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CMU leadership students volunteer in Detroit

Using leadership theory to serve others

A weekend of volunteering in Detroit has helped cement career plans for 45 Central Michigan University students. The Leader Advancement Scholars put classroom theory into practice while sharing their leadership skills in a real-world setting.

The service-learning group began its weekend working with students at Jalen Rose Leadership Academy,  a CMU-authorized charter high school, with a series of team building activities. Ithaca freshman Audi Gruesbeck hopes to continue serving youth as a secondary education student.

“CMU helps me demonstrate servant leadership by providing opportunities to leave my comfort zone and serve in a way I did not know was possible,” Gruesbeck said. “Facilitating teens’ learning and leadership skills strikes a passion within me to continue serving communities and helping youth discover themselves.”

The afternoon was spent with some of the academy’s upperclassmen, providing leadership training they can implement in their school.

“I got to speak with a student about leadership, and he displayed much drive and determination,” Hartland freshman Danielle Germane said. “Answering his questions about college and his future was inspiring to me.”

Leadership9.jpgThe trip was planned and coordinated by the Leadership Institute’s committee of upperclassmen scholars who previously attended the trip.

The group stayed the night at CMU’s Global Campus Center in Detroit. The following day was spent volunteering on urban farming projects organized by the Motor City Blight Busters, one of the city’s revitalization organizations.

“The trip enabled our class to exercise what we have been learning in the classroom out in the real world,” integrative public relations freshman Amanda Yats of Clare said. “We discuss servant leadership in class, but traveling to Detroit to practice being servant leaders left a much greater impact.”

Students interested in learning more about CMU’s Leadership Institute are encouraged to visit

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