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Tag: philanthropy

Do what you love and you will never have to work a day in your life

I love what I do, and I feel really grateful that I can say that. That thought made me think even more about why it is I am yet to dread anything I do and unlike a lot of people I do not have any miserable tasks hanging over my head. This is an “explore as you write” kind of blog-post where I just threw a random thought or feeling onto my laptop screen and at this point I do not even know where I am going with this.

Is it that I find the silver lining in everything? Is it that I am too easily entertained? (I would put my money on that.) Or is it that I coincidentally have a knack for everything I do? (I would NOT put any money on that- at all.) Continue reading “Do what you love and you will never have to work a day in your life”

Getting your “phil”

Advice I often find myself giving to prospective students usually runs along the lines of encouraging further exploration and cultivation of passions you already possess. Simply because you are re-planting yourself in a different environment does not mean you should uproot all of the things you’ve grown to love. After first being introduced to the concept of philanthropy through a high school Student Council fundraiser, I developed a deep connection and knew it was going to be an important part of my life for years to come. As soon as I left the comfort of my home community and stepped foot on campus, I began to discover the plethora of opportunities to get involved with philanthropic organizations at K-State.

For those who may not be entirely familiar with philanthropy, I think it can be simply defined as the act of using your unique strengths and talents to help others. Sounds like fun, huh? Here’s some awesome, on-campus outlets for your philanthropic passion:

    breakdown: Student Foundation members serve as ambassadors of philanthropy for the entire University. They work closely with donors who give to K-State, and work to promote a general attitude of philanthropy about our campus. Fun fact: Student Foundation also hosts K-State Proud, a student-ran philanthropic campaign that has raised over $650,000 to help keep fellow Wildcats who are struggling financially on campus. NEAT-O, RIGHT?
    website: http://www.found.ksu.edu/student-foundation/
    website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/K-State-Proud/110300745700043 
    (Hey, that girl looks kinda familiar! This was a short spot that was actually played at a home football game to a crowd of 50,000. My very short and sweet 15 minutes of fame, guys.)
    breakdown: Relay For Life, a national philanthropy dedicated to raising funds for the American Cancer Society, is an incredible event that you may have even participated in before in your hometown. Our RFL crew at K-State have a blast planning different events throughout the year, and throw one heck of a party on the night of the actual Relay which is at our Memorial Stadium.
    website: https://www.facebook.com/RFLofKSU
    breakdown: Each and every fraternity and sorority at K-State holds philanthropy events for various causes. As a member of the Greek community, I have been able to become the philanthropy chair of my chapter and get to plan events for the entire Greek, K-State, and Manhattan communities to take part in. Whether you aspire to become the philanthropy chair or simply wish to volunteer, Greek life offers tons of incredible opportunities to get in touch with your inner philanthropist.
    website: http://www.k-state.edu/greek/index.html

At the end of the day, it’s always best to fill the cups of others. While you’re at it, why not “phil” yours too by doing a little philanthropy work?

xoxo, ellen

Wrapping Up The Year

As another semester quickly comes to an end, it’s important to reflect on both the highs and the lows.  It’s been a great semester and an incredible Sophomore year all together.  I can’t believe that I’m almost halfway done with college; it’s so surreal!  I sound like a parent or something, but I feel like it was just yesterday when I was at Summer Orientation enrolling in classes for my Freshman year.  Time flies by so fast in college; it’s as if I just blinked and two years have gone by!  There’s been ups and downs throughout my time at K-State, but I’ve got three important things I’ve learned from them that might help you out:

1. Enjoy your time in college, but try to balance fun and school work.  It’s easy to get caught up in all of the fun things that K-State has to offer; it’s important to remember why you are here though.  Getting all your responsibilities and schoolwork taken care of should always come first, but don’t forget to reward yourself for accomplishing your work.  Too much fun can lead to poor academic performance, and too much work can drive you crazy!  Finding the balance that’s right for you is a key to success in college.

2. You’re not alone — there are over 24,000 students here at K-State, and that means that there’s got to be people here that are going through the same thing you are.  Whether you’re stressed about a class, trying to find someone to talk to, or trying to get involved with something, there’s resources out there available to you.  The teachers, faculty, and K-State student body as a whole are collectively the best bunch of people you’ll ever meet.  The community here is unlike anywhere else, and everyone here truly cares about your well-being.  Joining a fraternity or sorority is a great way to become instantly plugged in to K-State and a guaranteed way to find people with similar interests to your own!

