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Haiti Round 3… but with a twist

Three years ago this upcoming July I will have been part of an organization called Help The Youth Haiti for 3 years. Only a year after I helped grow this organization I took on a leadership role. I hope this role still to today. The role was to plan and facilitate the activities and events that group would be doing when we all traveled to Haiti in July. Originally I thought this role was going to be easy. I have held similar roles in the last so I wasn’t too worried. Little to my knowledge, it was a lot more difficult than anything I have every done. thumbnail_FullSizeRender

My biggest struggle in this role was communication. By that, I mean communication to our Haitian counterparts. Language wasn’t a problem because most of the people we work with in Haiti know English. The hard part was being able to maintain regular communication. This was due to their limited access to Internet and phone. But yet, another obstacle was thrown my way. As many know a hurricane hit Haiti earlier this year. Any forms of communication they had was now gone. We went weeks without knowing how thigs were, let alone if our friends were still alive. 

Despite the many obstacles thrown my way, this has been a great experience. This upcoming July the trip will consist of a few new events. We will be running a free CPR and first Aid seminar in order to teach people how to respond in emergencies. We will also be planning and facilitation vacation bible school for the children and a pastor’s conference for the pastors in the community. Unfortunately, I am not able to travel to Haiti this July due to academic reasons ( I will be taking physics 2), however, I chose to remain actively involved in my role. jkjkj

This experience has taught me to patient and willing to adapt. Things don’t always work out they way they are planned. Also, this experience has taught me to be creative. The supplies, money, and resources available to us were a lot more limited than I was aware of prior to taking on this role. Thus, when planning events such as vacation bible school, where craft supplies are usually found in surplus, I had to be creative in coming up with crafts that would use only construction power, popsicle sticks, and 4 bottles of glue. thumbnail_IMG_4486

I’m disappointed that I cannot travel to Haiti this summer. However, I remain in contact with my friends. The bond I have formed while in Haiti have only grown stronger since the first time I’ve been there. My involvement and leadership role Help The Youth has been one of the most benefiting, eye-opening experiences of my life. It has taught me so much as about my myself. You may think that it is a little dramatic when I say that this organization and the people I have met have changed my perspective on life. 

OH OH OH! We are also in the progress of trying to get a few of our friends passports to come to the U.S.

STAY TUNED!! 

Project UNIFY

Normally I try to come up with some creative blog title, but in this case I decided to be direct Project Unify is an outstanding program and I want to get its name out there! If you haven’t worked with Special Olympics AT LEAST ONCE, you’re missing out. 14732402_10208542498693537_6141825387487114860_n

I’m a junior in college and for the past 3 years, every fall, I participate in Project Unify. Project Unify is a program through Special Olympics Michigan. My involvement in this program is as a facilitator. I, along with 20 or so other college students, volunteered a few nights a week for a few weeks to prep for this program. The event itself is one day and was hosted at a hotel conference center right here in Mt.Pleasant. The day consisted of leadership challenges, problem-solving, team-work, games, crafts, dancing, and FUN. Project UNIFY is directed toward students both with and without different abilities.

I had the honor of facilitating team PLUTO PURPLE! My team was very involved in all the activities and always had something to say when questions were asked. It always tough to have a group that doesn’t actively participate and thus I was ecstatic that my group was so involved in what we were doing.

One of my favorite activities had to do with communication. There was a group of sports balls in a pile in the middle of the room. Around the pile of balls were the students standing in a circle.  Each student was given a number. The goal was to find the ball with the matching number. We did this 2 or 3 times. However, each time there were different rules. The first time, everyone was able to talk. The second time, no one was able to talk, and the third time, only 3 or 4 people were able to talk. These different scenarios helped to teach the students that in different, situations different types of communication may be the most suitable; sometimes it is important to actively communicate, and sometimes it is best to sit back and let others speak.

Being a part of this program is always a pleasure. The students show so much passion. The desire to take what they learned at the workshop and bring it back to their own school is amazing to see! Each year I see familiar faces from the year before and that has to be one of my favorite things, knowing that these students want to keep coming back.

The Club of Knowledge

This semester I was again part of PT Club. I really enjoy my time in PT Club because it has introduced me to so many people with the same interests and passions as me. Meeting people with similar goals is both nerve wrecking and calming.

Nerve Wrecking… Oh My Gosh. We have the same goal that means they’re competition.page_1

Calming… YES! Someone with the same goal. We can do homework together!

Both a good.

Throughout the year we had speakers come in and talk to us about different areas of specialty within the Physical Therapy field. My favorite speaker were two people who specialized in pediatric Physical Therapy. I knew that there was a specialty for pediatric PT, but I had assumed it was like any other PT that I had observed before. Boy was I wrong. Turns out, pediatric PT is all fun and games. Literally. Sessions consist of games and activities that are fun for the children while they practicing things such as balence, coordination, propioceptive skills, and more.

I did attend PT Club meeting regularly until my sophomore year after I switch my major from Athletic Training to Kinesiology. Joining this club has given me so many resources in regards to Grad School. TO ALL COLLEGE KIDS WHO KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO DO:

TO ALL COLLEGE KIDS WHO KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO DO: join a club or reach out to people in your area(s) of interest. DO IT. It’s is so helpful to know someone with all the answers. It has does nothing but benefit me.

 

A new way of life!

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A few months ago I decided that I was going to change my lifestyle. I was sick of feeling sluggish and squishy (LOL my way of saying out of shape). I quit making excuses and got my butt off the couch and to the gym. That was in November of 2015. Since then, I have lost a total of 30 pounds and gained massive amounts of CONFIDENCE.

