Fire-Up

When I attended CMU and You Day four years ago, I talked to a student who solidified my choice to attend CMU. She spoke to me about her passion for her program and the support from faculty, who shared that passion for her to learn. That student, was the exact representation, to what I now know of as CMU family values and what it means to be a Chippewa; passionate, supportive, and genuine.  That day I decided that I wanted to attend CMU and that I wanted to impact future Chippewas and show off everything this university had to offer just as I was impacted as a high school senior.

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Through my college career, I have acted on that goal in numerous ways through my campus extracurriculars. I was a campus ambassador and did tours for prospective students and their family for two years then was selected to be a part of a small group of student from the College of Business to be a CBA (college of business administration) Ambassador. This year was the first year my role with the CBA was really put to use as the college really wanted to give perspective, even already admitted students the chance to speak with students like myself one on one to talk about all CMU can do for them and their future.

Most to every Friday this winter/spring I had the opportunity to do just what I set out to do and impact students in the specific area of study I fell in love with through Fire-Up Friday events. On top of my opportunity to impact students on a one-on-one basis, I was asked to be a speaker for the kick off of Fire-Up Friday events for 200-500 students in the morning of Fire-Up Friday. Having the opportunity to have my “college story” validated as a story that can show students the amazing thing CMU has to offer was an honor. I remember being in their shoes and wanting to have a resume like those who stood up to speak to me. It was an incredible full circle experience that meant even more to me as I was able to stand-up and genuinely say that CMU is my home and gave me all the doors I needed to make a bright and successful future and I know it can be yours too.

When giving back it is never one-sided, as much as you give is given back to you in feelings of fulfillment, a moment with someone you impacted, even personal development.

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The Snowstorm that Ruined Everything

The Detroit Service trip use to be known as LAS in the D is, to me, a very impactful and important Lead Team. It is just as personally impactful as it is for the freshman students experiencing it for the first time. It is a weekend where you check your privilege, ignite a passion to give and support, a chance to bond with likeminded and/or not like-minded people in your cohort and cohorts above you and have needed conversations about today’s society. For the Lead Team, it’s an opportunity to meet and build relationships with the underclassmen who you can relate so closely with as you went through what they went through.

The Detroit Service trip for the past two years has fallen on my birthday and it is 100% worth it to spend that day on this trip. Yet, this year was different. The Leaders for the service trip Lead Team took extra care and time in making this the best service trip yet. They tapped into the Lead Teams knowledge and experience and molded the learning objectives so the freshman would have and unforgettably impactful experience.

A few days before this impactful trip, Mother Nature, at her finest hit the mitten with a snowstorm canceling the trip. With all the negatives that come with a monumental experience being canceled and all the frustration and emotions of a letdown, I asked myself why. Why was I so upset that it was canceled? I hadn’t invested near the amount of time in the logistic and preparation of the trip. I merely gave my knowledge and opinions at a meeting and came to the logistic briefing meeting and was ready to go.

I was upset because I knew how the trip impacted me and how I knew I could do an even better job and help make the freshman cohorts experience even better. I was ready to be apart of their lightbulb leadership moments.  The moment when they are at Cass Community Services and it hits them the number of people the organization feeds and the dire needs to support the hunger epidemic. When they walk into the Detroit Institute of the Arts for the first time and have your breath taken away as you stare at a painting so big you can’t imagine how long it took, or how long ago it was painted. The bonding moments as you sleep on the floor next to an acquaintance that you get the chance to really talk to and could become your best friend. The Detroit Service Trip is an extremely important service trip, but it is even more than that. It’s a weekend to remember as relationships passions and eyes are open.

Service learning Reflection: Youth Advocacy

Through my college experience thus far I have had many volunteer opportunities. Just this year I have found my favorite volunteer opportunities to be that benefiting the younger generations.  Some of my favorite are listed below:

Being a CMU Cheerleader we get multiple opportunities to volunteer our time to teach younger generations the skills and training methods to be a collegyong champe cheerleader. We partner with Champion Force an organization with young girls and boys ages 8-18, from across the state that compete in all-star cheerleading. These teams come to us to enhance their skills. We get to work with these teams through five stations: tumbling, stunting, private coaching, baskets, conditioning. Working with these young girls I have had the opportunity to share my passion for cheerleading while teaching them the skills and
technique to be safe in this dangerous sport, as well as teach them exciting new skills.

This opportunity is hard work and you most definitely have to utilize patience, and strong clear communication. Yet, the reward is beyond what you could ever ask for. They end up looking up to you as a role model as they ask to get pictures with you after, come give you hugs, or evsufken tell you verbally how much you helped them. To be able to share a skill you have and love, and coach them through it as well is extremely rewarding.

Joining Alpha Kappa Psi, I have had the opportunity to participate and help elevate their new philanthropy Stand Up For Kids a non-profit organization that works to end youth
homelessness. We also work with other organizations that stand for youth advocacy. My first event that I tie blanketsparticipated in was decorating lunch sacks with inspirational quotes or happy pictures. As I got more involved in the Fraternity we have also volunteered our time and made tie blankets through an organize where they take donated tie blankets to liven up children’s hospital beds before they arrive.