3. Get involved!  Academics are the reason you’re in college, but involvement is what really makes your experience meaningful.  It doesn’t matter what you get involved in either!  There are literally hundreds of student organizations you can become a part of, and there’s something out there for everyone.  Whether it’s a leadership role in your house or residence hall, joining the Sky-Diving Club or the Harry Potter Alliance on campus, playing intramural sports, or anything else, you’ll never regret trying something out.  It’s important not to get too involved and become over-committed (like how I feel sometimes), because that can really burn you out and interfere with your academic performance.  However, my college experience has been truly fulfilling so far largely due to the organizations I’ve been a part of.

I hope you find those tips helpful in your future or current college endeavors!  I should probably catch you all up on what’s been going on with my life too.  Since my last post I’ve finalized my schedule for next semester, continued training for my teaching position, completed the Professional Advantage Program for the year by attending some really interesting lectures, assisted with our new philanthropy – Miss K-State (we raised over $3500 for the Global Service Initiative!), got an A on a Finance 450 test(!!!!!), saw my fraternity brother perform at Sunset Revival and went to a sorority formal in the same night, attended the Spring Football Game (Jake Waters v. Daniel Sams), and started and selected members for the new Honors Ambassadors Program.  It’s been so busy but so fun too!  This week is dead week, and I think it might actually be pretty dead for me for once.  The week after this is Finals Week, and then it’s Summer Break!  I might be staying in Manhattan for part of the Summer, but I’m not sure yet.  Be sure to check back; I’m going to post a picture of the girl I helped with Miss K-State and myself!

Philanthropy: More Than a Word

Merriam-Webster defines “philanthropy” as “goodwill to members of the human race,” but to be honest, I had no idea what the word meant before I came to college. A few years later, I find my weekly schedule chocked full of various philanthropies, some campus-wide and others put on by individual Greek organizations. One thing ties all these events together–the proceeds go to various local and national charities working to assist individuals all around the world.

On Monday night, my fraternity held our biggest philanthropy event, a pancake feed called “Philanthrocakes.” This time, the proceeds went to SWIPE Out Hunger, a campaign each fall to raise money to send packaged meals to the starving and malnourished populations in northeast Africa. Through the event we were able to serve pancakes to hundreds of people and raise over $1200! Philanthrocakes is an example of an idea that started off small and through the years, has grown into something much larger–it’s now one of the biggest nights of the year for my fraternity.

Philanthropies aren’t just held by Greek organizations though–K-State’s largest philanthropy, K-State PROUD, is put on each year by a group called Student Foundation. This year, my friend Kyle Reynolds (blogs.k-state.edu/kyle) is serving as one of the co-chairs of the campaign, and he’s already busy getting the word out about the philanthropy this year. The idea behind PROUD is simple: students donate money, receive a free t-shirt, and the proceeds go toward Student Opportunity Awards to assist students at K-State who are struggling financially. It’s the ultimate example of students helping students.

What’s the bottom line? The philanthropic spirit dominates K-State. We’re committed to helping people, whether they’re a fellow student in Manhattan or half a world away in Africa. Philanthropies bring K-State students together, are a lot of fun, and provide leadership and service experience for all those involved. I’m convinced that this spirit of giving is what sets K-State apart from other schools and makes us unique–that much is evident from a simple visit to campus!


Life’s Good!

Just got back to Manhattan yesterday, and it’s great to be back!  I went skiing in Colorado for a few days and then relaxed in Kansas City for the rest of Spring Break.  Before I left for break, I was elected to be this year’s Silver Key Vice President.  I’m really excited about this opportunity, and it’s looking like I’m going to have another busy year ahead of me.  We’ve already had an Exec Board meeting for Silver Key, and we have our first actual meeting run by the new Exec members tonight!  Wish me luck…  I’ve still been applying for other positions, scholarships, advisory boards, etc.  If I fill out one more application, I might explode!  I’ve been keeping busy with philanthropy chairman duties in my fraternity, long range planning, and schoolwork.  I applied for the new Executive Mentor Program with the College of Business, and I can’t wait to find out who my mentor will be.  This is a really cool program that matches a student with an alumni from K-State with similar interests and majors to help with the student’s college and career planning.  I’ve heard great things about the program, and there’s even a chance that you could be matched with the CEO of Hershey’s!  Think about all the chocolate!!

