my Twin Carly… after your sister told us we look more like sisters than you two, we started saying we were twins. Without all of our constant texting, a sleepover, forcing you to go to Leadershape, and being “mom’s” together I don’t know what I would do. You have helped me find my voice and place in a sisterhood of 70+ girls. My best friends Michelle and Ellen. With Garrett, we make our little Greek Life family. You both are always there for me when I need you most. Thanks for being my family and keeping me sane. My crazy G Brenna… without you I don’t know where Em and I would be. You make sure both of us have fun even when we are stressed to the max. Thanks for the endless HAPPs dates and laugher. Finally, the most important, my Big Emily. Em was my mentor even before I joined AST. After joining the same sorority as her, we only became more close. The past few months have been hard but we always have each other and I don’t know where I would be without her. There are countless more people who have come into my life and made an impact but it would take me years to go through everyone.

My version of “What is a Tau?”

A Tau is a mixture of a boisterous little girl, a troubled adolescent, a charming young woman and a wise old lady. She is a streak of gold and a flash of green. She is a Leader Advancement Scholar, Centralis Recipient, an Athlete, and anything she wants to be. She is a shoulder to cry on, never-ending “your mom” jokes, and a friend. You can find her studying at coffee shops, cheering on the football team, and scootering through campus. She is involved, kind hearted, driven, and passionate. A Tau is all of this and more. A Tau is my sister ♥

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leadership Education

LDR 200L

{Reflecting on my time in the LAS section of LDR 200}

As a member of the Leader Advancement Scholarship, we take LDR 200 the spring of our Freshman year as a cohort. Every Wednesday evening, myself, and the rest of my cohort attend a 3 hour class solely on building our leadership skills. At the beginning, I was a bit nervous about being in class for 3 hours because I do not always have the longest attention span, but LDR is not your average class and we were constantly doing activities in class. Let me share a few of the things we did or learned about in LDR 200. To learn more about some of them, I included links to other blogs that were specifically written on that topic.

Leadership Theory Workshop

All 50 people in my class were randomly assigned to groups where we were then  assigned a theory from our Leadership textbook. Mine was, the Adaptive Leadership Theory and I worked with Allie, Jake, and Blake. In general, Adaptive Leadership is about adapting to challenging situations or change as a leader and how you can do that in the best interest of your followers. For me personally, this theory was very interesting and helpful to learn about because we are constantly adapting as leaders and people. Our workshop and my findings will now help me be more of an adaptive leader who knows how to navigate tough challenges and lead an organization or group through change. This project was valuable because we were able to learn about so many different leadership theories, which will be very helpful in the long run. To learn more, click the link above.

Leadership Initiative

We took on this project at the very beginning of the semester. The class was  separated into groups of two and given themes to base our initiative off of. The theme my partner and I were given was motivation. As leaders, not only do we need to stay motivated, but we must be able to motivate others. With that in mind, Sadie and I asked all of our participants to pair up and write something motivating about one another. We did not want them to just write something nice about each other, we wanted them to dig deeper and motivate one another. Next, Sadie and I had everyone watch a motivating video about leadership. Finally, when all of the tasks were done, we debriefed and talked about how they felt about both activities and whether it was easy to get beyond saying something nice and actually achieving a level of motivation. In the words of John Maxwell, “Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them”.

LAS in the D Trip

This was one of the most outstanding activities in the class. As a cohort and class we were able img_4628to spend 30 hours in Detroit learning about the city, helping the city, and touring different parts of the city. My other blog talks about this experience more in-depth but while there we went to Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, Quicken
Loans, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Outdoor Adventure Center, and Cass Community Center. With each new location came a new experience and view of the culture of Detroit. It was just an all together valuable time our cohort spent together outside of the dorms and Central. To find out more, click the link above.

Signing our Leadership Minor

For those that do not know, the Leadership minor in mostly built into our LAS protocol. Due to that, most of us decide to minor in leadership because we only have to take one extra course. One of those people is me {yay}. So as a part of our class, Jamie Brown, the Leadership Minor Academic Advisor, came into our class and talked us through details and requirements of the minor. At that time, we are able to fill out the form and sign our minor. For me it was very relieving because it was one thing I didn’t have to worry about. With my Leadership minor signed, I have now signed both minors and my intent to major!

