Relay for Life has been such a huge part of my life for many years. Having a lot of family and friends affected by cancer makes this organization a huge priority in my life. After four years on the planning committee for the Troy Relay for Life, I was so glad to continue my Relay career here at CMU.
Being on the planning committee for Relay brings me such joy. I was the survivorship chair which is a huge role in the relay world. I was responsible for getting survivors to our event and making sure they felt like the stars of the show. I can’t wait for next years relay!
Social Problems has been by far the most interesting class I have taken here at CMU. In this class, there were no exams or tests, only written outlines and other projects that we would work on. During the class period, discussion was open to any topic about social issues in our world today. My class would share their opinions and discuss ways to prevent these issues or to make them better.
This class provided me with the necessary information to be informed about issues and topics in today’s world. Most topics, I knew very little if not anything about it. Sitting in class and listening to everyone’s opinions on things made me realize how many different opinions there can be on a topic, yet we can still have a civilized conversation with one another. I would highly recommend this class to my peers.
The responsibility of “mentoring” another individual is a scary thought. I often find it difficult to take care of myself and answer my own questions, how am I going to “mentor” someone else? Yet here I am, supposed to be the go-to-guy for this college freshman. The LAS program does not have any specific guidelines, just that you mentor a freshman in the freshmen cohort. When it came time to choose, I knew Kyle Jennings was going to be my lucky mentee!
Kyle is from Ortonville, Michigan, a small town in the metro Detroit area; but don’t let that fool you! Kyle is no small town guy. He is way cooler than I’ll ever be and try to ride along on his coattails. He has his own YouTube channel, (make sure you go subscribe) dances, and almost made it on the voice!
I am also lucky enough to not only have Kyle as a mentee, but as one of my brothers in Sigma Alpha Epsilon! When Kyle told me he was interested in rushing I was ecstatic! I knew he would be a perfect fit in SAE but I made sure he explored all of his options and always told him to go where he felt like he would fit in the best! Watching Kyle grow as a brother and a leader in our chapter has been amazing. After his first semester, he ran for countless positions and is our social media chair. I could not be more proud of everything he has done throughout this year and look forward to mentoring him on being a mentor
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.
Where has the time gone? I don’t know why this blog is so hard for me to write. Every time I sit down to write this, I find myself scrolling through old pictures and reminiscing on memories. As the last few days of the year approach, I have caught myself reflecting on one of the most memorable years of my life. Coming to college, was one of the most life changing experiences. Who knew that the guy I drove to the hospital after getting stabbed in the butt would end up being my best friend? Or the girl whose succulent I broke on the first day would be one of my best friends?
I vividly remember move in day like it was yesterday. After I was all moved in, and my parents left, I was now stuck with these three guys I had never met before. After a few awkward conversations, I knew these guys were going to be my best friends. I honestly can’t imagine my first year without these three. From our late night pizza talks to killing every plant we owned (even a cactus) I won’t change a thing.
Now for Barnes. Going into the year I was excited to live with everyone in LAS but I was not excited about living in the oldest dorm. However, Barnes is the place to be! There was never a day where I didn’t love living here. No matter what time of day, I know I can always walk into a room and memories will instantly begin to happen.
It is always interesting when you put 50 leaders (who are all friends) in a room together for three hours and LDR 200 sure will support this. I love having classes with my entire cohort but this one was especially interesting. We were all together to learn different leadership theories however we were going to be teaching each other rather than having a professor teach us. It was a very interesting dynamic learning from one another and teaching each other. My cohort and I were challenged every week to stay engaged and respectful while our peers presented to us. It was a very unique learning atmosphere that our cohort was not ready for but benefited us greatly. Even though three hours on Wednesday nights can be rough, I can’t imagine being stuck in a room with anyone else but my LAS Cohort.
Taking History with my LAS cohort was a very unique experience. Along with the curriculum, our cohort learned skills that will help us with the rest of our lives. After the first class, we knew we were in for a treat. Our first roadblock was being able to hear our professor. Unless you were in the first row, there was no way you were going to be able to hear our soft-spoken professor. This was no match for our cohort. Everyone would take the notes on the board, however one of the girls who sat in the front would make a quizlet for every test on what our professor would say. We learned how to work together in tough situations for the success of the class. Our next roadblock was with our writing intensive papers. As a cohort, we peer reviewed our papers before we turned them in to guarantee that everyone would get the best possible grade.