The senior-level class, Leading People and Projects (MGMT 411), provides a semester-long project for business students called Strive to Thrive Lincoln, helping them gain knowledge of philanthropy in the Lincoln community. Students receive hands-on experience focusing on what it takes to manage a grant proposal process which ultimately awards $10,000 to local non-profits made possible through a gift by Rhonda Seacrest. Students also volunteer their service on outreach projects. As part of the class team structure, the social media team is updating the Strive to Thrive Lincoln student blog. Students will compose regular updates outlining their experiences from week-to-week as they go through the grant proposal process.
We are the social media team of the class and will be creating weekly content in the form of Instagram
, and this student blog. Our team consists of six members; Ashley Richters a senior marketing major from Aurora, Nebraska; Toby Boyer a senior management major from Forest Lake, Minnesota; Bailey Charling a junior marketing major from Oakland, Nebraska; Connor McManigal a senior management major from Fremont, Nebraska; Catelyn Orel a senior management major from Blue Springs, Missouri; and Madi Dangerfield a management major from Grand Forks, North Dakota.
2-22-19 - Working in Groups/Last Day for Applications
As far as class for this week goes, it was a little different since we had a snow day on Wednesday (yay!). Monday, we focused on the functionality of working in groups and how to better work as a group. In class, we split up into our task groups and finalized our schedules for the semester. The goal of this was to ensure each group is more organized and each member of the group has an assigned role and on the same age. Dr. Messersmith also had us do a fun exercise to reiterate why learning to groups is so important. She went around the room and split our task groups randomly into smaller groups, some groups of only one person, some two or three and some were even just told to work as their entire group of six. She then handed us a numbered sheet of paper and told us to come up with as many words as we could with the letter “k” in the middle. The hard part was the letter had to be exactly in the middle, for example, we could use the word “baker” but not the word “bake.” We had about two minutes to do this exercise and we found that for the majority of the class the groups that had more people were able to come up with more words. This just reinforced what we have been learning throughout this semester and the importance of working in groups and how doing it well can help us be more successful now and in the future.
Many students completed their service projects this past week. Students went to the People’s City Mission, Matt Talbot Center and Tabitha Foundation (Meals on Wheels) thus far. Each class member has been positively affected by their visits and has now seen how these organizations are impacting the community of Lincoln in so many different ways. We’re looking forward to hearing about the rest of the service projects!
To wrap this up, today is the final day for Lincoln/Lancaster County nonprofits to apply for the Strive to Thrive grant. We’ve been anxiously awaiting this day for weeks. Once applications close today at 5 p.m., the class evaluation team will begin their task of helping the 411 class members review applications. Next week we will start class discussions and debate to narrow down the applications to decide where we want to send the $10,000.
2-17-19 - Learning About Service
This week was all about perspective. We gained some insight perspective from the past grant recipients who spoke to our class on Monday. They spoke about what they thought of the awards ceremony and what they plan to do with the earnings they received from last semester’s Lincoln Strive to Thrive grant. They also answered some valuable questions from multiple task groups ranging from informing the finalists who could possibly win the grant to what each of their organizations does and what impact they have made on the community.
We also went over an article that covered the differences between serving, helping and fixing. To the average person reading this blog those words may all coincide for you, however, our class has learned differently. This article called "The Service of Life" by Rachel Naomi Remen redefined all of these terms for us. Serving is different from both helping and fixing. Helping often implies that you are doing someone a favor or there is an expectation of return on the other side. When we fix something or someone we are viewing that person as less than or broken. The issue with this is that creates an unsaid barrier between you and the person where there is no real relationship involved which only creates a posture of inequality. Our class is focused on serving. Serving in a way that we see no differences or brokenness, but only the opportunity to give with no expectation in return. This is the mindset we want to have going into each of our service projects in the upcoming weeks, an attitude of equality and a posture of servitude. After kicking off a few service projects already at People City Mission, our class is looking forward to the three service projects coming up and gaining even newer perspectives learned in the process.
