As a part of the LAS protocol, I am responsible for participating in a lead team for the Leadership Institute. This year I was so excited to be on the LAS in the D Lead Team, which is a community service trip for the freshmen cohort to Detroit. While in Detroit, we go to a school and work with students, visit Quicken Loans, and volunteer at CASS Community Services. Unfortunately, we had to cancel the trip this year due to the weather. However, being able to plan and bond with the rest of my Lead Team was so much fun. I hope I will be able to go on the trip next year and give back to the community as well as bond with the LAS cohort.
This past semester I had the opportunity to be a teaching assistant for LDR 200. This class was taught by 5 different people: Myself, Jesi, Ellen, GA Hannah Long, and another TA, Josh Geary. Some would argue this was too many cooks for a kitchen, but in reality it was a great opportunity for multiple people with leadership expertise and knowledge to serve as a resource.
Josh and I were responsible for helping the students with their facilitation and group projects. We also had the opportunity to present a workshop on Transformational Leadership. This was a great opportunity to realize how far I have come since my freshman year in LDR 200. I now better understand the concepts I was teaching because I was seeing them and using them in my own life.
Being a TA was a great opportunity to meet new people and become a mentor to the freshman of LAS. I hope they all feel comfortable reaching out to me in the future if they ever need help with anything.
For the past three summers, I have volunteered to facilitate a week long summer leadership camp for the Michigan Student Leadership. Camp is designed to teach the principles of effective leadership and to provide practical experience in applying these skills as student leaders. It is packed with hand-on activities for students through simulations and activities. This year, I was a captain for level two at camp. I was in charge of the curriculum and staff for my level and making sure they were well prepared for their councils. It was such an amazing opportunity to be able to train my staff and work on the back side of camp rather than directly with campers. It challenged me and helped me grow as a leader. I had to change the way I facilitated since I had to train my peers and teaching staff rather than high schoolers. I look forward to returning this year and gaining more knowledge to enhance my leadership skills.
Student voice is one of the most underused forms of communication. Students have more power than they know and educating them on the proper way to use their power is a skill that not a lot of students get. Many people don’t learn that their voice and ideas have power until early adulthood. Getting students to realize the influence they have early on can be extremely beneficial in the long run for society.
With that said, I decided to facilitate a workshop for high school students from across the state on the power of their voice. On November 18, 2016 I facilitated a Leadership Training institute (LTI) through the Michigan Association for Student Councils and Honor Societies. At this LTI there was eight different high schools, around 300 students, from the Metro Detroit area. They were all mixed together and separated into four different sessions; giving each session roughly 70 students.
From there, I split each session into groups of five and had them come up with the biggest problem facing their schools. From there, they sorted through their strengths and weaknesses and came up with an action plan they could present to the faculty to work towards their problem. They then presented to the rest of the groups, so everyone could see a variety of ways to use their voices to fix multiple different problems at their schools.
I found this facilitation extremely impactful for not only the students, but for me as well. Seeing hundreds of students from a variety of different backgrounds be so passionate about a cause and working together to have their voices heard really hit home for me. Especially with the current state of our country, seeing that students from all walks of life can come together to make a concrete action plan to better their schools was extremely inspiring. I cannot wait to facilitate this curriculum again and continuing to help students use the power of their voice for good.