Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Free Hugs

There are points in our lives where we have those “moments of truth” and LeaderShape was my first “moment of truth.” It was where I decided to pursue my passion and develop a vision whole-heartedly. Since that day, everyday has been Day 7. I attended LeaderShape in 2011 and I have been working towards making a positive impact on the community and also a change in the world around me.

At LeaderShape
At the beginning of the summer I worked a program through Central Michigan University called Leadership Camp. Leadership Camp is a phenomenal program for which I was a facilitator. It is a camp for incoming freshman to come and learn about how to make a difference using the Social Change Model. Along with twenty-three other staff members, we were able to make a positive impact on the lives of many students. For me, this was my first experience with having campers and I must say that it was tremendous! Being apart of Leadership camp was amazing because many of the values of LeaderShape were present and I was able to gain a new perspective and build new relationships. Although it was a different experience it reminded me of LeaderShape.

LeaderShape was the beginning of my adventure to make a change in the world and this summer I’ll be taking another step towards reaching it. I am going to be working with CMU’s Leadership Institute but also doing some traveling to give free hugs and make a difference in simple lasting ways. I will be traveling to Kentucky, Texas, Boston and a few other places along the way over the next few months.

LeaderShape was such an influential time for me. Before LeaderShape, I had a plan to make a difference but after LeaderShape, it became a reality. That week helped me develop the passion I needed, the faith that I can make a difference and the ability to go out and be the difference everyday!

There are times when I give free hugs and pass out small messages of encouraging and kind words. It has really become a staple in what I do. It is a simple message of being comfortable with being uncomfortable and love for everyone. Along with giving free hugs I do a “24 hour free hugs” when I attended Relay 4 Life Programs. I included the photo of the Leadership Camp Staff because they have been such a great influence and encouragement to me. It was such a tremendous experience. The other photo with the painting is from my excursion to find more we and less me on campuses. My friend and mentor Jesi Parker lives out her LeaderShape Vision through her art. She paints them and donates all profits to the LIVESTRONG Organization. I’ve left the description for the photo with my LeaderShape shirt on because it is a very fond memory and reminder that everyday is Day 7 and that you have to live and love what you do.  I’ve shared those photos with LeaderShape because it is apart of who I am and how I live my passion out daily.

Free Hugs after an exam
Leadership Camp

24 hours of Free Hugs at Relay 4 Life

Less me and more we

Vincent Thurman
LeaderShape 2011 Grad
Central Michigan University

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