And so it begins…

In order to better explain the project, what it is and why I’m doing it, I thought it fitting to first give a bit more of an introduction to who I am.

I am a Junior studying Spanish with minors in Leadership and Environmental Studies at Central Michigan University. I am incredibly passionate about our Earth and all of the various environments that cover it as well as the cultures within those environments, especially hispanic and latin american culture. As a freshman at the university I joined a registered student organization called Campus Grow and after a semester as a general member I was voted on as Co-President of the group with a sophomore named Meghan, who, unbeknownst to me at the time, would soon become my very very good friend! Meghan and I have been the Co-Presidents of the organization for 3 years now and plan to continue until we graduate. The mission of our organization is to help bring opportunities and awareness to the students of CMU and the surrounding community regarding the importance of eating local, healthy food and supporting sustainable ways of life for ourselves as a human race and for the environment.

Every year Campus Grow has found ways to celebrate the “holiday” National Food Day. During my freshman year the members of our organization really wanted to host a one-day, on campus, farmers market to spread the joy of fresh, local, healthy food! Our one-day market was small, but successful and from that day on Meghan and I have made it a goal and co-dream to found a self-sustainable, large scale, on campus, farmers market at Central.We knew if we ever wanted to really bring the market to life we would have a great deal of hard work ahead of us, but in the beginning we did nothing more than dream up all the different things we wanted our market to be.

When we initially began working on the market project it didn’t seem like a candidate for my 402 project because I didn’t expect to see myself as holding a leadership position. It felt more to me like I was doing what any student would do to get what they wanted from their university, plus theres the fact that I didn’t have people I would be overseeing, there was just me and Meghan trying to forge a path. This made me feel like I wouldn’t be focusing on leadership any more than in my normal daily interactions. Why would I need to focus on improving my  ability to Enable Others to Act or Inspire a Shared Vision when there aren’t followers to impact with these actions. Fast forward a few months and my eyes had really been opened to how much leadership was actually involved in this endeavor. How wrong I was to think that leadership practices only apply when you’re directly dealing with a follower base.

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