During the Autumn semester, I spent time volunteering at both the Columbus Marathon and the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k/5k. The Columbus Marathon is an annual half marathon and marathon and it has been linked to Nationwide Children’s Hospital for seven years. By participating in the race, you are given the opportunity to raise money for the Children’s Hospital and over $7 million has been raised so far. I learned about this service opportunity through the Dunn Sports and Wellness Scholars program and joined the group of scholars so we could all volunteer together. Our volunteering took place on October 21 and I spent a total of 5 hours helping out beginning at 7 am. For that time, I helped set up the water stop that the Dunn Sports and Wellness Scholars group was stationed at, which included setting up tables with water cups as well as filling them with water or gatorade. Once the race actually began, we spent the time handing out cups to runners and cheering them on as they completed the race.
On November 18, I volunteered at the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k/5k for 6 and a half hours, waking up at 4:30 am in order to arrive at McFerson Commons Park at 5:30. The Hot Chocolate Run first began in 2008 and it is the fastest growing race in the country. The official charity of this particular race is Make-A-Wish, and if a runner chooses to raise money, that is who it would be going to. My job was in the Chocolate Tent at the Post Race Party, where I assisted in assembling the finisher’s mugs, which consisted of hot chocolate, chocolate fondue, and various sweets.
By giving my time to volunteering for these organizations I have discovered my passion for helping people, even if it isn’t what one would first think of when they think of service. By watching runners working so hard to accomplish what they had set their sights on months, in some cases years, ago and knowing that I was even a small part of them achieving their end goal. By volunteering for these that being a leader doesn’t always mean being the first to cross the finish line, or even crossing it at all – it means helping those around you, no matter how small your role may be. Because of service learning I am more aware of what being a leader actually means and I plan to use my new view on it to help me become a better leader in the future.
After taking a survey and coming to realize that my “true color” is gold, I didn’t think much about it. However, once I learned the qualities of those in my color group and talked to people with my same color, I came to realize how something as simple as a color could help me become more aware of my own strengths and weaknesses. Someone who is “gold”, likes to have their life planned out – they value organization and dependability as opposed to spontaneity and impulsivity. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m boring or that I don’t know how to have fun. Needing events and activities is something that I can most definitely relate to, however, that isn’t always what I need and that’s where my friends and families who have different “true colors” come into play. Sometimes, I need someone who is daring or more vivacious to get me out of my shell and do something every once in a while without having to have it planned out to a T. However, in some cases they may also need someone to bring some ms such as Dunn Sports and Wellness Scholars has such a diverse grouping of people with different sets of values and “true colors”, because at the end of the da, we all balance eachother out. If the entire scholars program was filled with people of the same true color, it would very quickly become boring and people would be difficult to be around. Especially in our environment in which almost all of the Dunn Scholars live together at Morrill Tower, it is important that we are able to coexist and learn from eachother so we can all grow as a group. By having a blend of personalities and values, we are able to stay interesting and keep our core values while still learning from those around us and becoming better versions of ourselves.
In my three years of throwing shot put for my high school’s track team, I’ve seen many examples of people displaying leadership both on the field and off. When I was in my senior year, a graduated member of the track team found out that he had cancer and would have to come back home from college in order to receive treatment. His best friends on the team came up with an initiative to raise money for his treatment by making bracelets with the words “Miles for Mike” on them. This is the perfect example of leadership because these students saw a problem, Mike’s ever growing hospital bills as a result of his cancer, and came up with a solution and a way to help. Not only that, but they were able to get the entire high school involved and the next thing you know, half of the students were wearing yellow wristbands, signifying that they donated money towards Mike. It also represents leadership because the act was completely selfless, these students were not gaining anything from the sales of the bracelets, however, they continued dedicating their time and effort in order to help someone who wasn’t able to do so himself.
My name is Jordan Ndeli and I am currently a first year student at The Ohio State University. I’m a Pre Athletic Training major and in the future I plan on being an athletic trainer for either a professional sports team of a Division I university. I grew up around sports, starting softball when I was seven years old and attending baseball games with my parents whenever we could. By the time I got to high school I started throwing shot put for my school’s track team. This connection with athletics is what drew me immediately to the Dunn Sports and Wellness Scholars program because I saw it as a way to continue surrounding myself in an environment that I love being in.
Besides sports, I love going to New York City, which was made easy for me seeing as I lived just a 40 minute drive away in Sayreville, New Jersey. I would oftentimes find myself going into “The City” with a group of friends to go to a museum or Central Park, not realizing how privileged I was to live so close. Because of this, I found myself looking for colleges that were in a city so I would still be able to live in an area where I wouldn’t get bored or run out of things to do. Columbus, Ohio ended up being the perfect city and The Ohio State University the perfect school.
During middle and high school, I spent my summers volunteering at a local camp called Sayreville BIC. Sayreville BIC is a program for both kids and adults with disabilities (both learning and developmental) that strives to mend the bridge in our community between those who are disabled and those who are able-bodied. Though at first I was skeptical of dedicating my entire summer to being a camp counselor, as I spent more time with the program and became more comfortable, I realized that I was beginning to love it as well as the people who are apart of it. In my years of volunteering, I have made countless close friends that I otherwise would have never been able to meet, much less grow so close with.
Overall, I enjoy whatever it is that I’m doing as long as I’m surrounded by the people that I love. My friends and family are extremely important to me. My mom works for a non-profit called YAI and my dad is a New York State court officer. I have an older brother, Julian, and a dog named Reggie Jackson who I’ll miss dearly while I’m attending Ohio State.
At the end of the day, however, I’m extremely excited to finally be a Buckeye and I look forward to all of the opportunities that are to come. Go Bucks!!