Leadership

#Eureka - Passion Rally

I met Lamarr Womble five years ago when we worked together at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. We immediately connected over our shared interest of leadership. At that time Lamarr had just started his organization, Passion for Leadership which is still going strong. He started it as a platform for his motivational speaking to encourage students to identify and follow their passion. Check out his website which connects to all of his social media which I encourage you to follow. The website also features his speaking team, many of whom I have worked with and know - all amazing people.

Lamarr currently lives in New York City where is a Dream Director at a school. Doesn’t that sound like the coolest job ever? Check out more about the Future Project , I love reading the stories and the videos on the site. One of my favorite  is this video featuring Lamarr and his high five Fridays.

From his work at the future project Lamarr had the idea to organize a passion pep rally for the students of Omaha. Lamarr brought in a few of his friends, including me to help. We called the passion pep rally the Omaha Student Take Over. We gathered in downtown Omaha and got everyone pumped with t-shirts that read #PassionNation, chants, performances from a percussion group, and students giving motivational message. Then we took to the streets. We spilt up into groups and asked people downtown if they had ever been asked about their passion for our Passion Tally. 52% of the people asked said that no one had ever asked them what their passion was! We had people write on white boards what their passion was, took their photos, and uploaded it to a website. In our parade of passion with our signs and drums, we also passed out the definitions of the words passion. After our street mission we met up and marched down to the public library to discuss what Omaha as a city could do to support the students better. The students developed a list to present to the Chamber and then some of the students shared their passions, some even performed! We had speakers, dancers, photographers, beat boxers, and even a spoken word artist. It was amazing and incredible to see how energized and happy the students were when engaged in their passion.

Interestingly, while Lamarr was the brain behind this plan, he found out at the last minute he could not make it because he had to go speak in another city. We all wanted to make him proud and I think we did and the event was a success. We want to keep doing this event and have it grow bigger each year. I am honored that Bennett and I were able to be a part of it!

We were the leading news story in Omaha. Here is the news segment  (if it doesn't load on your device here is the link to view it) and photos from my iPhone.

That's My Jam - Coursera

I am finally at a point where I am thinking about what I will do after graduation. As strange as it sounds, when graduation comes there will be a piece of me that is empty. It will be the first time that I will not be in school. Sure I have had summer breaks here and there without classes but I have always had big projects, internships, or research  looming over my head that I worked on. I have been going to college for the last 10 years since I graduated high school in 2004. This will be my fourth college degree. When I think about it, it is a little insane (mostly because of how much that costs).

Because I know I will miss classes, I have actually looked into enrolling in some community college classes for web design. But it seems ridiculous to continue to pay for any classes with the amount of student debt Bennett and I have accumulated.

Enter Coursera. . .

I had heard about Coursera when it first launched in 2012 but didn't think to look into since I had enough classes on my plate at the time. It is one of those things that has come up in conversation with a few friends lately and I decided to try it out.  Coursera is a for profit organization that was started by two Stanford professors. It offers online classes for free from one of the 100 something academic institutions it partners with. You can also pay to take some classes for college credit or to earn a certificate. The classes have video lectures, multiple choice tests, and discussion boards. Some writing assessments also have a peer grading system. If you take the class for free you can choose to participate as little or as much as you want.

I am currently taking a class called "Whats Your Big Idea?" from Buck Goldstein and Holden Thorp by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill & Washington University in St. Louis.  It is about a systematic process to develop an idea and how to be an entrepreneur. It started a few weeks ago but you can join in now and catch up if you are interested as I know a few of my readers may be.  Here is a link to the description of the course.  I also signed up for a creative problem solving class that starts soon. Here is the link to the description of that course.  Intro videos to these courses are below, I would love for others to take it so we can discuss together. Check it out!

Intro Video to What's Your Big Idea class

Intro video to Creative Problem Solving class

Monday Musing - Nelson Mandela

My heart dropped when the news alert on my phone said that Nelson Mandela passed away this last week. In honor of his life, I wanted to share three of my favorite quotes from him.

I have been referring to this quote all through my doctoral program. Most recently, I have been reciting this to myself as I work on my dissertation.

I have been referring to this quote all through my doctoral program. Most recently, I have been reciting this to myself as I work on my dissertation.

My biggest fear is living a life less than what I am capable of living.

My biggest fear is living a life less than what I am capable of living.

I always have looked to this quote as inspiration through my quarter life crisis when thinking about what I should do for a living.

I always have looked to this quote as inspiration through my quarter life crisis when thinking about what I should do for a living.