How to Be the Best Mentor

As a Leadership Scholar, we get mentors who are in the cohort ahead of us. Then at the end of our Freshman year in LDR 200L we pick our mentees for the coming year! To prepare, we learn about being the best mentor for all of the mentees. The workshop is based on the mentees and how we can make their experience the best. Also, we talk about what we want for the mentees and how to help them through their first year in college. It was a very helpful part of LDR 200L and really made me think about my mentee and what I want for her. To learn more, click on the link above.

Blogs

As you can see, I have this lovely blog documenting my freshman year at CMU. What you may not know about it though is that this blog is a part of LDR 200L and we have specific experiences we write about to display what we have done and how it has impacted us. A large part of blogging for us is the “What, So What, Now What” outline. “What” explains just that, what did we do at this event or in that RSO (Registered Student Organization). The “So What” section includes what you learned from the experience. Finally, “Now What” is the hardest piece because it discusses what you will do because of that experience. Overall, I actually enjoyed blogging and it has become an outlet for me to share my thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

Leadership Philosophy

This part of LDR 200L is the most deeply reflective portion. All of us were put up to the task of writing a paper and blog page about our personal Leadership Philosophy. It challenged us to dig deep into our beliefs and ultimately the core values of our leadership. This paper encompasses who I am as a leader and what I believe as a leader. The paper itself is personal and delves beyond the values I hold for myself and into what I value in other leaders. Finally, it has my philosophy which {spoiler alert} has to do with empathy and being an empathetic leader. This blog and paper will be a constant reminder of who I believe I am and who I continue to become. To read more, click the link above.

{After Everything}

Summing everything up, LDR 200L was an interesting, thought-provoking, and enjoyable class. Not only was I able to bond with people in my cohort, but I was also able to participate in activities that led to learning, and pushed me to further develop my leadership skills. LDR 200L was a perfect way to end my freshman year in college as a student in LAS.

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Leadership Education

HST 110L

 •Reflecting on my time in History 110L about Immigration•

This class was Monday nights from 3:30 until 6:20… a three-hour lecture on immigration. History 110L is a class about the American Experience and it is a Writing Intensive Course. Now don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy history and learning about our past, but I was very nervous/not thrilled about having a three-hour history lecture because lectures can get very boring. However, I think our teacher did a pretty good job at keeping the class going and mixing things up with something different once in awhile. Overall, HST 110L turned out to be more than I expected and I learned some very interesting information about immigration.

In our class, we learned about Immigration in America. Being that this class was a writing intensive course, we have multiple papers to write and a group project. The group project was where I learned the most from this class because it was on leaders who were also immigrants to America. Working  with Ethan Petzold and Ryan Timm, I learned about Madeleine Albright. This intelligent and strong lady was the first woman to serve as  Secretary of State for the United States. Born in 1937 in the Czech Madeleine-1120x600-ARepublic, the rise of Hitler forced Madeleine and her family to flee the country when she was very young. After living in Britain, a short return to Czechoslovakia, and time in Yugoslavia where her father served as the Czech Ambassador,  the family finally ended up in the United States where Madeleine attended school and eventually started her career in politics. Today we see Madeleine Albright as a strong female presence in politics who fights for women’s rights along with other causes. As a  mother of three daughters, Madeleine juggled family, education, career, and service and did so with grace and perseverance. During our research, I discovered some killer Madeleine Albright quotes.  She had memorable things to say that still ring true today.

After taking this history class, I want to learn more about leaders who immigrated. Whether a leader who immigrated to America or another country, I find it fascinating how they become so influential in their new country, while carrying with them the lessons and experiences from the country they left. Furthermore, I want to investigate how they become leaders in the country they immigrated to. What pushed that specific person to become a leader and how did they achieve their goals?  Another topic I want to learn more about because of this class and the current turmoil in our country, is different immigration exclusions. I wrote one of my essays on the Chinese Exclusion Act. My findings about this Act were very interesting and informative on current situation in the United States.

Community

Getting Ready to Welcome the Newest Member of the Fam

{My Ideas about being a Mentor}

When thinking about being a mentor, I get a little bit nervous. My mentor, Em (in the picture above), is literally the most wonderful mentor and human so how will I ever live up to that for mine? But then I remember that through Em, I have learned how to be such a fabulous mentor. As a mentor, I want to be someone my mentee can always turn to and I want to always be there for her. I will let her make her own mistakes but be there to help her fix them \ and help her not make the same mistake again. Also, I hope to be my mentee’s friend, to be someone they can ask anything, and to be there to help her adjust to college and deal with all of the struggles that may come her way. All of these are things Emily has done for me. She has helped so much this past year and now I want to do the same for my mentee. Overall, I want my mentee to have a fabulous experience at CMU and I want to help her achieve that.

