During the Spring of ’19 semester I had the opportunity to volunteer for BuckeyeThon! BuckeyeThon is Ohio States largest student ran philanthropy. The organizations primary goal is to raise money for Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Oncology floor. The money raised goes toward a variety of things, including research, psychological services for the kids and so much more. It was such a wonderful opportunity to give back to the community and make a difference in so many kids’ lives. The dance marathon itself lasted 12 hours, however, a lot of outside hours also went into fundraising prior to the marathon. Through BuckeyeThon, I functioned as a dancer and fundraiser. In these roles I worked to raise as much money from friends and family as I could. After fundraising ended I was able to participate in the dance marathon and spend time with some of the BuckeyeThon families. This was the second year I participated in BuckeyeThon. You can learn a lot about yourself by participating in events like this. I personally learned how much of an impact I could make on a kid’s life just by supporting them and showing them I care. A simple task as easy as dancing with them makes them forget their current situation and allows them to just be a kid for a few hours. Volunteer opportunities like this help me grow as a leader and keep me humble. It is so easy to get caught up in your own life and take things for granted, that you forget that there are other people out there who can’t enjoy the little things in life like dancing. Because of service learning I am a more humble leader and person in general.
Bright and early on a rather cold October 21 DSWS took to the streets for six hours to help with the Columbus Marathon. Proceeds from the marathon are donated to Nationwide Children’s Hospital to help the hospital and its medically fragile children. This amazing organization is one that DSWS helps with every year. During this time we set up the water and Gatorade station. This included filling the cups, stacking them, and even mixing the Gatorade. While seemingly a minuscule task, our work helped the marathon run smoothly. By being able to have a station set up where we were also enabled the runners to be able to reach their finish lines. The organization would not be able to raise as much money for Nationwide if it was not for the volunteers like us. As a result of this service I learned that I enjoy doing little tasks that contribute to something bigger than myself. Even something as simple as handing a cup of water to a runner was exciting as I realized what sort of impact my contribution will have on others. As mentioned in a previous post, sometimes it is the little tasks that make the biggest difference. As a leader this experience has offered me a way to see that come to life. Because of this service learning opportunity I am a stronger leader.
On October 4th this year I stayed up late from 10:30 P.M. to 1:00 A.M. and participated in a service project called Feed the Funnel. The organization that put this project on is called The Pack Shack. I learned about this amazing organization and opportunity through my fellow DSWS members. This organization works to help put food on the tables of those who are less fortunate. The Pack Shack also serves to educate the public on food insecurity and what we can do to give back. During the two and a half hours we spent volunteering we packaged meals for those in need. There were a multitude of jobs that could be done, including, packaging the rice, weighing the bags, adding in various extras and sealing the boxes. I was assigned to weighing the bags. Overall, the entire service project had a large impact on the community. We were able to package 100,000 meals for families in Ohio who are food insecure. This allowed those families to have at least one day that they did not have to stress about where their next meal was coming from. As a result of my service during this I learned how fortunate I am to have what I have. On a daily basis I often do not think about how I am going to get my next meal. I fortunately have the luxury to go and get it whenever I want. For so many this is not the case. As a leader, this experience has impacted the way I view the resources and opportunities I have available to me. Because of this service learning opportunity I am a more thankful leader.
My first service opportunity this semester was set up by the Athletic Training Club. On September 23rd at 11:00 P.M. our organization cleaned up the Schottenstein Center for one hour after a concert. This included picking up all the trash and mopping our assigned sections. This directly impacted the custodial staff at the Schott, as well as the Department of Athletics who utilizes the facility regularly. By volunteering to clean up after a large event, like the concert, we were able to lessen the work that would need to be put in by other staff members of the Schott. As a result of this service I learned that I am more of a perfectionist than I had realized. It took me longer than it should have to clean my area because I needed everything to look brand new. While perfectionism can sometimes be a hassle, it is a skill that will be very useful in my future career as an Athletic Trainer. This volunteering humbled me as a leader. So often as leaders we think we have to go out and do big things in order to make an impact. Cleaning an arena, something not typically seen as a huge contribution to society, offers a way to see that even as leaders nothing is above us. Just because we are seen as leaders doesn’t mean that we are too good to get our hands a little dirty. Because of service learning I am a more humble leader.
Dunn Scholars has offered so many opportunities for growth in every aspect of my life. Specifically speaking it has opened doors to many professional development programs. By bringing in people to speak in a variety of fields I have had the opportunity to learn about different pathways, times of failure and triumph, and important personal skills that will help me succeed in every pathway. The speakers who have come in also gave me an opportunity for internships and professional contacts that may be helpful later down the road. I may not use all of them but it is still a great opportunity to have been given.