I came into K-State with almost 30 credit hours from a local community college.  All of those credits, along with some helpful advice from my Business Advisor, are going to make it possible for me to graduate K-State in five years.  That doesn’t make any sense right? Wrong… In those five years, I’ll be able to acquire a Minor in Leadership Studies, a Dual-Major in Accounting and Management, and a Master’s Degree in Accounting.  I have no idea what I’m going to do after all that, but hopefully between my Executive Mentor and my diverse studies and qualifications, I’ll be able to find a great job once I graduate.  Plus, I’d get to hang around Manhattan for an extra year which would be amazing!

Making an Impact: K-State Proud

K-State Proud is a student led philanthropic campaign on the K-State campus. The money raised allows students that are at risk of leaving K-State because of financial situations to stay on campus. This amazing task is done mainly through student donations.

Through my involvement in this campaign, I have had the opportunity to help decide what students receive the K-State Proud Awards. Over this semester, K-State Proud has awarded 32 students a K-State Proud Award. The total amount awarded is $41,829.42. These awards have helped keep students at K-State and on track to accomplish their goals.

K-State Proud also looks to recognize the outstanding leaders on the K-State campus that aren’t always getting noticed or the leaders that are helping out in the community without wanting attention. K-State Proud recognizes these students with the K-State Hero Award. This $500 award goes to 5 students each semester. Students are nominated by their peers, professors, or community members for the Hero Award.

The K-State Proud campaign gives life to the phrase “K-State Family.” Students donate a minimum of $10 to receive a K-State Proud t-shirt. These donations form Student Opportunity Awards that keep K-State students on campus.

My involvement with the K-State Proud campaign has been the most rewarding experience I have had at K-State. Recently I received an email explaining how much the K-State Proud Award changed a student’s life:

“My sense of the meaning of community has changed profoundly.  When I was on the verge of losing access to higher education, it was my fellow wildcats who gave me the help I needed to pull through a difficult time in my life.  We are a community as much as we are a university, and it is a community to which I feel a great sense of gratitude.  I will be thinking to myself, when I graduate this May, that I have made it in large part because I had a community behind me.  We are a community – a true wildcat “nation”, a nation to whom I will always continue to belong (as alumni), and continue to give back.”

Receiving an email like that reminds me how important K-State Proud is and the impact it has on K-State students.

If you know a current K-State student that is in need of a K-State Proud Award or a K-State student that would be a great K-State Hero, nominate them today.


Life Doesn’t Slow Down!

Where to begin?! It’s been a while since my last post because I literally haven’t stopped being busy for the past two straight weeks.  I was in Stillwater last weekend for the heart-breaking loss the Cats suffered, but I was also in the front row at our 4 overtime thrilling victory this weekend!  We had our annual philanthropy, The Pancake Feed, this past Friday.  It was a great success!  We served 350 people delicious pancakes, and we raised over $1,400 for the Manhattan Boys and Girls Club.  After the game on Saturday, we had a dinner with the alumni of our house.  The current members were there, along with classes from over 50 years ago and everywhere in between.  It was a really great chance to meet some of my fraternity brothers!  Today, I helped rake leaves for a community service project with my Honors Class.  We raked for older people in Manhattan that couldn’t do it themselves, and it was a great feeling to see how happy we made them!

I’ve had tests, quizzes and papers out the wazoo recently, and I’ve got another four tests this week before Thanksgiving Break…  It’s going to be a long week, I can already tell.  I’ll be heading back to Kansas City on Thursday afternoon for a week long break!  I can’t wait to see my family, my dog, and my high school friends; I also can’t wait to catch up on some of the sleep I’ve been missing the past few weeks.  Wish me luck on getting through this week though!



Here’s a picture of my cousin and I standing outside Oklahoma State’s football stadium!

My Weekend

I had such a great weekend!  Friday night was our first date party, and it was tons of fun!  Saturday, I got the opportunity to go to an amazing seminar regarding diversity in leadership.  Dr. Cullen put on an incredible show and taught me more than I had ever learned on a Saturday!

Have you ever literally been covered in mud from head-to-toe?  Me either… Until this past Sunday when a sorority at K-State held their annual philanthropy, the Mud Bowl!  Eleven other guys from my house and I took on various groups in a volleyball pit, filled with mud!  Although our teams didn’t do too well, it was still a ton of fun.  Every team paid an entry fee, and all the profits from the day went towards Alzheimer’s Research.  Here’s a picture of our team!

Mud Bowl.jpg