To help build on my ideas of being a mentor, I attended a workshop in LDR 200 specifically about being the most effective mentor. During the workshop we broke off into groups and talked about what we wished we would have known coming into college, what ways we can help our mentees, and what we want them to get out of their time at Central. For me, the workshop cemented my ideas about who I want to be for my mentee. Also, we talked about what we want for our mentee and helping them find their passion whether it is in their major, Greek Life, volunteering, or anything else Central has to offer. I believe that helping my mentee find her passion or even just something she loves is super important. I want to help her find her place here at CMU. Emily helped me find my love for things like Greek Life and it has changed me so much so I want the same for my mentee.

{How I am preparing to be the most effective Mentor}

I would lie if I said I wasn’t pinteresting cute gifts for her, so that is one thing I am doing in preparation of becoming a mentor. Other than that, I am talking to my mentor about fun family adventures we can go on because I want her to love and know her G. Also, I am making sure I know random things about the University like where the Registrar’s office is, how to sign a minor, and where you can get the best food. I want to be a resource for my mentee because I know how hard and confusing coming to college can be. With that, I am preparing myself by becoming a human resource, a good friend, and a person my mentee can trust.

{What I am most excited about}

I am most excited to have another wonderful human in my life and for the journey we will travel together. Also, I am excited to see my mentee grow and flourish at Central because it is such a fabulous thing to see someone fall in love with college and grow into who they are meant to become there. All in all though, I am excited for everything with my mentee. I will be there for all of their highs and lows and everything in between. It is the little moments that mean the most and those are the moments I can not wait for. 

{A few things I want my Mentee to know}

  • Do your research about textbooks before buying all of them at the bookstore, even if that means you rent books from the bookstore instead of buying them.
  • You will find your place at CMU. Sometimes you just have to look and it may take time BUT it is out there.
  • Being homesick is a normal thing & it really sucks sometimes.
  • You probably hear this all the time but you will change in college, probably more than you think, but change is good.
  • Being a part of the LI you will constantly be busy plus you will have other clubs and homework so multiply your high school business by 5 and that will be your college business. BUT don’t fret it is okay to be busy
  • You need to be organized at all times. Professors will not always remind you when you have quizzes or papers so get a planner and write everything down.
  • Being involved around campus is one of the best things you can do for yourself. With the RSO’s you join, you will meet amazing people and have awesome experiences so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there
  • Second semester sucks more than first semester. This is when you are out of the honeymoon phase and going to a senioritis phase. But if you have a strong support group and stay organized everything will be ok
  • Pace yourself… I did say get involved above but that does not mean you need to join 500 different clubs. Join one or two at a time and see how much you can handle because school does come first, especially when you’re paying so much for it.
Leadership Education

Adaptive Leadership

Adaptive Leadership Theory •  LDR 200L Workshop

Adapt: (Verb) Make suitable for a new use or purpose, modify

When we received our topics for our Leadership Theory workshop, I was delighted. Since coming to college, all I (and everyone else around) do is adapt to every new situation thrown our way, especially freshman year. As stated above, when someone or something adapts they modify themselves for a new purpose. People adapt everyday and sometimes even multiple times a day, so for this theory we just had to think about everyday situations a leader may face.

History behind this theory: The Adaptive Leadership Theory made its first appearance in 1994.  Ronald Heifetz, the researcher behind this theory published his book Leadership Without Easy Answers, which was based on his findings regarding adaptive leadership. After publishing his first book, Heifetz continued his studies and brought multiple other researchers in to help with this process. A few of his associates were, Sinder, Grashow, Linsky, and Laurie. Prior to Heifetz and his associates, there were  not extensive studies on adaptive leadership so they are known as the founders this theory.