Being a part of DSWS has taught me some of the best life lessons. One of these is the importance of community. Dunn Scholars is not just a normal scholars group, it is a giant family that you can always count on. Learning how to function as a large group is crucial. It is also something that can carry over into my professional career later on. As an Athletic Trainer working with large groups of people will be inevitable. Learning how to deal with such situations early on through my involvement in DSWS will entirely pay off.
Looking back at myself when we first moved in during welcome week a lot has changed. During the first semester I spent a vast majority of my time by myself focused only on school work. But as the group became closer with one another that became a rarity. Being around people from so many different backgrounds and those who have entirely different pathways than me has opened my eyes to new possibilities. I no longer only see things my way. Everyone experiences things differently and therefore has different views about things. Being able to hear all the different view points has taught me to see things from a more rounded perspective. Originally coming in I thought DSWS would be like every other scholars program that has requirements and meetings but the people in the program don’t truly know each other. This has been completely untrue. Like I said earlier, DSWS is a family that has an unbreakable bond. And every person involved fully cares about the other members. I am beyond happy my expectations were broken and I cannot wait to see where DSWS takes me next year.
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A semester has come and gone in the blink of an eye and I have made so many memories it has become difficult to pick a favorite. The first few weeks were especially full of firsts, new experiences, and unforgettable memories. One experience, however, from the first few weeks of the semester does stand out in particular. This experience actually occurred before classes started. As one of the last events of our DSWS welcome week we stood as a group and sang Carmen Ohio. While it had not been my first time singing it this time just did not feel the same. Surrounded by people who would eventually become life long friends, even though at the time we barely knew each other. We stood underneath the rotunda, linked arm in arm, and sang Carmen. Some people were clueless at the words and others knew them like the back of their hand. All week had been about getting to know each other and with that comes a lot of constant repeating of your name, major, and where you were from. But in that moment, under the arch of the Shoe, it did not matter what major you were, where you were from or even that a whirlwind of stress was headed our way. For a short minute all that mattered was that we were all here together, members of Dunn Sports and Wellness, and most importantly new Buckeyes at The Ohio State University about to step out into the wild college world and do amazing things.
[ “G.O.A.L.S.” is a place where students write about how their planned, current, and future activities may fit into the Honors & Scholars G.O.A.L.S.: Global Awareness, Original Inquiry, Academic Enrichment, Leadership Development, and Service Engagement. For more information, go to: http://honors-scholars.osu.edu/e-portfolio. Delete these instructions and add your own post.
Global Awareness: Students cultivate and develop their appreciation for diversity and each individual’s unique differences. For example, consider course work, study abroad, involvement in cultural organizations or activities, etc .
Original Inquiry: Honors & Scholars students understand the research process by engaging in experiences ranging from in-class scholarly endeavors to creative inquiry projects to independent experiences with top researchers across campus and in the global community. For example, consider research, creative productions or performances, advanced course work, etc.
Academic Enrichment: Honors & Scholars students pursue academic excellence through rigorous curricular experiences beyond the university norm both in and out of the classroom.
Leadership Development: Honors & Scholars students develop leadership skills that can be demonstrated in the classroom, in the community, in their co-curricular activities, and in their future roles in society.
Service Engagement: Honors & Scholars students commit to service to the community.]
[“Career” is where you can collect information about your experiences and skills that will apply to your future career. Like your resume, this is information that will evolve over time and should be continually updated. For more information, go to: http://honors-scholars.osu.edu/e-portfolio. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]
The artifact I have chosen is something rather insignificant to most but has become increasingly important to me. This notebook was given to all the new students a early into the semester. At first I thought it was a silly gift. A small notebook that would probably never get used. After only having it for a week I found a purpose for it. Multiple purposes actually. Throughout the course of the semester its purpose has changed from a simple reflection journal about the events of each day, to a to do list, and ultimately a book of quotes. Every professor hopes to teach you something beyond the required course material and most of what they tell us about life goes in one ear and out the other. I decided that I would try something new. Instead of just listening to the random facts of life given and then forgetting they were ever said I decided that at the end of each day I would sit and write down the ones that most impacted me. Of course in the heat of things I would forget to do it a day or two. But when things became especially stressful I could open this little notebook and read the quotes from people who actually care about my success. Doing so allowed me to refocus and see the bigger picture in life. My favorite quote so far is that “everyday is an interview.” I never thought a piece of cardboard and some paper would become so significant in my first semester of college but sometimes its the little things that mean the most.