This school year I was fortunate enough to be on the LAS in the D LEAD team. This was such an awesome opportunity to work with leaders from all of the LAS cohorts as well as connect with the freshman and help them get the most out of their service trip. I think that my experience on this LEAD team as well as the service trip itself, perfectly aligns with servant leadership. The definition of servant leadership is “a philosophy and set of practices that enriches the lives of individuals, builds better organizations, and ultimately creates a more just and caring world.” A lot of planning went into the trip and I am so grateful for all of the different leadership styles and contributions made by our team and the LI staff.
On Friday we visited Jalen Rose Leadership academy for a day of service with their students. We made welcome signs for SOMI, cards for veterans, activity bags for the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, and participated in an Okay 2 Say presentation. I loved watching the LDR 200 students interact and build relationships with the Jalen Rose students. I definitely feel like I accomplished my goal for the trip. After Jalen Rose, we went to PizzaPapalis in Greek town for dinner (YUM!) and visited the DIA for another type of cultural experience. At the end of of the day we got back into our color/number groups for a debrief. S/O to Tennessee Orange 1 for an awesome debrief! I loved watching the students in my group understand the difference we were making, not only for the organizations we were serving, but also for the Jalen Rose students as we helped introduce them to service and the different ways the could serve. Key points that we hit on were (1) the small stuff matters (2) anyone can make a difference (3) check your privilege and (4) cultural similarities/differences and how their perspectives shifted.
On Friday night, we stayed at the DNR’s Outdoor Adventure Center. Shoutout to Linda Walter (sorry David) for being so awesome and opening up this facility to us! It was yet anther cool piece of Detroit that I’m glad the freshman were able to experience. On Saturday we headed out to Cass Community Services which is an organization that provides meals, housing, and jobs for people that are homeless. We spent a lot of time talking about persons first language and our privileges before heading into this service experience. My color group spent the day making mud mats out of recycled tires collected from around the city! I was able to complete two mud mats but I wish we could have stayed longer because I really felt like I was making a difference in the community while volunteering at Cass.