Information about the Theory: With this specific leadership theory there are four different perspective to look at and six behaviors. The perspectives include biology, service, psychotherapy, and systems. Each perspective has a different idea about adaptation in leadership and explains how each fits into the theory. The six behaviors, include; Get on the Balcony, Identify Adaptive Challenges, Regulate Distress, Maintain Disciplined Attention, Give Work Back to the People, and Protect Leadership Voices from Below. Each of the behaviors provide an outline of what a Leader should do when they are adapting. Also, each behavior flows into the next one, and a good adaptive leader will use all six behaviors when adapting to new situations. Finally, like all theories, Adaptive Leadership has its strengths and weaknesses. A strength of the theory is that it is very follower centered, so the leader is doing things specifically for the followers and both parties have responsibilities. On the other hand, a weakness is Adaptive Leadership is a very broad and abstract theory so it is sometimes hard to nail down what it precisely is.

This theory is about adapting to different leadership situations. So in light of that, a few examples of the Adaptive Leadership Theory in action are, LAS in the D, my Grilled Cheese Fundraiser, and in general getting a leadership position in any club. First, LAS in the D was the epitome of adaptive leadership. Throughout the trip logistics were constantly changing and we had to “willow” with it as Jesi would say. This trip encompassed the use of all six adaptive behaviors whether it was all at once or periodically throughout the 30 hours we were there. A specific instance of this, is regulating distress and how the leaders of LAS in the D always made sure everyone knew what was going on and what was expected of them. Also, I used the six behaviors the week I organized my sorority’s Grilled Cheese Fundraiser. I was constantly adapting to every new situation that arose, including the fact that we put on our first philanthropy week. For Grilled Cheese, one of the behaviors I was constantly using was “protect Leadership Voices from Below”. Throughout the week and even before, I always asked my sisters for their ideas and what they thought would be good for us. Finally, a more general display of adaptive leadership is when someone takes on a new leadership role.

Community

Grilled Cheese

•A blog in honor of National Grilled Cheese Day•

Every semester the Central chapter of Alpha Sigma Tau has a two-day Grilled Cheese fundraiser for our philanthropy, Pine Mountain Settlement School. The sister who plans and makes everything happen is the Director of Fundraising, which was me this year {YAY}. When applying for this position I knew I wanted to make it into more. Ultimately my goal was to do a philanthropy week like many of the other Greek Life chapters do around campus. So, when I got the position, I was super excited and decided to set out to do Alpha Sigma Tau’s first ever philanthropy week. I worked on the plans for months trying to think of the best activities but also the ones that would get the most people involved. Finally, after months the week was here and it was time to see if all my hard work would pay off. When it was finally here, I was super nervous but also excited to see if my plans would actually work!

{Monday} Day one was a Banner making contest for all of the Fraternities on campus. Basically, each chapter received a cloth banner from me and had to decorate it. On the banner had to be AST or Alpha Sigma Tau, the fraternity letters, and the dates/times of our Grilled Cheese fundraiser. The results were phenomenal and I was blown away with how creative some of the chapter were. Also, at this point I was super excited because my plan was working and my idea of a philanthropy week was actually coming to life!

{Tuesday} Day two had two parts. The first part of the day was a twitter contest. This included the brothers of each fraternity taking pictures with my sisters and posting them on twitter with their specific hashtag. To make it easy to find us and support our philanthropy, I had philanthropy shirts made so every sister in AST matched! Later that night, after the twitter contest, I put on the first ever Anchorman Pageant. The pageant was based on the popular comedy Anchorman which is about San Diego News Anchor Ron Burgundy. Participants had to compete in a suite and hair portion, Q&A portion, and news reading portions. For me, this part of the week was my favorite, because so many people were actually coming out and participating in the events I was hosting and because the pageant was truly hilarious.

{Wednesday & Thursday} Days three and four were all about the food. Both of these days were our Grilled Cheese fundraisers with unlimited Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup. The fundraiser took place at our AST house and we packed so many people into our tiny house but it was well worth it. Furthermore, on Thursday night at midnight we had our Grilled Cheese eating contest where our reigning champ was beaten by his little. Both nights went magnificent and I even ran out of most food because we had such a good turn out. These two days, no matter how stressful, I felt so blessed to be apart of CMU and the Greek Community because of the immense support AST was receiving.

Overall, this year we raised more money than years prior which was a huge success for me. Also, another big success was putting on our first philanthropy week especially with how well it ended up going. Thinking back on the week of Grilled Cheese, I could not have pulled off any of this without my amazing sisters. The women in my chapter are and were especially that week some of the most helpful, compassionate, and loving people in the world. So thank you to all my sisters and thank you to everyone who came out and supported us! ♥

Happy National Grilled Cheese Day!

