This semester, all of my service hours used for DSWS were completed at the annual Buckeyethon dance marathon. I spent 10 hours on my feet silent disco-ing, raving, eating, playing with animals, and of course interacting with the Buckeyethon families while trying to raise some final money to go towards ending and treating pediatric cancer at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. It was awesome to see the impact of a completely student run organization which raised over 1.7 million dollars in efforts to help those affected by cancer- what an incredible experience that I am honored to have been a part of!
The DSWS group at Buckeyethon!
2 hours volunteering at the OSU Homecoming parade:
I and a team of others volunteered to be pacers for the homecoming parade from 5:00-7:00 pm on Friday, October 5. We were given assignments and trained on what our tasks were- basically keep time for the groups in the parade so it ran smoothly- and then starting at 6:00, we walked with the parade. It was a very enjoyable experience to be a part of an OSU tradtion and see the hundreds of happy families and students along the route, cheering on the parade groups. Our leader’s name was Emily, and her email is firstname.lastname@example.org. After the parade, we even got a picture with President Drake!
5 hours volunteering at the Dream Center:
On the DSWS day of service, October 17, I and a group of fellow DSWS scholars met and went to the Dream Center from 12:00-5:00 pm to serve the local community. It was near Thanksgiving, so we helped the center clean and prepare for their upcoming holiday meal that would be open to the public. Tasks included cleaning tables, organizing coats, and making goodie bags full of essential hygene items that many go without. Then we went out into the neighborhood and went door to door placing flyers inviting people to the meal. There was a great sense of fellowship amongst all of the people serving, and it was incredible to be out in the community which we were serving. The experience really made me greatful for the community I was brought up in. Afterwards, we met with the other DSWS groups and debriefed.
3 hours taking care of neighbor’s pets:
My next door neighbor went out of state for Thanksgiving, and I always watch her cats when she is gone. This time, I took care of then from midday on November 21 to evening on November 22. I went and fed the cats multiple times, did their litter, and played with them for a few hours. I did not receive pay for this. It was wonderful to get to play with the cats and know that I was helping out a neighbor and friend during the hectic holiday season. My neighbor is Dawn Wendorff, who can be reached at email@example.com
My neighbor’s cat, Maggie, wanting me to play with her and her brother Sam
Some parade Pacers with Dr. Drake
Today, we took a personality test to categorize ourselves into our true “color”. The colors, orange, gold, green, and blue correspond to those who are outgoing and fun, those who are traditional and principled, those who are logical and analytical, and those who are emotional and people-oriented. My strongest category is blue, with gold in second. This is useful to know because as a blue, I value people and relationships, so when working with DSWS, or at my job, I know that I will seek to bring harmony to a situation and I will take into account the individual. I also know that I feel very deeply, so I need to be attentive to the reality of the situation I am in and not let my emotions cloud my judgement or take things someone may say too personally. I bring compassion and morals to a group- I care for people so that they are able to feel more confident in themselves and thrive- that is how I contribute to the group. I also, however, am pretty balanced amongst the four colors, which allows me to try to understand different situations and adapt to the personality type or types that I am working with.
Leadership is the ability to stand up and show a group the way to succeed in their goals while letting the group benefit, not just the leader. It requires committment and dedication to the members of the group and the cause for which they are working. A good leader does not command and let the group do the work, but guides and shows the group a path to success while letting the group members capitalize on their strengths while strengthening their weaknesses.
Leadership is evident all around me, in peers and personal acquaintances, but I have also seen leadership throughout the many great sports films of our time. Friday Night Lights is a movie that, in particular, has helped shape my team oriented mentality. Coach Gary Gaines is invested and committed to his players. He doesn’t just instruct them, he leads by example, he shows them the way while letting his players walk their own paths. His leadership is evident through his committment to helping his players and other coaches succeed and his willingness to push his team to work harder and go farther than they would when left to their own valition. He doesn’t let the team settle, but motivates them to strive to be their best as individuals and as a group. And when the group does their best, using their maximum potential as players and people, they are winners regardless of the score on the board.