The Leadership Development program offers many amazing opportunities for its members to bonds with its teammates. To say that the LDP is a team would be an understatement, the LDP is a family where you are driven to succeed, but also raised up when you fail. Continue reading “#LDPhoto Challenge”
This past week the LDP took on the exciting task of hosting the first annual Homecoming RSO Food Drive. Earlier on in this semester, we saw the prevalent need the SIU Food Pantry had for donations. However, it was not just the call for donations that inspired us to create this Food Drive; it was the potential for SIU organizations to unify in order to support our fellow Salukis. Once we shared the impact this Food Drive could have, other SIU organizations quickly hopped on board. After a lot of hard work, dedication, and collaboration we ended up having over 25 organizations come together and raise $2137.75 worth of monetary and item donations. It was heartwarming to be able to see the SIU Food Pantry filled to the brim with donations from all of the RSO’s. It was truly a privilege to have so many people come together to fulfill this need that we had on campus.
The LDP’s second motto is “challenge yourself, change the world”. We have recently taken on the challenge of sponsoring a campus wide Food Drive for our very own Saluki Food Pantry. The Saluki Food Pantry has a prominent need for more food to supply our struggling students. Although this project may not change the whole world, it can change individual lives by putting food on the table for them. Therefore, we are reaching out to you guys to help us make this change and feed our fellow Salukis! We are full of gratitude for the support you give us every day and we want to share that same love and support with the rest of campus. Attached is a link to the GoFundMe page set up to directly purchase food for the Saluki Food Pantry. The LDP thanks you for any and all contributions to this cause that we all feel so passionately about!
As a fellow mentee with Jessica, I had the opportunity to give back to my community this past weekend at the PUKA School childcare center here in Carbondale. While Jessica was planning this project, she approached me and asked for my help in one specific area. She planned to complete two different projects in one day: repainting a bookcase in the library and making a new roof for a shed located outside in the school yard. Unfortunately, due to the bad weather on the day of the project, the shed group was postponed. I was put in charge of the bookcase repainting, however, which we were able to do. Since Jessica no longer had two separate teams to lead, her and I worked together in leading the painting group. This was a helpful experience for me because I do not think that I am quite ready to lead a project like this on my own. Therefore, it was wonderful leading it under Jessica and having her as a safety net. Leading a project is a big responsibility, and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to dip my toes into leading a service project before being put in complete charge of my own project. Jessica and I sat down before the project to plan everything out, discuss what materials we would need, talk about proper painting techniques, and come up with ideas on how this project can move smoothly while obtaining excellence. It seemed that if we did run into an unexpected problem, the team constantly worked to find solutions on their own. In the end, the bookshelf turned out really well! Continue reading “PUKA Painting By Maria Ross”
——At the center of LDP is a team– a team willing to step up and go the extra mile for both the community and themselves. I found while working on the PUKA project that I had to rely on my team constantly in order to accomplish the tasks at hand. To begin, the PUKA project included two separate projects in which we would repaint the bookcase in the library and replace the decrepit roof on the shed in the playground. The PUKA School has worked for the last 45 years as a non-for-profit to improve the lives of children by providing a safe place to learn and grow. They are always open to any help from the community and as part of the LDP, it was a great experience to help them in anyway possible. Before this event, I had never led an LDP service project. While thrilled to accept the challenge, I knew it would be a personal challenge to trust and not micromanage. I physically could not execute this project alone, so I called on my team and enlisted the aid of two members to work directly on each project so that I could focus on the event overall.
We hoped to build up our team by teaching new skills while providing the PUKA School with renovations that further their vision of providing an uplifting area for children to dream and grow. The event took a lot of planning, and we worked hard to prepare contingency plans for each project as well as a detailed layout of all tasks. Even when the weather refused to cooperate, resulting in the shed team project being postponed, the contingency plan was in place so that the event could still go on.
One of the practices the LDP teaches is writing thank you notes to anybody who lent a helping hand or provided our group with an opportunity. Whether it is a guest lecturer, a company gracious enough to give us a plant tour, or even a stakeholder in a member project, we always finish the event with a thank you to show our appreciation.
So, it was with great surprise that the LDP received a stack of thank you notes from the kids at the Carbondale New School showing their appreciation for the cleanup project we had recently completed. The notes were all so thoughtful, with comments on what a large difference they saw, how much cleaner it was, and how less scary the closet appeared. What was remarkable about this was that not only did they notice our effort, but they demonstrated one of the practices of exemplary leaders and a strong LDP value.
At first, cleaning out a musty, spider-ridden basement does not sound like a lot of fun. For the most part, you would be correct. However, the Carbondale New School project showed me otherwise, and it taught me the importance of knowing the strengths and interests of my team. The New School had a storage room in their basement that was in desperate need of a thorough reorganization and cleaning. Like all basements, it had been flooded multiple times and had a problem with local pests sneaking in and making it their new home.
At the invitation from the Director, Carla, I came in after school and took a first glance at what needed to be done. I come from a family that absolutely loves stuff. I have had to clean out many of sheds, closets, basements, and rooms just in the spirit of making more room for more stuff. This project was in my wheelhouse, so I had a good idea of what to expect.
Southern Illinois University (SIU) has been around since 1869. Since then, many students have come through the doors to start preparing for their careers. SIU’s schools offer several opportunities for students; whether their dreams are to become engineers, athletes, or even astronauts, all are achievable at SIU. On March 7th, SIU will be hosting its second annual Day of Giving, also coined “SIU Day”. This year, the LDP sought out the opportunity to join the college of engineering for the one-day campaign.
The Day of Giving is an event that seeks donations from alumni, students, families, and SIU supporters. It began in 2017 and was a huge success in raising money for numerous causes around the University. The LDP initially planned to begin its own Giving Campaign this year. However, thanks to the guidance of Nanditha Balasubramanian and Matt McCoy, we decided to team up with the SIU’s Day of Giving. Dr. Warwick, Dean of the College of Engineering, agreed to have the LDP as a direct option under the College of Engineering for SIU Day.
Coordinating the blood drive was an exciting experience for me. This was a good opportunity to apply the leadership skills I’ve learned in the LDP and classroom to a project. To get something done, sometimes we need interpersonal skills and professional skills. Most importantly, we need to keep studying the skills to continue learning. Leading the blood drive helped me practice and test my skills. I knew there would be some challenges I’d have to face in planning this event, but when I needed help, I had the privilege to see the passion and dedication of my fellow LDP members. Without all their help, I don’t think I would have learned some of the things I did. The truth is sometimes I am still not good at communicating with others, but I can tell that I am quickly improving since joining the LDP.