Leadership Development

Leadership Launch

October 28th → Special Olympics Leadership Launch → Team MilkyWay Magenta

First and foremost this blog is a reflection about my Lead Team for the Leadership Advancement Scholarship. A Lead Team is a group of students in the LAS program who all work together for something specific like a workshop, Competition Day, or Grad Ball. My Lead Team was the Special Olympics and we facilitated a program called the Leadership Launch. As a team, we met once a week and planned for our day of facilitating and fun. Within our Lead Team we were paired together to be co-guides for the students coming to Leadership Launch and were given cool space names. My co and I were MilkyWay Magenta and I must say, we were the most out of this world group.

The Leadership Launch is a part of Special Olympics Project Unified. Project Unified promotes equality in schools and athletics for students with disabilities. Through this project, we created a day full of leadership and fun for students with disabilities and their “buddy”. All of the activities they participated in helped these kids see and think of themselves as leaders whether that be in their schools or on different teams. It was a period of time where these students could be whatever and whoever they wanted no matter what. It was fascinating to watch all the kids think about what they were learning and talk about applying it to their lives and how they could be the “leaders of today”, as Dan Gaken would say.

Something from this day that stuck with me more than anything was one of the activities we did with all the students. This particular activity was about their dreams for the world and how they wanted the world the change. In my group participants said things like they wanted a world that did not use the R word, a world with more happiness, and a world that was inclusive for everyone including them. When they were going around and saying all of their dreams and aspirations for the world, it was a very powerful moment for me. I have always wanted to work in Special Education and my family has always been very involved in Special Ed BUT that day, I had a moment where everything seemed to fall into place. It was a powerful moment for me and a time when   I knew what I wanted to do with my life and how I wanted to live. I knew then, that I wanted to make the world a better place for people with disabilities even if it is only one person.

Overall, this day was one for the books and it will forever have an impact on my life and how I want to live. Besides having fun and being involved with my passion, I learned something from the students there and from them I learned things about myself that I would not have learned without them. I now count down the days until I do my next event with Special Olympics because of the pure joy it brings to everyone including myself. ♥

 

 

 

Random

A much needed break

Spring Break 2017 • Random little update about Spring Break

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Well first off Spring Break was far too short. However, I had a fabulous time in Florida soaking up all of the warmth and sun with my family and boyfriend before coming back to snowy chilly Michigan. Throughout the week, we ate wonderful food, laid on the beach, went to Sea World, slept in, went to Aquatica, and relaxed.

Here’s a little bit about what I did during my Spring Break in Florida. First, one of the most wonderful parts for me was being able to run outside instead of on a treadmill. I got to wake up every morning and take a run on the beach in the salty air instead of running in Michigan on the salty side walks. It was very refreshing and helped me get out of bed in the morning. Also, we went to so many good restaurants that are my personal favorites in St. Augustine. It was so nice to have something other than cafe food because it gets old pretty fast. Besides beach runs and food in St. Augustine, I showed Derek around Downtown one day and we walked through the historic part of it. We also ate some super delicious ice cream downtown at Ben and Jerry’s, which honestly made my trip because I had nondairy peanut butter ice cream. After being in St. Augustine for a few days with my family, Derek and I went to Orlando. While there we were able to go to Disney Springs and do a dinner and movie in the AMC theater. That was super cool experience. We saw Logan there and it was the perfect ending for Hugh Jackman’s career as Wolverine. The next day we went to Sea World to ride roller coasters and see all the different animals. Personally, I loved watching the dolphin show and seeing the connection and trust between the trainers and dolphins. The next day we spent time at SeaWorld’s water park Aquatica, going down the water slides and chilling in the lazy river. That evening we traveled back to St. Augustine to spend our last few days in Florida with my family.

Being in Florida with the people I love was truly rejuvenating and definitely a much needed break from my fast paced life at Central. It gave me a boost of energy that I need to finish the semester and was a nice time to just chill.

Here are some lovely picture from the ever beautiful Florida!

