University of Michigan
Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it.
100 - 300 words
(University of Michigan)
I quit keeping track of how many times I've said "Hi, welcome to Whitman!" after my first Back-to-School-Night. As a member of the Whitman Navigator team for three years, I've greeted a few hundred parents, oriented three classes of freshmen, and built lasting friendships with fellow Navigators and staff. Navigators are Whitman students who lead Freshman Orientation and Back-to-School-Night, as well as give tours to transfer students.
In this capacity, I've worked with our two principals, Dr. Goodwin (now retired) and Dr. Dodd, on building a more welcoming Whitman. The community I love best is that of my high school, Walt Whitman. My place is similar to that of a Walmart Greeter, in that I am the first person freshmen see when they enter the front door. Using my school spirit and three years' experience, I enthusiastically guide these freshmen through their first encounter with this large, and often intimidating, new community.
Last year, I received my first question that I couldn't answer. As a chorus student, my knowledge of the Fine Arts at Whitman is limited; when a freshman asked me about ceramics courses, I paused and pondered. Rather than providing her with false information, I said, "I actually couldn't tell you.
At the end of orientation, I'll refer you to Gianni, a Navigator who took ceramics last year." The closeness of the Navigator community meant that I knew the right person to answer her question. Here I was, answering the freshman's question in a position of authority, when only four years ago I was in her shoes. Navigators granted me the opportunity to help others acclimate to the school, and I developed leadership traits through which I could guide people successfully.