Serving As A Mentor

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Serving as a mentor has taught me many valueable life lessons. The first lesson is that if you agree to take on the role of a mentor, you should always be prepared to listen. This is a crucial part of the mentoring process, as you cannot assist anyone in personal growth if you are not receptive to them.

The second lesson I learned is that you must also be willing to talk. As someone who is supposed to have experience and wisdom, you should be sharing those things with your mentee so that they are better equipped to handle the obstacles that you yourself found challenging. It can be difficult to communicate, as you will not always have the same attitude or values as someone you mentor, however, being able to communicate and still enable your mentee to grow is what makes a true mentor.

The final lesson I learned is that it is crucial to establish expectations. Without expectations, a mentor cannot hold their mentee accountable, and vise versa. It is impossible to meet unspoken expectations as well, so making them known through a detailed discussion is essential if you wish to be an effective positive figure.

 

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Hermanos Para Unidad (Brothers For Unity)

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Hermanos Para Unidad is a new Registered Student Organization on campus that was created in order to promote Latino culture at Central Michigan University, as well as standards of morality, ethics, and education.

I have the honor of serving as the Executive Events Chairperson, along with nine other dedicated brothers. So far this year, we have organized and successfully executed a Salsa and Bachata class where we thought anyone willing to show up ancient dances that have been practiced for generations in Latin America. We also orchestrated a campus clean up on Earth Day in which we cleaned parking lots and the Rose Pond which is not maintained by CMU.

Our goal moving forward is to continue to contribute to the success and well being of our community as well as upholding our mission statement stated above.

Youth Advocacy AWB

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This past winter break I was give the opportunity to travel to Charleston, South Carolina with a group of 11 other CMU students on my third Alternative Break (more blogs to come). The social justice issue my group focused on was youth advocacy, and we spent a week volunteering with the Carolina Youth Development Center (CYDC).

Starting off, I was not prepared for the impact that this break would have on me mentally, nor did I expect it to strengthen what I already thought to be a strong desire to work with children in the foster care system. I thought I was fairly knowledgable about youth advocacy and the issues surrounding the topic, however, this break gave me the opportunity to truly immerse myself in the lives of foster children and allow me to see just how severe the scale of the issue is.

We spent everyday at the CYDC, a campus that consists of: houses for the foster children, recreational and educational facilities, and a main office building. This center serves as a model community for other foster homes, as they provide numerous and essential services to their children that most foster facilities do not. They teach the children there how to work on cars, computer programming, musical instruments, and healthy lifestyle habits so that they can develop necessary skills to assist in getting them ahead in life. However, this does not make the CYDC perfect, as funds are limited and the impossible feat of giving each child the love and attention they deserve.

The first three days at the CYDC were spent sorting presents for the children that were donated from sponsor families. These presents were things that the children were in need of, and would be given at their annual christmas party. In addition to this, we also performed demolition on one of the campus houses that was being remodeled into a transition home for children that would age out of the system. This would serve as a foothold into the real world, and allow the new young adults to find their place in society before just being thrown into the streets to fend for themselves.

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The last two days were spent in direct interactions with the children of the CYDC. These two days provided me with the most fulfilling, yet heartbreaking experience I have ever had. I connected with one child in particular, and learned about their journey leading up to the CYDC. As their story unfolded, it took everything in me not to fall apart. I realized that even with everything the CYDC does for these children, it is still not enough for them to grow into healthy, thriving individuals. It was after this moment that my goal of becoming an agent of social change in the world of foster care was transformed into a burning desire.

After our 52 hours of community service at the CYDC, we returned to our own community to share what we learned, and become active citizens in trying to bring about change for children in need. I have taken what I have learned from this experience and applied them to my social work classes. I will continue to apply this knowledge as well as educating myself so that one day I can shape the policies that will result in much needed change in the foster care world.

LAS In The D?

