Being a Mentor

As part of the Leader Advancement Scholarship, each Sophomore chooses an incoming Freshman to mentor. As a result, during competition day all the soon-to-be mentors flocked into the Powers Ballroom to scope out the incoming freshman, but more importantly, potential mentees. I don’t remember a lot of details from that day but I do remember meeting Thomas. He was introduced to me by a friend that gave him a tour. When he was introduced to me, my friend said later that he thought Thomas was a good potential mentee for me. So, after competition day, I did a little research and sure enough, Thomas seemed like a more athletic, better-looking replica of me. AKA, the perfect mentee.

So needless to say, I was ecstatic when I officially became Thomas’ mentor. As I got to know Thomas I quickly realized what a great guy he is. Thomas is extremely focused and goal-oriented. I know that when Thomas sets his mind to something there is not much that is going to stop him. I knew when I received Thomas as a mentee that he was a special guy. And sure enough, right off the bat, Thomas and I had a great relationship and our relationship became more of a friendship than a mentorship. Due to our interests being so similar, and Thomas being a naturally outgoing, happy-go-lucky guy, it didn’t take long for us to develop a strong relationship.

One point of mentorship that was emphasized to us prior to picking our mentees is that you don’t have to be best friends with them, just be there to support them and help them transition to college. Although not every mentor-mentee relationship results in a great friendship, I got lucky with Thomas and am looking forward to the amazing things he’s going to accomplish.

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Student Government Association

As a result of my e-board position for Special Olympics College, I took on another role in the Student Government Association as a representative for SO College. Although when I accepted the position I knew very little about SGA, it did not take long for me to learn what SGA was all about.

My first day at SGA I had the opportunity to choose a committee to be a part of for the year. I chose Academic Affairs because, as a a future educator, the more experience I gain in the field the better. As a member of the Academic Affairs committee we worked together to first look at problems on Central’s campus in the field of academics. We did this by looking at each member of the committee’s personal experience and then, more importantly, did some tabling. Our goal during tabling was to survey a random population of Central students to see what types of problems students were having with academics.

After obtaining this information we set our goals on writing some proposals to get some change on campus. Throughout the year we wrote a couple of proposals including one for an online bump system to speed the process up, one to extend the library’s hours (open an hour earlier and stay open an hour later), a proposal to assist students in the case of medical amnesty, and more.

On top of participating in the committee I was also a part of the House of Representatives where I represented SO College. My job as a representative was to give my input on proposed bills and vote on these bills, just like the United States House of Representatives.

SGA provided me the opportunity to make a positive impact on campus and make my voice heard.  Although I wasn’t always ecstatic about attending the meetings every Monday night, I am glad I was able to be a part of such a positive organization. The people I met and relationships I made, paired with the constant opportunity to improve Central Michigan made my time in SGA a great experience.

Special Olympics College

Anyone who knows me knows how passionate I am about the Special Olympics. So, naturally, one of the first things I did on campus. My freshman year I spent as a general member and as the year came to and end it was suggested to me that I run for an e-board position. There were quite a few positions open, however, the one I ended up running for was Student Government Association (SGA). As I said when I ran for the position, my role on e-board extended beyond just representing SO College at SGA but also taking on a larger role throughout SO College. During the past year, I was able to take on a larger role in the organization. This included participating in many more unified sports and, of course, taking on my role of SGA representative.

One of my favorite parts of being part of the Special Olympics College is unified sports. For those who are not familiar with it, unified sports are intramural sports played with half Special Olympics athletes and half Central Michigan students. These sports includeUnifiedUnified Flag basketball, flag football, volleyball, kickball, and more. I took every opportunity I had to participate in these games which allowed me to take on a larger role in the organization and develop a relationship with the athletes.

One of the best moments of unified sports was heading down to Western Michigan University for a regional tournament. This allowed my relationship with the athletes that participated in the tournament to increase and gave me an outstanding opportunity with unified sports. The sprinkles on top of the sundae were that we took first place and will soon head down to Ohio State for the national tournament. Unified has been a wonderful opportunity for me and something that I have had a blast with.

Overall, I have cherished my participation with Special Olympics College on campus. SO College has provided me with countless opportunities to grow and limitless fun and priceless interactions with the athletes. In fact, one of my proudest moments of my Sophomore year was all my hard work as an SGA Rep paying off when I received a grant for over $1,000 to pay every member of our organization’s way to the Winter Games. This made all my hard work pay off and gave me a priceless reward for the effort I put in. When elections came up this year I was looking to take on a larger role in the organization. As a result, I ran for President and was lucky enough to be elected as the President for next year. I cannot wait for my involvement in the organization to grow and take on the role of President of SO College.

A Year in the Books

As my freshman year winds down and I take a look back I can’t help but smile at how my year turned out. Choosing where I wanted to attend college was undoubtably the hardest decisions I ever had to make. However, looking back now at that decision, I couldn’t be happier. Throughout the past year, I met some of my closest friends, found my calling, and learned quite a bit both inside, and outside, the classroom.

