I’m Not Lucky I’m Blessed

Deciding to attend Central Michigan University has been the best decision in my life to this point. I am blessed to be able to call this place my second home. I have already changed and grown so much in just one short year of college. I came into college not knowing my future and just about anyone here. That soon changed with my LAS family! 47 amazing people that I am lucky enough to call my friends. They have taught me so much and made me want to be a better person.

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I came to Central as an uninformed kid that loved people, but was clueless about the issues around the world. There is so much change that needs to happen around the world and I know my fellow LASers and I are gonna make a difference in the world. Saving the world, whether it be the environment (no more disposable plastic water bottles), going Vegan (meat is too good for me to stop), or just being more knowledgeable and aware. I do not tell everyone in my cohort enough just how amazing they are.

I realize this transition could have not been easy on my parents. I came close to commuting to a university near my hometown which would have saved me & my parents a lot of money  and student loans. After meeting Dan Gaken and other Leadership staff, my wise older sisters and parents encouraged me to go to CMU because they knew how much I would gain from the Leadership Program. Going from 4 kids living at home, to now an empty house. They have been nothing but supportive. They are always pushing me to do better and improve. My first semester was defenitely a challenge academically which I never faced previously in my schooling. I was surrounded by the support of Dan, my mentor, & many positive LAS’ers  who had high standards & similar interests which made the transition easy. I have learned so much and made the necessary changes to be successful. I can take everything I have learned into the future with me so that I can be and do anything that I put my heart into.
     I have been lucky enough to receive a wonderful mentor; Bellal, and brother; Nate,  volunteer and give back in Detroit, attend leadership conferences where I was inspired, go on weekend retreats where we bonded, listen to amazing speakers, meet the president, and make life long friends. This is only the start of what LAS has offered me. 

Living on campus, I have become a part of Program Board, volunteered around Mt. Pleasant, became an intramural champion in co-ed dodge-ball (with only a team of 6 against all teams of 7),  and lost the championship game of bubble soccer (we should have won if 26 year old nurses didn’t beat us :), fundraising and participating in Relay for Life, which is near to my heart, and all the future opportunities I will have to be involved in.
I was lucky enough to live in a Dorm where we are truly a community. Barnes has given me lifelong friends I will treasure forever, an important support system and many lifelong memories. Warm weather finally hits and everyone goes outside to hangout, do homework, and get a little competitive in volleyball. We stay up late writing blog posts, making cookies for competition day, going on long boarding trips (even though I am not the best), supporting each other, or just simply hanging out.

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Everything I have done in college has improved me as a person and allowed me to grow as a leader. I can’t even imagine my life without having such a strong leader & mentor in Dan and the LI. I now have a passion to make everyone feel special, because you do not know what someone is going through and even just a few kind words could have a positive effect on them. I have improved my facilitation skills which I hope to always keep improving on. My eyes have been opened and I have a new overall compassion as a person. Although Engineering is usually not common as a leadership fulfilling major, I am excited and will strive to become a leader in the field and use my knowledge for the benefit of others.

A true leader understands cultural differences and that every individual they encounter is different and can lead in their own way. If you know what is going on around you, you can be more effectuve in how you lead. I hope I have expressed the positive and life altering affect college has had on me so far. It is hard to put in words how special this place is to me. I am blessed to call it my second home. Most people say they love their college and the opportunities it brings, but I truly mean it. The campus is so inviting, there is a common passion to make a difference, and the focus on the importance of Leadership makes CMU so amazing. I could never write about all of the positive impact CMU & most importantly the LI,  has had on me but I hope you get the scope of it.  I can not wait to see what the future holds.

The Future Roomies. I am ready for the crazy ride we are about to have next year in Emmons with everyone else that is also joining us!

 

 

 

That’s a No From Me

The question at hand is “does leadership come from a ‘yes’ or ‘no?'” In my opinion, leadership comes from no. Yes goes hand in hand with the easy answer. A no can cause you to think. No is taking the road least traveled. The road that you will find yourself among fellow Leaders.

When most people think of the word “no” they assume you are turning something down. This is most definitely not the case. The most monumental moments in history came from a firm no. Just look at some examples like Rosa Parks and Jackie Robinson. They fought for something greater then themselves. They did not like what was going on in society and they stood up for what they believed. All this came from a simple no. The word no shows character. It shows that you have unique thoughts and opinion and that you are no afraid to show them.

