Alisha Lodewyk, a second year at Central Michigan University, is a tremendous leader
and advocate who has engaged in several projects and initiatives to educate and
improve the campus and local community. Some of Alisha's campus involvements
include being a part of the Lunch Buddies and America Counts and Reads programs
through the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center, serving as a representative to the
Student Government Association, and being a leader for the Speech Language Hearing
Club. Her academic passion for speech pathology translates into her work with at-risk
youth in the Mount Pleasant community. As an America Counts and Reads tutor, she
works with elementary school students, preparing them for success through
improvements to their reading and math skills. Additionally, she served as a wellness
advocate through the Lunch Buddies program, teaching students about critical life skills
related to nutrition and fitness. Alisha's leadership and advocacy has had a remarkable
impact on the community and she will continue to inspire, motivate, and encourage
others to be civically engaged in her future endeavors.
The most productive way to address the issue of children falling behind in school is to provide positive role models who interact directly with students. Having a positive role model is extremely valuable for any child, especially one that is underprivileged, at a intellectual disadvantage, etc. On my college campus, I became involved in a program that paired "at-risk" children in elementary schools with college students. In that program I spent every Friday of the year eating lunch with a second grader who brought to my attention the need for not only positive role models in impoverished areas, but also the importance of having a role model who emphasizes healthy eating habits, a love for learning, and a respect for others. The best way to help children succeed is to become involved in programs that allow you to directly role model behaviors for those children. This year I became an elementary school tutor through the America Counts and Reads program. By being a tutor, I am able to not only be a positive role model for young students, but also encourage a love for the subjects that lead to higher competency and receptive skills.