The same weekend I participated in the DSWS Day of Service I also volunteered for 6 hours at the Columbus Hot Chocolate 5k/15k. Here, I helped set up tables, filled and passed out cups with water and Gatorade, and I cheered the runners on once the race began. The race was one of the coolest races I have ever seen because it had different chocolate stands throughout the course and lots of goodies and snacks everywhere. My experience was pretty similar to the Columbus Marathon except I became a pro at using the Cota transit system and I got to explore Columbus. I feel that finding my own transportation to the race forced me to be very independent and resourceful which are good qualities to have in a leader. Because of service learning, I am an expert at setting up and helping out with races and I am more aware of the resources available on campus.
This semester, I got to volunteer with my fellow scholars for 5 hours during the DSWS Day of Service. The group I was with went to the Dream Center in downtown Columbus to help with various Thanksgiving preparation. While I was there, I helped sort socks, made hygiene bags, cleaned tables, and distributed fliers advertising of the free Thanksgiving dinner the center provided to nearby neighborhoods. This organization helps provide a place for people who are struggling by offering various clothing items and a place to shower and eat. Volunteering at the Dream Center made me realize how blessed I am to have all these opportunities in my life and at Ohio State and it felt really good to give back to those who are less fortunate. Because of service learning, I am humbled for all the amazing things in my life and I think it is important to see different perspectives and lifestyles as a leader in order to grow as a person and to create a functioning diverse group.
This fall, I got to volunteer for the Columbus Marathon at the water station near mile 17. For this event, I got to work with a lot of fellow Dunn Sports and Wellness Scholars so having a friend everywhere I turned made my experience that much better. Before the race started, I helped set up tables, filled and passed out cups with water and Gatorade, and I cheered the runners on once the race began. Although we volunteered for about 5 hours, it was a lot of fun and seeing all the runners inspired me and my suitemates to run the half marathon next year. By volunteering, I felt that I was able to give back to the Columbus community and help make the runners experience a bit better by supporting them. A leader must be supportive of their group and teammates and, although I didn’t know any of the runners, I felt I was supporting them by encouraging them to keep going and to finish strong. Because of service learning, I am more aware of how impactful positivity and encouragement is. I think a leader must remain positive in times of distress and keep encouraging members in order to keep the group positive and successful.