“No” is more than just a word. It represents standing up for what you believe. It is making your own choices, not what other people want or expect from you. The answer yes requires no explanation. You say no it requires and response and to think deep. It takes guts to say no and challenge ideas. If you aren’t challenging yourself and the people around you, growth will not come. Being a Leader comes from making a change and following what you believe. People don’t follow someone who complies to everyone else’s needs and the status quo. They go against the tide. Do not say yes to please others. Stand at the top of the tallest building in the biggest city and yell at the top of your lungs, “No!”

“The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes.” -Tony Blair

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Impactful Leaders of Today

I am here to talk about someone that I believe is current leader in our society. I am going to talk about the¬†Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the General Motor Company, Mary Barra. Mary has been in this position since January of 2014 and is the first female CEO of a major global automaker. Anytime a female takes a large leadership position, especially one that has not been done before, is a monumental moment in our nation’s history.

Mary  Barra is a tremendous leader. Not only does she inspire people with her accomplishments, but she also beats adversity. Her first year at the helm of GM proved to be very challenging. The company had many setbacks, but Mary just kept at it. She was able to lay out her plan for the future of the company that shows a bright future. A true leader can handle tough situations, figure out ways to solve problems, and look to the future with confidence.

People will automatically look up to someone in that position of power. It takes guts and hard work to break the mold in our society and for that people should look up to her. Any female can look at her and be confident that they can do whatever they chose in life through perseverance. No stage is too big. As a Mechanical Engineering major, Mary Barra most definitely inspires me. She was able to overcome numerous obstacles to get in the position she now holds. This gives me hope that with hard work and integrity, I myself can get a high stature job at a large company such as General Motors. Mary Barra has many great leadership qualities, added with her high stature, that many idolize.

 

 

The face and CEO of General Motors, Mary Barra

Fred Factor

A very cool group project we got to do in our LDR 100 class is the Fred Factor. The Fred Factor is a book by Mark Sanborn, telling a story of a mailman who went out of his way to make a difference everyday in peoples lives. Being a Fred consists of 4 key factors:

  1. Everyone Makes a Difference
  2. Everything is Built on Relationships
  3. You Must Continuously Create Value for Others
  4. You can Reinvent Yourself Regularly

Our group consisted of 8 LAS members. This project had a really good meaning behind so I was excited to do it.

Our group decided on an idea based off a video we watched in Psych where peopled were brought in and wrote something about a person they appreciated and after writing were surprisingly told to call that person. It was an awesome video and perfect for Fred. We went to the University Center and found people to do this same thing with. We took all the information and produced an awesome video you can find here.

I loved everything about this project. I had a lot of fun getting the video clips and seeing peoples reactions. It is awesome to see the scared look you get when telling someone to call their loved one and reading what they wrote, then to have such a huge smile when telling a person close to them why they appreciate them. Even though we could not see it, recieving that phone call unexpectedly made the persons day and they probably had a huge smile on their face. I believe we do not tell our loved ones that we appreciate them enough, so this project helps spread this appreciation.

Leadership Safari

Leadership Safari is a great way for incoming freshman and transfer students to get introduced to Central Michigan University’s campus and meet many incoming freshman. Leadership Safari started in 1996 when it had 65 students to 2014 with 1,976 students and even more in 2015. I am lucky to have been able to attend the program this year. I was a participant this year and hope to be a part of the staff this upcoming year. Coming into Safari, I was worried if I would like my group and if I would actually meet anyone cool. I had seen the video from the year before and had high expectations but a little doubt always comes with that.

The very first night of Safari, we got to meet with our groups and introduce ourselves. The first two days we were pretty separated form our groups. On the third day we started being with our groups most of the day and we started to gel. By the end of Safari our group was very close and I feel as if i could ask any of them for help or their opinion. A big point that was being pushed during Safari was that everyone has a story and you can not tell that by just looking at them. All groups are random and many activities work to put you in groups with people you do not know and forces you to participate. This helps you learn more people and put yourself out there.

I think this event was very eye opening and gives you an advantage coming into college that someone who didn’t participate would not receive. We got to talk a lot about how the world is avery judgemental place where people are judged before someone has time to get to know them. I am going to personally work on not judging anyone by appeatance and give them a chance to show their personality before I come to conclusions. I think anyone can benefit by having this mindset. In my opinion this is an important trait for a leader to have. They must gain relationships to have more of an effect on somebody and for them to listen to what you have to say. I am very happy to have had this experience at Leadership Safari and can not wait for many more in my time at the wonderful Central Michigan University.

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