On October 20th, I volunteered for 5 hours at the Columbus Marathon water stop. I was with a group of my fellow scholars as we handed out water and gatorade to the runners on 12th Avenue. Additionally, we cheered for them, providing moral support and encouragement for the runners and their impending milestone. I did this last year and enjoyed it, and so I decided to do it again. Providing this service showed me that major accomplishments are completed by more than one person and that I can work with a team to help other achieve their goals. I felt like a leader this year and assumed that role by showing some of the younger scholars the proper way to hold the cups and make eye contact with people. My cheering was motivating for others to join in as well. Because of service learning I am more willing to help out in my community and encourage others when they have doubts.
For 4 hours of service, I volunteered at “study tables” put on by DSWS on Sunday nights. For this service I was available to help freshman with english assignments or papers they had to write. I learned that I am capable of tutoring someone who has been in my shoes before. I also learned that tutoring is a humbling experience for both parties because it is hard to ask for help and direction sometimes when you’re struggling and it is difficult as the tutor to try to explain a gap in someone’s understanding. I felt like a leader of DSWS through being at study tables because I could offer help to scholars because all of us want to succeed academically. Because of service learning I am more likely to make time to help others who are struggling with academics and be patient when I explain concepts.
For my final hour of service, I participated in a “Sandwich Saturday” on November 16th at the Newman Center. We made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the homeless. This was through the CRS Community organization. I learned that giving back really does make a difference and that we are blessed because we aren’t stressed about where our next meal will come from. I was a leader through this service because I can lead the people who received the sandwiches to have hope for better things in their lives and not to give up in their struggles. This simple gesture gave me hope that we can achieve that as a community. Because of service learning I am more involved in my community socially and can make an impact through small gestures.
DSWS Water Stop Team
This semester, I volunteered at the Dunn Dash on March 2nd, the Club Nationals Swim Meet on March 29th, and The Powerlifting Nationals Meet April 12th.
For the Dunn Dash, I worked the second shift for a total of 2 hours. This organization was a triathlon run by the Department of Rec Sports in honor of Mike Dunn. Through my volunteering, I ensured that the biking portion of the triathlon ran smoothly and cheered on and motivated the participants through a tough fifteen minutes. I learned that I have the potential to motivate others through this service, and encouragement has a huge effect on others’ success. It impacted me as a leader because I was an expert on the station and how the bikes worked, so I could answer any questions and come to the bikers’ aid if they needed it. Because of service learning, I am able to put others needs ahead of my own. (Did not get a picture)
At the Swim Meet, I was a timer for 4 hours. I found this opportunity on the weekly email, and I have some experience in swim meets, so this was a perfect opportunity for me to help out the club team at OSU as they hosted other teams from around the country. Through timing, I was able to give the swimmers accurate times and help the event run smoothly and efficiently with no confusion in numbers. As a result of my service, I learned that large events are the result of a group effort, dedication, and attention to detail. As a leader, I was in charge of the lane and I was confident stepping around swimmers to get the most accurate time. Because of service learning, I am willing to be confident and helpful in any way I can.
At the Club Powerlifting Meet, I walked around checking IDs in the warm-up room for 4 hours. This was the collegiate national club meet hosted at Ohio State. My task was to make sure that only authorized people were in the warm-up area so that no one would get hurt or get a weight dropped on them. I learned that in sports, safety is a top priority and there is a line between athletes and spectators that should be respected. It impacted me as a leader because I told people where to be and not be and helped out my confidence to know that I was in charge of an athletic space. Because of service learning, I am able to work with both spectators and athletes and make sure that an event will run smoothly and safely.
For my service hours during the fall 2018 semester, I participated in the Columbus Marathon water stop, the Hot Chocolate 5K, and the DSWS Day of Service.
- Columbus Marathon – (5 hours) we stood at a water stop to give water to runners and cheer them on as they got to our spot in the course. I found out about this opportunity through DSWS and it was beneficial working with my fellow scholars to build community, even in frigid temperatures. I helped these runners achieve their goals by giving them a boost of positivity and water as they ran for the finish. My volunteer work impacted the Columbus community, who gained tourism and an economic boost from hosting the race. As for myself, I learned that it takes sacrifice to help others and if you aren’t focused on yourself, you’ll have a more positive experience. A leader is selfless, and I learned about being selfless and not complaining through this service on a cold morning. Because of service learning I am better prepared to look beyond myself and help others without expecting anything in return.