People often ask me, “what motivates you to change,” “how do you stick with it?” The best answer I have for them is that I QUIT MAKING EXCUSES and telling myself that losing weight was impossible while in college or that I just have bad genes and I could never be skinny. Shaping your body into the way you want is something you ARE CAPABLE of doing! Isn’t that motivation in itself?Your body is the one thing you can do what ever you want with!

At the beginning of my fitness journey, I was doing everything on my own. I quit snacking late at night (one of the hardest things for me to overcome), and began to eat healthier. Overall I wasn’t eating the bad before, however, I was eating TOO MUCH. By January I had lost around 13 pounds. Obviously I was happy with the progress I had made thus far, but at this point I was finally starting to feel confident in my own skin, how could I quit now?! So I didn’t.

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Then, to my luck, my cousin contacted me regarding a program called 21 Day Fix Extreme through Beachbody. It was here that my passion for health, fitness and nutrition took off. The program taught me how to eat clean in the correct portion size! This was huge for me. I now no longer eat dairy, and I’m on a completely clean diet. I hate to use the word diet though because I am not starving myself. I’m never hungry! I still eat out, I just order smart. I still eat desserts, but change out certain ingredients for healthier ones.  I started this program in January. For the first 3 weeks I followed the program religiously, however, now I’m starting to become a little more flexible because I’m beginning to understand and learn what works for me. Everyone is different. What works for one person may not work for another. Experiment, figure out what works for you. As of today, I’m town 27 pounds and feeling great!

Although the physical changes are visible, I feel like a completely different person. This journey has taught me so much about myself. I have gained immense amounts of confidence. I’ve learned that the number on the scale DOES NOT MATTER. It’s the way YOU FEEL that matters. I’ve made new friends with a similar passion for fitness who have helped and encouraged me along the way! I couldn’t have done it without them!

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I’m now to a point where people are beginning to come to me for advice and tips. It warms my heart when people tell me I was there motivation to become healthier. Trust me when I tell you this, if a full time college student, who lives in the dorms, and also works two jobs can do it, SO CAN YOU!

A few months ago I can across a quote that I now live by:

“Power is a passion in itself”

… Find the power to get up in the morning and workout, find the power to ignore the tray of chocolate chip cookies in the cafeteria, find the power to take the stairs after a long day instead of taking the elevator. Find the power and determination to become healthier and it was become a passion, something you love!

My days are long and busy like every other college student out there, but I find time to workout everyday no matter what. It’s my way of stress relieve. If it wasn’t for the gym, I’d probably be bald at this point from pulling all my hair out (LOL).

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Throughout my journey I found a passion for health, fitness and nutrition. I am now currently in the process of getting my personal training certification. Becoming healthy is not easy. It’s involves breaking habits that we have had for months, weeks or even heard!  But it’s worth it and that’s why I have decided to get certified. I want to help others achieve their fitness goals and becoming the best person they can be!

If you are unhappy with your body, I challenge you to accept the challenge of change. Start today, not tomorrow, not on Monday, TODAY! You can do it!

Check out my Instagram (Jenniferkae) if you’re interested in advice and motivation on achieving your goals! Believe in yourself, your mind is the only thing holding you body back from accomplishing what you want it to!

 

THATS MY MENTEE

IMG_1401Being a mentor has been a great experience. However, it is a lot harder than I had expected. My mentor and I are very close, we hang out every week, and make dinner for each other all the time, he is more of a brother to me than a friend. My mentee and I however, are not as close.

Going into this experience I had a goal to not be a mentor who never talked to their mentee, and I believe I have accomplished that goal. But frankly, I do wish that I would have spent more time with my mentee during his freshmen year at college. I know how important and helpful it was to have my mentor there for me whenever I needed him, and looking back, I do  have regrets about feeling like I did not make it clear to my mentee that I was there for  him.

Being busy is not an excuse. EVERYONE IS BUSY. It is  important to make time for those you  care about. Being an LAS scholar, I have a responsibility to help those younger than me. I know for a fact I would not be where I was today if it weren’t for other LASers helping me over the course  of the last two years. IMG_1397

Being a mentor has taught me that although being there for someone 24/7 is not easy, it sure it worth it. It means a lot to that person to have someone to  go to whenever they may have a question. I know Harrison is going to be a great mentor and I cannot wait to meet the new addition  to the LAS Platinum Fam! He has accomplished many great things thus far, and I couldnt be more proud of him for how much he has grown!

 

Here we go AGAIN!

Today I received great news! I am writing this post because people are probably sick of me taking about how excited I am. July 24th, I will again be traveling to Neply, Haiti. Ever since the day I left, I’ve been wondering when I would be able to return. My wish is finally coming true.

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My life was changed when I visited Haiti last July. The Haitian people and the village of Neply hold a special place in my heart. I continue to fund raise in order to help the people the most I can. Unfortunately, this is not enough. I need your help. Help change the lives of these students and their families. In you’re interested  in donating, click here. The money you donate goes directly to Help the Youth and goes directly towards academic scholarships for the students.  Any size donation would be greatly appreciated. Please consider donating.

Have a GREAT DAY!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Help The Youth

Hello Everyone!

As many of you know, I traveled to Neply, Haiti this summer and worked with an organization called Help The Youth. If you are interested in helping sponsor the students, please visit the following link and consider donating. Unfortunately, without our help, many and nearly all of the students who belong to Help The Youth would be unable to attend school. Please consider donating and help change the life these amazing students that are near and dear to my heart.

http://www.gofundme.com/youthhaiti