Tag Archives: Learning

My Israel Journey Documented Through *Social Media*

I was crying out to God in prayer, “Father, you put this desire in my heart, please let it come to pass. Please make a way for me to visit your special land of Israel!”

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I started believing in bold prayers and trusting that *NOTHING* is impossible with God

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Prayer is powerful… Enough said!

Screen Shot 2017-06-26 at 11.56.42 PMI was blessed with some support and gifts from my friends! This was a few days before I embarked on the trip of a lifetime!

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My first meal in Tel Aviv, Israel! It was delicious and there was a sweet welcome from all the Passages staff members. I remember it being overwhelming at first, as I didn’t know one person on the trip and there was so much to take in. I don’t regret a thing though!

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I was in the Ignite Ivy group, comprised of students from Ivy Leagues and a few randoms (including myself! haha!). All the students were so amazing!

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Israel is very hot in the summer time, so I took advantage of the early mornings to journal and spend some peaceful time “being still”.

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The Views on the tour bus were stunning! We essentially traveled the entire country… Craziness!

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To walk in the real places bible stories took place… Took my breath away!

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Hiking Masada and the Dead Sea were some of my favorite memories!

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Loving photography, I couldn’t resist all the picture worthy scenery. Especially the markets!

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Forever changed! And on fire!

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My friend young friend Tristin was going through treatment for ovarian cancer during the time of my trip. Many had been praying for her and her healing.

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SO Thankful!

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Sisters in Christ

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Time for Christians United For Israel Conference! Washington D.C.

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Made awesome new friends, to whom I still stay in touch with!

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CUFI Made me really reflect deeper on my recent trip

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Special Olympics Winter Games 2017 (Service Learning)

Special Olympics Organization and Management: Class PES347

Video from SOMI ’17




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“Special Olympics is all about inclusion and respect,” said Lois Arnold during the opening ceremony of the 2017 Special Olympics Michigan Winter Games. I think that statement alone can summarize the values behind the athletics events, but also more importantly behind the whole organization. Another quote stands out to me that I saw as our class was preparing for the games at the Special Olympics office building, “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” This was my first time having the privilege to serve with Special Olympics and I absolutely loved everything they stand for, I loved spending time with all of the incredible, talented, awesome athletes, and I loved being able to spend time in the beautiful snowy Traverse City for a week. I was assigned figure and speed skating, as well as ice bocce ball (special events outside at night). I loved helping with figure skating, setting up the rink, and cheering loudly (until I lost my voice) for the speed skaters.

Altogether I had the most amazing, fun time at the Winter Games. I learned so much about individuals with disabilities and I made some really great friends with the volunteers, athletes and the families of the athletes. I was able to spend a whole day at figure skating with Ms. Wheelchair Michigan, Jamie Spoore, and hear such interesting stories about her life that I will remember forever. The joy on the athlete’s faces during ceremonies and games refreshed my soul and warmed my heart. I am so thankful for this opportunity and I would absolutely volunteer with SOMI again.

Walk In Their Shoes – Jim Ziolkowski

Can One Person Change the World?

For LDR200, our latest assignment was to pick a person that is a leader in this world, that is at the state or national level. We were asked:

What behaviors or actions make this person a leader? Why are others motivated to follow him/her? What do you admire about their leadership? How has his/her leadership affected other? How has his/her leadership affected you?

As everyone was writing on the Obamas or Oprah, I couldn’t think of anyone I really really felt inspired my outlook on life, at that national level. I guess I was just trying to think of a politician or celebrity, but overlooked the regular people that are still leaders at that level. When I got thinking about that idea instead, I immediately thought of Jim Ziolkowski. I had read his book a year ago, and I honestly can say his book changed my life. His book was such an inspiration to me and although he isn’t famous, he is changing the world globally. I mean I guess you could call him semi famous because he wrote a national best-selling book. But anyways, his story is very cool and I would recommend going out and buying it RIGHT NOW! If you don’t, I’m sure you will after you read the rest of my blog post. So here ya go! I will be answering the the questions from my LDR200 class, along with telling you more random reasons I am obsessed with the book ‘Walk In Their Shoes.’

ebeb   https://twitter.com/buildon

I think that Jim Ziolkowski is the definition of a leader. If you ask me, leadership is serving and bettering others, and Jim does just that. Leaders want to change the world. Leaders aren’t afraid to take big risks. Leaders are willing to make sacrifices to get what they want. Leaders dedicate their lives to the causes they are passionate about. He graduated from Michigan State with a finance degree and got a job right away with very well known corporate finance com pay. He didn’t mind his job, but felt that God was calling him to more, so he took a huge risk and quit his nice paying job. He left his comfortable lifestyle and decided to travel the world, and through that he found his life purpose. He wanted to serve others, and improve the poverty stricken world through encouraging education and community service with inner city youths. He decided he wanted to start a non-profit, with the idea that would have the high school kids doing community service and raising money, to fund schools in third world countries that didn’t have education systems, which would eventually come to be called BuildOn

“Walk in Their Shoes is the story of buildOn’s inspirational work with at-risk teens, its indelible influence on communities around the world, and of the man whose vision, faith, and conviction made it all possible. Jim Ziolkowski “believed that one person could indeed change the world, and his story may inspire others to do the same” (Publishers Weekly). 

