Last Week

After 10 weeks of dedication, perseverance and diligence, we have reached the end of this program. I am feeling a lot of weird emotions right now–I guess the best way to put it is I am feeling withdrawal. This program is addicting and realizing that it is ending makes me feel sad but also happy that I had a chance to participate in this program. I am grateful for the chance I was given to make a difference in my community. This program is something special. I think the lesson that this program taught me that I am most thankful for is that everything is possible. During this program, we were tasked with doing things that I never thought was possible or even permit-able. For instance, we COLD-CALLED CEOs and we asked businesses to donate money to our causes! Before this program, I would never have done such a thing! This program opened my eyes to the idea that anything is possible and that one cannot know if he or she doesn’t try.

In addition, to these invaluable life lessons, I have left this program with many blissful memories. It was addicting helping out a cause and I will definitely be doing more philanthropy work in the future thanks to Main Street Philanthropy which gave me the confidence and the optimistic mentality to do so. I think this program is very important because it helps individualistic development and advocates worldly awareness. For anyone who is considering doing this program, I 100% recommend it. It will change your life as it has changed mine (:

Week 6 and 7

From week six to now, I have been very busy (mainly with school but also philanthrophy) and was not able to blog. However, I now have time now to catch up. Our group has gone through a lot of changes since my last post. Our biggest change was changing our group’s focuss. We originally wanted to do something with organizations that focussed on social justice and civil rights. However, due to my friend’s recent passing, we decided to switch our focuss to organizations that assist in preventing suicide. In this way, we can show love towards our friend as well as help others. During this thanksgiving break, we were also able to finalize our mission statement and vision statement. We also started planning our fundraising. We decided we wanted to at least raise 300 dollars but our goal is 1,000. We decided to approach our fundraising by seekig out the assistance of local businessess. We were able to set up a donation box at Jupiter donuts (a great place to get delicious donuts) and I called seven businesses in a row for the same effort. The calls were great practice and I felt my communication skills improved through the repititious calling. In addition to the donation box, we also plan to have a meeting with Pelican carwash tomorrow to see if they can assist us as well. Besides, these efforts, I am going to set up a facebook page to spread awareness to our cause and see if we can get donations. One of our teachers, also suggested that we do a letter campaign: I think we are going to try that as well and see how successful it is.

During week seven, we had another panel of organizations enter our classroom. In this run, one of the organizations I emailed was present: it was a member of the Florida Suicide Prevention Coalition. We really liked her presentation and are seriously thinking about picking her organization for our project.

In reflection of these last few weeks, I feel I had grown. Through having to make many calls and organize meetings for our philanthropic efforts, I feel I am gaining more confidence and security with communicating to business (which is a skill I never had to use before). In addition, I learned in important lesson. I originally thought that these business would not be so willing to help out and I had a fear of being rejected (afterall its a weird thing to ask others to give money when they do not know who you are). However, after I made my calls, I realized how supportive these business are. I learned in important lesson in the dangers of coming to conclusions to soon.

Week 5

This week proved to be a busy week for our group–however we can’t call it a productive one. Besides myself, our group could not make it to Thursdays meeting: Veronica was absent because of her play practice; Katie was doing some sort of leadership seminar; My’Asja was on an errand for prom. Even I could only stay for 20 minutes because I had to check out where prom would reside this year. In addition, our community lost a friend and so everyone was focussed on other things. However, because we need to catch up, Veronica and I arranged to have a meeting tomorrow where we will finish up our “cold calls” and get organized. I feel although I did not get a lot done this week, I learned a important lesson in managing time. Sometimes we can’t get everything done and that’s okay as long as we make time for it in the future.

Week Four

What is so great about this program is that we are not only helping people through our organizations, we are also learning great skills for ourselves. During week four, we were pushed out of our comfort zones. In addition to selecting some key organizatons we want to focuss on, we were also assigned to “cold call” them ( calling the organizations sponaneously and without any notice at all). I really felt this is a daunting assignment. I don’t have a lot of self-confidence or experience with these kinds of tasks. And in additon, the people we are calling are very important people who are high up in their organization. I am afraid to mess-up. However, after watching Veronica, I felt better about the assignment. She was the first to go. She called COMPASS and successfully got them to agree to coming to class. Her success was really encouraging. I personally have yet to go, but I am making it a self-goal to call at least one organization, because I think this will be a good oppurtunity to work on my speaking skills and confidence. Besides cold calling, we also have to work on fundraising. This week, My’Asja and Katie were added to our group, which I am really happy about. I think they will make good contributions to our team. Overall, everything is going pretty smoothly.