2-11-19 - Reaching Out to Non-Profits
This week was all about learning to work effectively and efficiently in our 411 teams. We spent a good portion of Monday in our task groups discussing our Gallup Clifton strengths and learning how to use them to our advantage. Regan Burnham, a Clifton strengths coach, spoke to the class more in-depth about strengths and their meanings and initiated discussion among teams on how we can use our strengths to enhance our group experience throughout this semester. Students were given several handouts to assess group communication skills thus far, which helped us find ways to be the most successful while working with one another. One handout asked questions regarding past experiences in group projects, our positions within groups, how we felt our team has performed and areas we want to progress. The other handout compared our team members’ strengths where it showed us our strong areas and others that might be lacking in four categories: executing, influencing, relationship building and strategic thinking. Every team then decided upon rules that would govern our teams for the rest of the semester. We signed these contracts as promises to each other to abide by the new rules. At the end of class, students signed up for volunteer opportunities organized by the service project team.
Wednesday, we discussed the difference between charities and philanthropies. The social media team presented to the class about the importance of creating awareness for Strive to Thrive in the community and reaching different nonprofits so they know about our grant opportunity. We also encouraged students to reach out to nonprofits that they are passionate about to encourage them to apply. Also this week, students are finishing up their NPO interviews. We were given the assignment to interview a nonprofit of our choice in the Lincoln community to understand the behind-the-scenes of an NPO. Over 50 nonprofits were interviewed by a 411 class member. This has been a great avenue for our class to learn more about different nonprofit organizations, promote what we are doing and get the word out about the grant opportunity.
To end this week's blog post, we would like to announce that we received our first official application for our grant! If there is a nonprofit that you feel passionate about and believe fits our mission statement, please let them know that applications are live and waiting for submissions! We can’t wait to see future applications!
2-4-19 - Our Class Mission
This was a busy week for our Strive to Thrive class! We started the week out with another amazing guest speaker named Lori Seibel. Seibel is the current president and CEO of Community Health Endowment of Lincoln (CHE). As she spoke to us it was easy to see how passionate she is about the health of our community and what CHE is currently doing to serve that. CHE goes much deeper than just the surface health needs. They look beyond just physical issues that are apparent but look at a system called “ACEs” that measure the adversity that someone has faced throughout their lives. Our class learned how important and related ACEs are to someone’s physical and mental health which ended up having a large impact on what we wanted our entire mission to be about.
It was a heated class period on Wednesday, as we started discussing and debating ideas about our mission statement for the semester. Fifty-one students with different passions, pasts, and personal experiences worked together to agree on a mission statement that would determine what nonprofit organizations would be able to apply for our grant. Safe to say, it was not a walk in the park. We were editing the statement as we were walking out of the class; it took nearly an hour and a half for us to finalize it.
With that being said, here it is! Our 2019 Spring semester mission statement. Saying we are beyond excited to introduce this to the public would be an understatement. Every team (publicity, site visits, class evaluation, etc.) in the class has been working hard to guarantee a successful semester. We are looking forward to beginning the application process and hearing from all of the amazing NPOs in the Lincoln/Lancaster County area.
Class Mission: Strive to Thrive Lincoln provides Nebraska Business students in the Management 411 class with the opportunity to grant funds to organizations that empower City of Lincoln/Lancaster County families by proactively connecting them to resources that help improve health and/or stability.
And we’re off! Our class, Leading People and Projects or as the project is called, Strive to Thrive Lincoln, has officially kicked off and we are so excited to see what this semester holds! What makes this class so unique is that we have the opportunity of awarding $10,000 to local non-profits here in Lincoln that has been generously donated by Rhonda Seacrest. Throughout the semester our class also gets the chance to visit local non-profits, volunteer for service projects and ultimately facilitate the decision-making process for where the grant money will go to.
This past week we had a guest speaker, Bryan Seck, come to our class to help educate us on what to look for in a non-profit organization and also on the many reasons behind poverty and other local social issues that Lincoln faces. Seck is the Director of Workforce Development for Prosper Lincoln and has such a passion for helping the local community and educating others on how to better their current situation. Our class learned so much from him and we plan on implementing our new knowledge going forward this semester.