List what you accomplished through your service project on your blog and reflect on how you changed as a leader/person through your summit experience.
Living in summit and doing our project has been an eye opening experience for me this year. I never thought I would enjoy living in a house with seven other girls, I never thought I would enjoying going to walk dogs and pick up their poop at eight in the morning, and I never thought I would be able to grow as a person from both of those. Our group has really been able to accomplish a lot in a year. We planned and executed a very successful fundraiser, raising over $200 for C.A.R.E, we collectively volunteered over 150 hours, and we have been able to watch dog after dog come into the shelter as helpless creatures and get placed into amazing homes in the end. On Sunday the 6th we will be participating in our first mobile adoption at PetSmart. It is an all weekend long adoptathon for the dogs and cats at C.A.R.E. When we first started volunteering at the shelter, it was hard to see how we were helping and if we were really making a difference. As this year has wrapped up and I have really taken a big picture look at what we have done, I can see that we really did make a difference. Those dogs have to be walked, they need love and attention, C.A.R.E needs money, and we were able to give all of that with our time and support. This year turned out being a lot more successful than I thought it could be.
I have changed as a person and as a leader by being in Summit. Living with a bunch of girls is not easy. We have conflicts, we have communication difficulties, and we have hardships in our personal lives that cause us to break. However, living with these girls has been one of the best experiences I have had because of those reasons. I have learned how to approach and manage conflict, I have learned how to better communicate with different personality types, and better yet, I have developed even closer friendships with all of these girls through our hardships because we have been able to help each other though each and every one of them.
I have also learned to be a leader though Summit. Every person in my group has had the opportunity to step up and be a leader in different aspects of the class, the project, and daily activities and chores. We all have different skill sets, so each of us has been able to thrive in different areas this year. I feel that I have become more of a productive leader. I feel as though I can take charge of situations when need be without being afraid of what others might think. Honesty and patience have been key characteristics we have each had to develop in order to become the leaders we are. Leaders need to be honest with their group, and the group has to be honest back. A leader must also be patient with their group, and the same in return. I never would have thought that I would change so much as a person, a leader, and a community member though the experiences this project and the Summit class, but I did and I am so happy I was given that opportunity. ~Carolyn
Living in Summit Park has had a significant impact on my college experience. Not only have I learned what it takes to run a non-profit, but I have strengthened many personal qualities about myself. Our summit project has forced every member of our group to communicate and work together. I quickly found that even though we are all friends, it was still difficult to find a time when we could all sit down and work on our projects.
Even though I felt frustration at times, I feel an amazing sense of accomplishment now that we have completed the year-long project. Knowing that we have helped C.A.R.E. all year is an amazing feeling. I have gained a new appreciation for everyone involved in a non-profit because it takes everyone working as a team. I will be able to apply this to everything I do for the rest of my life. -Sheila
Through working with C.A.R.E. this year, our group has had several accomplishments. Each of us has volunteered well over 15 hours each semester plus we organized a very successful fundraiser in the fall where we raised over $200 for the shelter. Along with the progress we made at C.A.R.E. we also grew as individuals by not only working together in a group but also living together. Our accomplishments go well beyond the obvious volunteer hours and fundraising efforts. We have each grown to become more well rounded leaders by learning more effective communication skills as well as learning the importance of patience. We also gained a new respect for volunteers and learned the significance of volunteers in a non-profit organization. For most non-profits like C.A.R.E., they could not survive without the help of volunteers.
Every Thursday, Carolyn and I are at C.A.R.E. at 8:00am. We start by walking the dogs, then we clean cages, and help clean the facility by completing tasks like, sweeping, moping, and doing dishes. These tasks may seem little but it truly makes a difference in the lives of these loving animals that are looking for their forever homes.
The Summit Park Leadership experience has allowed me the opportunity to become a better leader as well as gain a new love for animals. Volunteering with C.A.R.E. has definitely made me more aware of animal abuse and euthanasia. I will continue my volunteer efforts in the summer and hope to continue to make a difference. -Brooke
I have really enjoyed both living in Summit and volunteering at CARE this year. I was shocked that I enjoyed it as much as I did. I had heard the stories that living with your best friends can end disastrously, with friendships ended over silly fights. However, we have not really experienced that this year. Of course, there were the occasional disagreements, but I was greatly impressed by the way our group handled these situations and we are all still great friends. Also, I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed going to CARE each week. It was always a great way to break up the monotony of the week, and playing with the animals at the facility was a great stress reliever for me.
Throughout the semester we have accomplished many things both as a group and individually. As a group we have volunteered nearly 150 hours at various events benefitting CARE and at the CARE facility in Springfield. Also, with our fundraiser in the fall semester we raised over $200 to help CARE. All of this work has really been a rewarding experience for all of us.
My time volunteering with CARE has definitely helped me to grow as both a person and a leader. This experience taught me that sometimes it really is just the little things that make the most difference. For instance, I never thought that taking dogs to the bathroom and cleaning their cages would mean so much to someone. However, every time I leave CARE I receive the most heartfelt thank-you from the staff and other volunteers there. This has taught me that no matter how small or unnecessary the task is, it still has to be done and in doing it you are really helping someone out. Also, I don’t think I understood just how rewarding it could be to do something for a being that can’t say thank-you. However, just knowing that they need you is really rewarding. Each week when we go to CARE we walk dogs, take them to the bathroom and then clean their cages. Of course, they cannot actually say thank-you, but the way they just lick your face and that happiness they bring is extremely rewarding. It has taught me that even though they can’t say thank-you, they still need and appreciate your help. My volunteer experience has really helped me to grow as a leader as well. It has taught me the value of doing small tasks to reach towards a larger goal. Also, it has helped me to realize that no matter how small a task is, it is making a difference to someone.
Living in Summit has also helped me to grow more as a person and a leader. While living in Summit I have better learned to how to communicate with people, both when I have a concern with them and in general. Also, it is sometimes not quite perfectly harmonious in our house, so this has helped me to learn how to better deal with conflict in a civil and polite way. It has also taught me that we all have to work together if we want to create a place where we all feel comfortable enough to sit and hang out or do homework; each person must take responsibility for their actions and do their share of the work. My time in Summit has also taught me to be a better leader. I have learned when it is necessary to step up and take charge, and when it is better to just sit back and work together as a group. Also, I have learned better ways of communication, which is a vital aspect of leadership. Overall, my experience both with living in Summit and volunteering with CARE has helped me to grow immensely as a person and a leader and I have really enjoyed both of them. ~Lindsay