- Hot Chocolate 5K – (6 hours) Similar to the marathon, we handed out water and energy drinks to the finishers of the race. Many of them were relieved to have us there to hand out the supplies when they were tired after finishing the race. Volunteering at this race also helped the Columbus economy and I was personally affected by the gratitude shown by the race participants. I learned that I can radiate positivity and a simple “congratulations” goes a long way. When I smiled, people usually smiled back and felt accomplished after their run. through these simple gestures, I learned that leadership can be done through the simple things, and leading by example and being positive are key traits for leadership success. Because of service learning I have found that one smile or gesture goes a long way.
DSWS Day of Service
- DSWS Day of Service (5 hours) – Fellow Scholars and I spent the afternoon at the Dream Center in Columbus to help them get ready for a Thanksgiving dinner. We put together hygiene bags, cleaned tables and chairs, and distributed flyers around the neighborhood to advertise for the event. I felt immersed in the community through this service and I could see my impact after all of the work was done: everything was organized and the people in charge felt less stress and were grateful for our help. I learned that I need to be more grateful for the good things in my life, like never having to wonder if I’ll get to have a Thanksgiving with family. I saw myself being a leader in this activity because I was helping people who don’t have the same reality as I do around the holidays. Because of service learning I am appreciative and more inclined to help others who need it.
Hot Chocolate 5K
I think the color blue fits me pretty well, but I was also able to identify with other colors, which was probably my main takeaway for the day. It was interesting to see how diverse we all were, even the people who identified with the same color. Personality, whatever it may be, is an aspect of human life that unites us together despite our differences. Personally, I love to consider how someone who has a different color than me will view or respond to a situation. If I were to come across a similar situation down the road, I might think back to how they approached it.
DSWS, like any peer group, has a mix of all of the colors. I really like that because we are able to learn from each other, and keep each other in check. Open-mindedness was a topic discussed today as well, and I think it applies to every color. You can’t be closed off to people of just your color, otherwise you won’t learn in life and experience diversity in viewpoints and experiences.
I think I can apply my blue color to DSWS by reminding everyone that there needs to be time to relax. Most of the people are orange and have lots of energy and excitement, but as a blue, I think it’s important to take time to focus that energy on relaxing and being at peace with yourself. It’s easy to get caught up in being active and studious, but there also needs to be time for personal growth, otherwise you’re missing the reflective aspect of life.
I can and have been learning from other colors here as well. For example, I took the advice of a gold friend when I decided to make a calendar, and my ability to keep track of my commitments has vastly improved. I never saw myself as organized before, but having a calendar showed me a whole new way of keeping track of what I needed to do. Being surrounded by orange people on a daily basis reminds me to take risks and put aside time for fun, and green reminds me to always have a quest for knowledge, which is especially important at the college level. Overall, I loved learning about the true colors of everyone and I’m excited that we got to see how we can all learn from each other starting now and continuing into the rest of the year.
Walking into my first ever high school soccer practice late was where I experienced leadership in relation to sports. My mom drove me, and dropped me off at 7:05, 5 minutes late. By the time I got down to the track, the girls were already running. I didn’t know what to do and I didn’t know any of the girls. I had my cleats on while they all got the memo to wear gym shoes. I sat alone on the track because they were too far for me to catch up. When the girls got back, they were done and getting water and stretching. I continued to sit by myself and tried not to draw attention to myself.
All of the sudden, a girl reached her hand out to me and asked me to take a lap with her. I found out that she was a senior captain. She was friendly and got me talking. From then on, I felt comfortable looking up to her when I was reminded of her kindness to me. She could have ignored me, but she make me feel accepted as part of the soccer team, a place I found a home in at Mariemont. Had she ignored me, I may have quit or not have had the positive experience that I did, and I’m thankful for that one simple act of kindness from a senior to a freshman.
I consider this leadership because it was inclusion. A leader includes everyone, especially on a sports team. A team is not a team of one, it’s a team of many. I felt so thankful to be included, that it is in my core understanding of leadership to this date.
This was also an example of leadership because it was selfless. Hanna had already completed her 2-lap warmup; she didn’t need another lap. She could have stayed and hung out with her friends for a water break, but she reached beyond herself and out to me. She wasn’t thinking about herself in that moment, she was thinking about me: a scared, quiet, non-confident freshman sitting by herself. Because I experienced this with Hanna, I now know that leadership doesn’t exist if you can’t think beyond yourself in a group of people.
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