Starting this Non-profit organization did not come easy to Jim. It was not a walk in the park. In his book, he tells about his incredible struggles to start it up. Many times he just about got up and left the idea behind. But he didn’t. He pushed through. He inspired others with the idea and persistent dedication, and through that he gained much help and many followers. For example, the finance company he had quit earlier on, would become one of the main donations for funding the start up of BuildOn. 


(Ariana Grande via @buildOn) Follow #buildOn student Lakei takes a #selfie with @arianagrande at tonight’s #BuildersBall 9:38 PM – 12 May 2014

I admire his leadership in many ways. As I said before, I really admire his dedication and compassion. Many times in the start up of his organization, he feared the worst. His fear would often times get the best of him. He gave advice about overcoming fear and wrote about how you will never impact the world if you are too afraid to try. That really hit home for me. I often times struggle with thinking I’m not good enough, smart enough, etc. to achieve certain life dreams. And for that, Jim says:

“Fear is useless; What is needed is trust” 

You have to trust in your abilities. You have to solely depend on God to work through you. Anything is achievable. You can change the world. This part of the book I have a sticky in to this day. Jim says:

“Each of us has the power to take action, to light a fire and be the ignition for others.”    

One of the most inspirational parts to me of Jim Ziolkowski’s story, is that he is from Michigan. He went to Michigan State. He was just a regular guy. But look at what he is doing in the world to make a difference! Wow! I mean, according to Simon&Shuster book review, “Under Jim’s leadership, high school students from the South Bronx to San Francisco have contributed more than 1.2 million hours of direct community service, and over the past twenty years, the organization has also constructed more than 550 schools in the world’s economically poorest countries, from Haiti to Nepal. That is crazy cool! And want to know the most inspirational things of all about Jim? Is that he is one of my best friend’s uncle! He is a regular guy. If he can start a movement like this, I can damn freaking right change the world as well!!

And with that, I will conclude that Jim Ziolkowski is an amazing leader. ‘Walk In Their Shoes’ is a fantastic book. And I want to change the world like that some day. I want to serve others and have that kind of inspiring compassion, faith, dedication and hard work.

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”

– Dalai Lama 

“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.”
― Dalai Lama

Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”
― Dalai Lama

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Pschology…Where dreams come true…

Just kidding, but…

In my leadership psychology class, I learned many, many things. I learned that one of my LAS friends can swallow an entire water bottle in one gulp. I learned that another one could sing the part in Hakuna Matata, (“When I was a young warthog!!”) perfectly, the pitch was exactly on point to the movie Lion King. I learned that another one of my peers could interpretive dance, very well, and also that my psychology professor liked to interpretive dance as well! Especially to disney songs! I learned that my LAS cohort is crazy silly, and that if someone looses a bet to the game ‘chances are?’, they would actually carry out their punishment, like the time someone lost and carried an umbrella with them everywhere they went for the entire psychology class. I think that his fun attitude actually helped me learn. I mean yes, it could get out of hand sometimes and be somewhat distracting, but also in the other sense, I was usually pretty happy to go to psychology class. I mean Dr. Pruett is a saint, but actually, he is a really great, quirky, silly man. And besides that, psychology is a pretty interest topic. Learning how to apply leadership through understanding human behavior is very neat! And my class was fun, so it was just an all together win, win! The tests were a little challenging, and I had to write my first ever 15 page final exam paper, but beside that, it was overall a great experience! SO Hukuna Matata, No worries! In the jungle, the might jungle, the lion sleeps tonight! Under the sea, under the sea! When you wish upon a staarrr! Wandering free, wish I could be, part of that woorrrlllddd! Be our guest, be our guest! Let’s get dowwnn to business!

Okay, okay! Enough disney songs! But goodbye folks! Psych was fun! Peace.

Resolution Reflection


I can just feel it, 2015 is about to be a great year!

In my LDR200 class, we were given the assignment to write a resolution reflection post for the new year. We were given the questions below and asked to really think about about resolutions and how we can make them a reality. First off, I personally, I hate the word “resolution”.  I was at church last week and my pastor made an extremely good point, when he talked about how many of us set resolutions to better ourselves, but rarely do we take the needed time to think long term about it. He went on to say something along the lines of “You can’t reach your desired goal/resolution if you don’t prepare yourself properly. Praying about your transformation and new ways and also praying about what to do once you reach that desired point is what will get you there.” I couldn’t agree more with my pastor, and am going to be actively doing this with my resolution plans. Below I will answer the questions for you, but wish me luck on achieving them! Also good luck to you if you have certain new years resolutions you want to accomplish!

As a leader: what do you really want in 2015? What do you really need in 2015? What will you share in 2015? What will you succeed at in 2015? 