As a person who values service and leadership, I try to serve my community and other in many different ways. Whether that is by volunteering at a local non-profit or cleaning up the Earth, I am always doing what I can to change the world for the better. Growing up in Detroit, Michigan I have been volunteering my time for as long as I can remember and it has shaped me into who I am today. So when I heard that the LI would be taking the LAS Scholars on a service trip to my hometown on Friday, February 10th, I was ecstatic.

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The purpose of this trip will be to apply our Leadership roles in a community to try and improve the quality of life and overall economy, even if it is has the slightest of impacts. We will be doing this by partnering with the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy and showing the young leaders there the effects that their leadership can have on their community.

As a person who comes from the city of Detroit, I understand first hand the social and economical issues that are effecting the city today. From schools being underfunded to racial discrimination, the issues that are encompassed within Detroit are many; however, with leadership, passion, and determination, these issues can be resolved. LAS in the D is a tradition that I am most excited to share with the Leadership Institute, and I can’t wait to continue to put my stamp on the world.

How Great Leaders Inspire Action

What makes a leader stand out? Simon Sinek has discovered that all great leaders throughout history all have the same things in common: how they think, act, and communicate. He has found that the most influential and effective leaders started out by asking themselves “why.” This led to the “how”, and the “what”. To better explain why these leaders where and are so effective, Simon came up with the Golden Circle:

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This Golden Circle explains that in order to truly be the most effective and influential leader, you must start with the why. The why represents your reason for being. It is your motivation and belief. Without the simple why, you can never truly develop a how or what. In order for you to be fully committed and effective at something, you must know why you are doing it and believe in it. Otherwise, people will know that you are not truly passionate about your cause, and thus, they will cease to see you as a true leader.

Once you have found your why, you can then develop a how. The how expect of the circle represents the specific actions you take that allow you to realize your why. It is your method of achieving that why. Simon has found that working from the why to the how is most effective, and enables a person to truly develop a plan of leadership. However, the circle does not stop there.

Once you have your how, you must discover your what. All of the great leaders that Simon observed all knew what they were doing or providing. It is crucial to know what your how is producing, and the effects that his has on the people around you. it is also to important to make sure that the results are rooted to your why. If you lose sight of your values, then the what will not have the effects you originally sought out to make.

Overall, Simons Golden Circle is an excellent tool the has helped many people realize what makes great leaders, great. This circle can be applied to any one and greatly affect their leadership style for the better. To learn more about Simon Simek and his Golden Circle, please visit this link: https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action

Leaders Say “Yes!”

Some people question, whether leadership comes from a yes or a no. I believe that leadership comes from a yes. I say this because when we say yes, we are often taking the initiative to commit to something. We are finding the courage to take on a responsibility that we do not necessarily have too. Saying yes expresses that you are willing to serve and work to accomplish something. It shows that you are to afraid to fail, regardless of the circumstances. Many great figures throughout history have proven that being a yes leader is often the most effective leadership style. Cesar Chavez, for example, was a yes leader. He was an american labor leader and civil rights activist who co-founded the National Farm Workers Association. Cesar Chavez also coined the term “Si Se Puede,” which means “yes we can.” This phrase is a symbol of his success and level of equality he brought to the LatinX community. It is now an integral part of Latino social movements throughout the country. This is a prime example of how being a yes leader can be effective, and there are many other yes leaders in history who have changed the world for the better. So the next time you find yourself wondering, does leadership come from a yes or a no, remember: “Si Se Puede!”

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Psychology and Me

As a Leadership Advancement Scholar I was required to take the Psych 100 Leadership class to become one step closer in completing a minor in Leadership. This class taught me that a leader must understand the theories of psychology in order to truly lead because to understand people and the way they think allows you to keep an open mind. Before I took this class, I had no idea how leadership and psychology correlated, and was very interested in learning. Being someone who comes from a very diverse school and holding leadership positions within my student organizations, I understand how the different theories of psychology can influence leadership behavior. Taking the knowledge I have gained from this class, I will apply it to my everyday life and continue to grow as a leader.