It felt just like yesterday when I got to go to the Leadership Connections Conference as a freshman with my LAS class and other CMU students. This was the time I really got to bond and make what is now my lifelong friends. I met really cool people, and got to listen to amazing speakers that really changed and taught me things about leadership I never thought of.
Last year for Connections 2014, I was on the committee making plans and changes to the conference to make this experience more impactful. After both years, I knew I wanted to try and be on the committee at least one more time to really put what I’ve learned from the conference to the test. I really got to make new changes and put my input in to really see if we could continue to make this conference better. This year was definitely my favorite year. I bonded closer with the committee than last year, I got to meet the new LAS class finally, and I got to meet the coolest CMU students thus far. The CMU students this year were so passionate and so ready to learn that it made me that much more eager.
Specifically, I made a connection with a freshman student who is involved with the dance production “Humanity”. This bus buddy and I bonded over that production as I just saw it for my first time during Issue Day 2015. “Humanity” is a dance production that was created by a CMU student addressing social issues that are so prevalent today and bringing them to light through the art of dance. We also bonded over watching Tarzan on the bus as it was both our favorite Disney movies. We talked about everything we were involved in and connected those things to each other. Being on the committee for my second year, I was able to learn from the past and put them to the test. I was able to listen to new speakers than previous years and really see a good amount of them touch on the social change subject that I know so much about through Leadership Camp. One that I really liked was “Dancing through Social Change” with Steely. She had them split into groups and make a representation through recycled objects of what social change means to them. Some made a world, some combined multiple colors and said it represented the differences between people, and some made a mess of things but had such amazing reasons behind each thing that represented their world.
She also showed and talked about the Heidelberg project which I have never heard about before. The Heidelberg project is located on Heidelberg road in Detroit. The Heidelberg project is about making the best out of the worst; specifically, with the abandoned or destructed houses. Tyree was the creator and he wanted the vision of attracting people to Detroit and showing them there is more to Detroit than what you see and the beauty is within the walls. He has stuffed animal houses, records, land covered in toys and clocks, etc.
Overall, the Leadership Connections Conference will always have a special impact on my life. I believe its a great way to bring the leaders of the CMU community together and really get them talking about social issues, leadership, and making connections through what they’re individually involved in. It’s a great way to get away from the stresses of school and enjoy the waterpark and being surrounded by passionate students.