– What do you want in 2015?

These are about to seem like the most basic goals, but I honestly mean them. I want good grades, to meet more people, get on a set schedule, and get back into the shape I was in when I started college.

1. I want really good grades this semester. I have finally adjusted to how college grading, exams, classes, etc. work, and I think that I will be able to achieve my goal of a 3.8. Last semester, I learned what kinds of studying works best for me, and this semester I have set up study times with my friend, to keep us on track and moving towards our goal. With studying this semester, I will be more proactive, organized and prepared.

2. This semester I want to stick to my set schedule. This basically ties into all of my goals, but having a schedule will help me to actually achieve the goals. This semester I have set up my planner more detailed, and I will be sticking to the workout, SI tutoring sessions, study times, club meeting times, etc. so that I make best use of my time. I have a busy schedule and also want to stay involved with extracurriculars, therefore I must balance my time wisely.

3. This semester I want to get back in shape. Yes, this is such a common NYE resolution. But, to my defense, I have always been fairly successful to achieving my fitness goals. Before I entered college, I had always been extremely involved in sports, working out, and other fitness. When I came to CMU, I found it insanely tough to balance school work, rushing a sorority, join other clubs, and stick to a gym routine. I know that I can stick to my schedule this semester because of the goal  #2 above. I feel out of shape, and I want to get back to my normal crazy workout self. Running and being active is a great stress releaver, and I need it. I do not want to grow old and have bad health, and I am also very confident I will achieve this goal.

4. I want to meet even more people this semester. I mean this goal is pretty easy to do in college, right?! I met so many great people this semester and I want to keep pushing myself to go out of my way to meet more people. I also want to form better relationships with those I have met. I can do more of this networking through my getting involved with Greek Iv and continue to get more involved with my sorority.

– What do you really need in 2015?

I need to figure out my 4 year plan in 2015. Actually, next week. I need to meet with my academic advisor and get more on track to when I will graduate college. I have set up an appointment, and am going to figure out my major and minor plans and get my future on track. This is a hard thing for me, because it freaks me out to have to decided what I want to do for the REST OF MY LIFE, but it needs to be done.

– What will you share in 2015?

I will share my service in 2015. I want to give back to the people that need it. I think that service is extremely important! Back in high school, I was very involved with organizations and causes that gave back, but I need to establish myself and volunteer more with things up here in Mt. Pleasant! I was recently elected community service chair and fundraising chair for my sorority, and I am getting pumped about the volunteer events I will be organizing! I am also so excited to volunteer with Special Olympics Winter Games next week, volunteer with Alternative Breaks, and to go to Detroit with my LAS cohort for a service trip later on this semester. I can feel it, 2015 is about to be an even greater year of service! Also really excited for volunteering this summer! Whoooo!

SO, about my NYE “Resolutions”, all things are possible with God. I vow to stick to my schedule, put in the work, and pray about it throughout this awesome new year!

elbb    elbbb    elb1      ELB

HAPPY NEW YEAR YAY 2015 *******


NO, I did not FaceTime Obama…

BUT, President Ross Attended My Leadership Class

And President Ross Rocks!!!

Seriously though, he is the man!

So, I was extremely excited for the president of my university to come into my LDR100 class and personally meet each of us. The date was on my calendar and I was counting down the classes until he would come in to talk to us. The weekend before he was scheduled to come in, my great grandmother passed away, and I left Mt. Pleasant to go to Wisconsin. My great grandmother was an amazing lady and it was really hard to deal with in my family. I forgot about the whole President Ross deal when that stuff happened, but I had been keeping in contact with my roommates back at CMU, and they mentioned how excited they were. “Holy crap I am going to miss it!!” I thought, and I was really disappointed. But guess what? My roommates and LAS cohort is awesome! They knew it was important to me, and didn’t want me to miss it either, so they surprised me with a FaceTime right as the president was walking into my classroom. I was so happy! It was really cool to hear the president directly address us Leadership Advancement students and talk about our questions and concerns regarding CMU. He told us to

Take advantage of your resources here at Central”

“On occasion, rare opportunity will present itself”.

He spoke about always doing the right thing 

“And at the end of the day, it’s all about integrity.” 

I could not agree more with all he talked about. I found his story to be very inspiring and I think that he is an extremely smart, wise man. Definitely someone to look up to! He gave great advice. I am so glad that I was able to listen to him speak. Shoutout to Chloe and Taylor! Want to know the best part of the whole experience? I got to “meet” him!!! WHOOO! He picked up the laptop that was FaceTiming me and actually talked to me! It was really freaking cool!

I have to say, I do not know many people that go to a university or college of over 22,000 and they have a personal relationship with their president! I am so lucky!! Central Michigan is a great school and the fact that they are dedicated to forming personal relationships between faculty and students makes it the very best! 

FIRE UP CHIPS! Thanks President Ross for visiting to our class!



(The laptop is “me” and this was taken when he talked to me)