Perhaps the most helpful part of my freshman year was the people I met. I knew when I accepted the Leader Advancement Scholarship that it was a special program. However, I never dreamed of how awesome the people around me would be. From the workers in the Leadership Institute to members of my cohort, and everyone in between, there’s never a time where I questioned whether I could possibly be in better company. The impact that my cohort has had on me can’t be put into words. One thing the people around me have helped me do is be comfortable in my own skin. It’s easy to say I was proud of who I was in high school but since coming to college I have truly been able to be myself. My cohort has literally become some of my best friends and have helped me every step. Additionally,

Say Nice Things About Detroit

Me and my cohort during LAS in the D. 

seeing their passion shine, day in and day out, is something that has put things into perspective. Everything they do, they do for a reason. Whether it’s going vegan, shunning single-use plastic bottles, or encouraging me to vote whatever they do, they do with passion. They have helped me to be conscious of what I do, and be aware of my impact. As a result I have not doubted for a second that I am a better person because of them.

Furthermore, I have had more opportunities to fulfill my passion than ever before and it has helped me find my calling. During high school I had opportunities to work the Special Olympics but since coming to college I have been able to do more than I ever imagined. Throughout the past year I had the privilege of being a part of the SOMI LEAD Team, going to the SOMI winter games, and have even been name SGA Rep of the Special Olympics RSO. During this time and the myriad of experiences I have had I realized that working with students with intellectual disabilities, as well as teaching, is what I am passionate about and what I want to do with the rest of my life.

On a final thought, this past year has brought me more knowledge than I ever expected. Of course I hit the books and survived the gruesome freshman year with my GPA in tact. However, the knowledge I have acquired stems so much farther than the classroom. One thing I was not ready for coming into college was all the opinions and passion on every controversial topic out there. Whether or not you agree with their beliefs (which you won’t on every topic), you have to admire their topic. For example, even though I am not going vegan or becoming a vegetarian, I have learned tons about substitutes for meat, the harm it does, and the environmental impact. This is just one example from a years worth of learning about stats, governmental corruption, religions, and the list goes on. At the end of the day, knowledge is enlightening and I become more enlightened every day.

The past year has brought me friends, opportunities, and knowledge that continue to help me grow each and everyday. But I know now, more than ever, that when they say college is the best four years of you life, they aren’t joking. Let’s hope next year can be half as fun as this one.

 

 

 

As cool as the other side of the pillow!

One of the most influential sports anchors of all time was Stuart Scott. Scott was most known for his hip-hop style, new to sports, and his catch phrases, most notably “Boo-Yeah!” and “as cool as the other side of the pillow.” He was a truly a leader from the day he stepped foot on the ESPN studio. He led by the way he broadcasted, the way he inspired others, and by the the way he lived his life.

Stuart Scott was always so much more than an ESPN anchor: he was an icon. Referred to as a “groundbreaking broadcaster” by Rich Eisen, he brought an all new attitude to sports and changed sports commentating forever. He appealed to the African-American community like an anchor never had before. Despite the hate mail and at one point “ESPN officials asked him to consider dialing it back (Travis Waldron)” Scott refused, and continued his unique style. He continued to change sports commentating appealing to black and white audiences alike.

However, soon he became not just an icon for the new hip-hop style. He also became an icon for battling. In 2007 Scott was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer which he battled, on and off, until his battle ended on January 4th, 2015. His battle is what makes him the leader he is and the current event he continues to impact.

Stuart’s battle with cancer began in 2007 when he was rushed to the hospital for an emergency appendectomy. After, he was diagnosed with cancer for the first time, and soon won the battle and went into remission. But this victory was only temporary as the cancer came back in 2011, and the a third time in 2013. The third time was different. He told Men’s Health “To be honest, I’m scared. I’ve always been afraid of cancer, but this time feels different. My confidence is shaken.”

But, before Stuart’s battle with cancer ended, in one of the most iconic moments of his fight, he received the Jimmy V Perseverance ESPY. But it wasn’t receiving the award was the iconic part-it was the speech he gave (below).

What makes Scott the great leader he was was not his revolutionary broadcasting style, although that played a role. It was that others are inspired to follow him and feed off of his energy and the strength he displayed throughout his his battle just as they were years ago.  For someone to go through what he went through and maintain his spirit, his joy, and his motivation and will to continue to battle people will naturally follow him. In the speech Scott says “When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.” These words along with how he lived his life are what make hime a leader.

Scott inspired thousands in their battle with cancer as well as impacting countless more through promoting the Jimmy V cancer research foundation. That’s what I admire most about him: he’s been through it all. He doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks it. That is such a crucial characteristic for leaders-to lead by example and understand what your followers are going through. Cancer has touched everyone in someway or another and Scott’s work for cancer research impacts everyone.

Stuart Scott touched, and continues to touch, countless lives. From his revolutionary broadcasting style to his battle with cancer, Stuart Scott was a leader in all aspects of life and truly was as cool as the other side of the pillow. His impact continues to be felt and will be for years to come. On behalf of myself and others everywhere: Thank you, Stuart Scott.