Future Child Advocates….part 2

Leadership Training

After falling in love with Future Child Advocates and all that it stood for, I decided to not only come back for a second year, but I also took on an eboard position as Public Relations chairperson. I loved working with the amazing girls that were on eboard and just seeing how passionate not only they were, but even the general members. The club consists of all girls (not on purpose) who each have such a strong passion to be a voice for kids who don’t have one. They are passionate about being a positive light in children’s lives and for sticking up for them when they need someone.

At each meeting we work towards furthering our education on child abuse and neglect so that we can be better prepared when we are working with children hands on in our professions and every day life. This RSO is also very dedicated to giving back to the community. One of my favorite memories of this year was volunteer at the Whaley’s Children Center in Flint, MI. This is a large foster care system that houses children who experience problems at their home. They are dedicated to providing the best service and care for the children there and I could see that all throughout the time I spent there. We got to spend the day just helping organize whatever they needed, we decorated their parlor for Christmas time so that it felt like home for the children, and then we actually got to spend time with some of the children. For me this was the best part. The kids were preparing a Christmas concert to perform for their families who could make it, so they asked us to stay and sing along with them. I can honestly say that I don’t think I have ever sang louder or more out of tune in my entire life, but boy did we have a blast. Those kids taught me more about love and joy than anyone else, and yet for most of them, they have been so deprived of that for their entire lives. This experience really just opened my eyes to the what true happiness looks like when you have nothing.

Being apart of Future Child Advocates has been one of the best parts of being at CMU and I can’t wait to see what we do next year!

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Our donation of 2,000 socks to the local homeless shelter

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The hype-st day of the year

Leadership Training

As part of protocol for the Leader Advancement Scholarship, I am required to be a part of a lead team. Freshman year I was placed in the special events lead team and I had such a blast planning fun events for all of the cohorts. This year, I was very excited to find out that I was going to be on the competition day team.

Competition day is probably the best day in the Leadership Institute. This is the day where about 100 high school students are invited to compete for the 50 scholarship spots.  It is so much fun to watch the high schoolers not only interact with campus and all the leaders here, but with each other as well. Although not all of the students get the scholarship, all students are encouraged to find ways to be involved in the Leadership Institute because everyone is a leader here.

Although our lead team didn’t meet very often, getting to help at competition day was a treat in itself. My job was the greet every student that came in and get their folder all set up with everything that their day was going to entail. I got to talk to families and say hello to all the nervous but excited students. Getting to see the next group of leaders come into CMU was so exhilarating for me because they are the next group of world changers. From the second they walked into the room you could tell that they wanted to grow and learn just at competition day.

Being apart of this lead team was fulfilling and exciting. I can’t wait to see what group I am apart of next year, and hopefully further my leadership experiences through my next lead team.

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Competition day with the best roomie

LDR200L

Leadership Education

Well folks, after LDR100 we just loved everything we learned that my cohort obviously just HAD to take LDR200. I was very excited going into this class with my cohort because I ended up having to miss a lot of LDR100 due to marching band practices. This class was the perfect chance for me to really learn some basic necessities for leadership as well as get to know more people in my cohort.

This class was tailored for us to learn how to facilitate and to determine what our most ideal form of leading was. Through this discovery, we all were assigned a workshop to present to the class. These consisted of leadership theories that we had to dissect and facilitate, that characterize the many takes and forms on leadership. The theory my group was assigned was called the “Leader-Member Exchange Theory” otherwise known as LMX theory. This theory really focused on how to be a successful leader through building good relationships with their followers so that they will want to be successful and you form a strong team feel. Our theory was a little different because most theories focused on either just the leaders or just the followers whereas ours focused on how they need to be able to work together to be successful. Through this workshop and through listening to everyone else’s workshops, my mind has been opened to so many different leader and follower behaviors and I have learned how to adjust my leadership style when I am working with all different groups.

Another requirement of this class was to facilitate an initiative, which is an activity that engages a group in a fun and interactive way, while also teaching them about the many traits that build a leader. My initiative team had teamwork which is a key component to leadership. To present our initiative we had a few different groups with about 5 students in each group. Each team was given a about 10 sheets of plain copy paper and were given very vague instructions to build a contraption that could hold a very heavy school book. The groups had to work as a team to decide on one idea and then help each other build whatever it was that they came up with. Each group was able to be successful and they said it was because they listened to everyones ideas and then worked together to build the best structure based on everyones input. Being leaders, it is especially important that not one person dominates a group, but rather that everyone’s voices are heard and taken into consideration.

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In the end, this class has showed me all sides to leadership and what forms I may need to use in certain situation, where I can better impact and motivate my followers. It has brought me closer to my cohort and has showed me what I am capable as a leader. I was able to work on my public speaking skills and really task my brain on other ways in which i can better my self and others. If you’d like to see my interpretation of leadership, check out my page on my leadership philosophy.

My Comfort Zone Was So Comfy Though…

Leadership Education, Uncategorized

This past weekend was my first “Mentor Mentee Retreat” for LAS. The weekend was filled with many laughs, good talks, and of course, lots of leadership training. Heading into the weekend, I’m going to be honest, I just really wanted to stay in my dorm and catch up on much-needed sleep. I was really struggling with homesickness the night before and all I wanted to do was go home and be with my family; God clearly had this weekend all planned out because wow, was my mind totally changed after being on the retreat for just 5 seconds. I was so nervous as the weekend began because so many LAS people are crazy outgoing and that is one thing that I am definitely not(but trying to work on). When we broke into our small groups, we talked a lot about what we were looking to get out of the retreat and someone in my group responded that they wanted to step out of their comfort zone. Merriam-Webster defines a comfort zone as, “a place, situation, or level where someone feels confident and comfortable” Some examples of my comfort zone’s are church, family, marching band, Clarkston; anything but being around new environments. It wasn’t until the team building activities that I really realized how small my comfort zone was, and without the help of my fellow LAS friends it would have stayed that way. What I never realized before stepping out of my comfort zone was HOW DARN FUN THINGS ARE WHEN YOU AREN’T IN IT. Life is so boring if you just live your life in your little box doing the same things all the time. I can easily say I would’ve never enjoyed the high ropes course if all I worried about was how high up were. I would’ve never met half the LAS people I did if I wouldn’t have just sat down next to them at a meal; and I definitely wouldn’t have learned all about trust and leadership if I never would’ve stepped out of my comfort zone.

So many times I have let my anxiety get the best of me, but not anymore. It is SO hard to ever learn anything new or grow as a person/leader if you don’t take risks. I climbed a wall that had no ropes and nothing to hold onto simply because I put all my trust in my teammates to help me climb over it and forced myself to try new things, and it was so darn fun. So, ditch your comfort zone and have some fun because I promise, it WILL be more fun.

 

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image from Google

 

Madeline Peterson