For my Year of Service through Mount Leadership Society, I have the honor of serving students at the Homework Help Center at the Northern Lights Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library. This has been an incredibly humbling experience. Each week, I interact with students from all kinds of different backgrounds, and I learn just as much from them as they do from me. This experience has opened my eyes to the advantages and disadvantages of the educational system of the United States, especially for New American students.
When students move to the United States for the first time, they are not required to take a proficiency exam to gauge their educational aptitude. They are asked their age, and then they are placed into a corresponding grade level. This week, I worked with a student who did not speak one word of English. He was expected to learn the material and complete his homework even though he’s unable to read the instructions. He wants to learn, and he desires to grow in knowledge, but he is unable to do so because of the lack of experience to the American education system.
This is just one story of hundreds, even thousands, that exist in our country. My experience of tutoring at the Homework Help Center has reaffirmed my passion for teaching and reminded me why I switched my major to Math Education. I’m so excited to continue developing students’ minds and sparking the love of learning in their hearts so that they may have a chance at the type of life that so many of us take for granted.
During summer 2017, I spent six weeks in Florianópolis, Brazil with Cru, a Christian ministry I’m involved with at Ohio State. This experience opened my eyes to a different part of the world and allowed me to fully immerse myself in another culture. I met a lot of students there who have lived very different lives than I have, but at the end of the day, we were unified in our desire to pursue higher education. I hope to continue nurturing this global awareness by traveling to another country through the STEP program at Ohio State.
I plan to reach this goal of original inquiry by participating in psychological or economic research studies that are conducted by students across campus. By engaging in these activities, I will learn more about the research process and develop a greater appreciation for these types of unique projects.
I recently switched my major to STEM Education with a focus in Mathematics for grades 7-12. I have known for a long time that this is the career I’m most passionate about, but I was hesitant to switch for fear of struggling in difficult math classes. I’ve realized, though, that the idea of molding young minds makes me excited about the future. I am committed to completing this degree, no matter how difficult it may be.
My involvement with Mount Leadership Society has been instrumental in the development of my leadership skills. I have learned about the seven C’s of the Social Change Model and see its value in all leadership positions. I have practiced delegation, public speaking, and collaboration. I have acted as a mentor and resource for first-year students as they assimilate to life at Ohio State. These skills will be very helpful in my future career as an educator.
Throughout the 2017-18 academic year, I will be serving weekly as a tutor at the Northern Lights Homework Help Center. This experience has opened my eyes to the flaws in the United States’ education system. Each week, I work with children who want to learn but have trouble doing so because of their unique barriers to learning. I see students who desperately need individualized attention but can’t get it because of large class sizes. I understand the need for teachers who are passionate about developing these students into independent thinkers. This makes me even more hopeful for my future career in education.
During 2016, the Fisher College of Business celebrated its 100th year. The year was filled with various celebrations to commemorate the life and work of Max M. Fisher, after whom the college is named. I attended the Fisher Centennial Celebration at the Mershon Auditorium, which featured keynote speaker Fareed Zakaria of CNN and awarded the Centennial Award of Distinction to Lex Wesner, chairman and CEO of L. Brands, Inc. These two men spoke of the importance of leadership and innovation through the globalization of business. Hearing their stories was incredibly inspiring, and I hope to one day accomplish just a fraction of their level of success.
Over Veterans Day weekend, the first year class of Mount Leadership Society Scholars attended a retreat at Camp Akita in Logan, Ohio. This weekend was full of team-building activities, games, and bonding. We did an exercise called “Step Into the Circle”, in which we all stood in a circle, listened to statements that were read, and stepped inside of the circle if that statement was true in our lives. That activity helped us grow closer as a class and realize that we are more alike than we may think. For the rest of the night, we sat around a bonfire and sang songs. The next morning, we had more leadership sessions followed by a hike in the afternoon. This retreat was a good opportunity to grow closer to my fellow Mounties in an off-campus environment.
Last weekend, I had the opportunity to attend Fall Getaway, which is a weekend retreat organized by Cru, a Christian organization at Ohio State. It was so wonderful to get off campus and spend some time in nature. It was held at Round Lake Camp in Lakeville, OH, which is a little over an hour away from OSU. The first night, after our opening session, they had a bonfire, hayride, basketball & volleyball, and board games going on. The next day, we had a mock Olympics, a world outreach involvement fair, and countless other fun activities. I am so grateful for this opportunity to grow closer with people from all over campus and to see the beauty of fall.
During these last seven weeks here at Ohio State, I have had so many new experiences. As I have adjusted to life in Columbus, I cannot help but feel grateful for the opportunity to meet other people and grow as a person. Even though I am a student at one of the largest universities in the country, I have a sense of community like no other. I have been to Ohio State football games before, but attending as a Buckeye gives me a sense of pride like no other. Standing united with 100,000 other people affirms my love for this university and everyone in it. I am so glad that I chose to attend Ohio State and participate in Mount Leadership Society Scholars. I look forward to many more football games and many new friendships as my four years at this university transpire.
Nikki Settlemyre is a second year from Wilmington, OH who is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in STEM Education with a focus in Mathematics for grades 7-12. Outside of the classroom, she is involved with Mount Leadership Society Scholars, Cru, and Romophos Sophomore Honorary. In her free time, Nikki loves to read and make new friends. She hopes to spend her time at Ohio State in a meaningful way and leave a lasting impact on its community.
[ “Year in Review” is where you should reflect on the past year and show how you have evolved as a person and as a student. You may want to focus on your growth in a particular area (as a leader, scholar, researcher, etc.) or you may want to talk about your overall experience over the past year. For more information, go to: http://honors-scholars.osu.edu/e-portfolio. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]