Community

LAS in the D {Post Service Reflection}

LAS takes on Detroit • February 10- 11

{WHAT}

First and foremost this trip was an incredible experience. I was able to bond with many people in my cohort and the facilitators from the previous LAS cohorts. While the entire trip was only about  30 hours, we fit in so many different and tremendous expimg_4635eriences in multiple environments within Detroit. Here is a little overview of the 30 hours we spent in Detroit or ‘what’ we did while there. First, we went to Jalen Rose Leadership Academy and facilitated leadership activities for 2 hours with some of the juniors and seniors there. We were placed in groups with each group having  two head facilitators from cohorts above us, 6 students from LAS, and about 6 students from Jalen Rose. One of the activities we did was creating community standards which is always important when working in a group setting. Group standards are based off of what you want for yourself, each other as participants, and from the facilitators. From Jalen Rose, we went into the heart of the city and got a tour around Quicken Loans. While there they talked to us about their internship program and about everything they are doing for Detroit. Specifically one of the Vice Presidents, John Fikany, talked to us and his drive and passion for the company was astonishing and inspiring. Also, something at caught my attention about Quicken is that every employee gets a certain amount of paid volunteer hours so they all go out and help the community they work in. The packed day did not end there! After Quicken Loans, we went to the DIA or Detroit Institute of Arts where we were able to explore and just spend our time looking at the magnificent artwork. Finally, at the end of the day we went to the DNR’s Outdoor Adventure Center where we again were able to explore and basically just had a big sleepover. Saturdimg_4587ay morning we all got up and went to the Cass Community Center to volunteer for our last few hours. During our time volunteering at Cass, we were split into 4 groups that volunteered in 4 different places. My group, definitely had the coolest job; going to the warehouse to shed paper. Now you may be questioning why this was so cool to me. Let me wow you… they had bikes that powered their electricity and we
were able to ride them and make CLEAN ENERGY. How awesome is that? Once we were done serving at Cass we all loaded back onto the buses and made our tired way back to Mt. Pleasant where I proceeded to crash after an exhausting and exhilarating 30 hours.

{SO WHAT}

On to the actual substance of the trip and what we actual were able to do in Detroit for 30 hours. As a cohort we were able to do experience so many different environments in Detroit and impact so many different placimg_4636es. Now the question is so what did we learn while in all of these different places and how do they come together to create a learning outcome. For myself, being in Detroit pointed out how many times things are not as they seem. Living in the Upper Peninsula, we do not really go in-depth with places such as Detroit and what’s going on there. But after I went to Detroit and actually learned more about it I understood that it is no longer this sad once upon a time city but it is making a come back in many big ways. Also, I learned and built on my ability to put myself in others shoes and understand what they are going through. Finally, I did not so much learn this but was reminded about how fortunate I am. Seeing some of the more poor areas of Detroit opened my eyes because getting a B on a Phonetics exam in not even close to the problems that too many people who live in Detroit deal with.

{NOW WHAT}

The big question is now what? What am I and my LAS cohort going to do as a result of  being in Detroit and learning/ experiencing so many different aspects of it. Personally, I am going to look more into the history of Detroit and what really happened to make such a great booming city fall. I want to learn about the different aspects of Detroit’s fall and the different opinions of what happened to Detroit. Furthermore, I want to understand what people are now doing for Detroit. While at Quicken Loans  and the Cass Center we learned a little bit about what they specifically are doing but I want to go deeper and understand many of the different projects happening in Detroit to make it a wonderful booming city again. One of the specific projects I would enjoy learning more about is the River Walk and what the city is doing to make that place into somewhere everyone wants to be.img_4552

Another part of my “Now What” and what I want to do after being in Detroit is in general do more service for people who truly need it. I have always been passionate about volunteer work and since coming to college I kind of fell out of my hard-core service groove and have not done as much for others. This is not to say that I do not do any service, I am apart of a solely service based organization, it is just to say that I do not do as much volunteer work as I used to. However, after Detroit, I was reminded of how much I love serving others and how it not only brings joy to me, but also to the community around me. My ‘fire’ was lit again and I now have the desire to help more people and do more service for the communities around me.

Finally, the last part of my “Now What” is remembering to count my blessings. After walking through poverty-stricken communities within Detroit, I feel I need to go back through my everyday life and look at everything I have to be thankful for. People in Detroit are building their lives and city back up from nothing. Volunteering there really opened my eyes to this fact and the fact that I need to be more thankful for what I already have. Lately I have been stuck in a rut almost and frustrated with so many things like my major and other odds and ends in my life. In reality I am extremely lucky and needed to be reminded of that. I go to a wonderful school that I got scholarships for, I have met some of my best friends at college, and I have a bright future ahead of me. So here’s to acknowledging my blessings and counting than everyday

For more about this trip read my Pre LAS in the D blog. Also, for another service event I participated in read my Special Olympics Blog.