Week 3

During week three, we focussed on strengthening our team chemistry. On coming to class, we were told to bring in three items that described who we are that we could share with our teams–the catch, however, was that these three items had to fit in a paper bag. When I thought about the minuteness of a paper bag, I realized that to accomplish the task, I would have to get a little creative. For my three items, I chose a bible, an eraser shaped as a brain and ancient Chinese bruise ointment (that I just happened to buy online a couple of years ago). Although, religion is very important to me, I used the bible as more as a symbol. For this assignment, the bible represented beliefs. In this live, I feel it is important to believe in something: people must believe in their existence and purpose (through a God perhaps but not necesarily), people must believe in their actions (and everything they do) and most importantly, people must believe in themselves. For the brain, I used it as a symbol for knowledge. Knowledge when paired with beliefs are very powerful. With knowledge, one has understanding and control over their environment. Lastly, I chose this chinese ointment. Perhaps, my chosing of this seems the most bizarre, but it too had importance. When I bought this ointment a long time ago, I learned that Iron fist monks used this ointment after training to heal their bruises. These were the monks that were able to do seemingly impossible feats: they broke metal on their body, they bent spears with their throats and balanceed on sharp prongs with their abs. These people through their training made their bodies seemingly undefeatble. When one sees these monks doing these incredulous tasks, it is inspiring. And so, this ointment reminds me that with dedication, I can achieve anything I want; anything is possible.

Week Two

Today marks the end of week two and with no time for delay, we have already organized into our groups. Although I was happy to find out that I was put into the “Social Justice and Civil Rights” group, I was even more exuberant when I heared Veronica Weiss, a good friend of mine, was also put in my group.  I truly respect and admire Veronica for her comprehensive understanding of current issues and her confident and well-formulated opinions that come with her understanding.  I know she is passionate about many issues, especially those evolving social justice and civil rights, so I knew that she would be an especially helpful member to our group. With this news, I was excited to begin. I knew that no matter what non-profit organization we chose, we would put all our efforts into accomplishing our monetary goals.  I knew dedication was not the issue but selection. With the all the organizations to choose from, I knew we would have a hard time deciding.  Although once we finally do select the organization, I know one of the hardest parts will be behind us. I am looking forward to this rewarding experience and I am excited to learn more  from our wise mentors.

 

First Week

I believe it is a universal goal of people to want to make a lasting impression in this world, before they die.  For me at least, by the end of my life, I want to die knowing, I was able to add something to this world, progress it in some way or do something that benfitted the lives of people better. Early on, I knew this was one of my long-term goals, but I didn’t know where to start or what I wanted to do. Coming from a priveledge family, I did not have to struggle. In a sense, I was deprived of  certain life lessons. I did not need to get a job and I especially did not have to learn how to deal with people. I lacked ambition and foundation. To be able to change this world, one  has to get other people to join his or her cause. It  can’t be done alone. However, I have yet learned how to inspires others or  to find my motivating passion. Although by joining this club, I feel that I took a step in the right direction. I am excited to learn, to aquire more leadership and to make a difference with my own efforts for once. I think by the end of this club, I will get crucial experience as well as self-satisfaction from these  microcosmic achievments  which will root me for my future endeavors.
After the first week of this club, I was left very excited. Unfortunately, with all the problems in the world, it is difficult to narrow in on a cause. It is slightly  overwehlming; However, with the help of our mentors/ ambassadors, we were able to narrow down our picks to three issues.  I discovered three issues which I felt attached too, that I could become pasionate for.  I felt I learned a lot about myself. It is truly extraordinary what a simple assignment can achieve. When I picked my three issues, I realized that my decisions had much to do with my own family and my experiences.  Thinking about my grandma and my handicapped nephew, I realized I am passionate about physical and mental disability as well as elder care. I also had an inclination towards social justice and civil rights. Before this assignment,  I didn’t really know what I stood for.  Yet, now I am starting to get a better idea about my beliefs and convictions.