January and February were crazy travel months with my travel season wrapping up. I get to travel throughout east TN and of course snuck in a trip to see my Grandma and cousins. I also got to travel to Atlanta for about a week to attend a National College Fair and visit local high schools. The best part of the trip was getting to stay with my good friend Chase since he lives in Atlanta. It was nice to get to stay with a friend instead of a hotel. March quickly approached and that meant it was time for SROW!! SROW stands for the Southern Regional Orientation Workshop. This conference hosts college orientation leaders from all over the southern region and this year the University of Memphis was hosting the conference. We had close to 2,000 college students on our campus. For all of my TASC and cheerleader friends, it is a lot like camp! I was chosen to lead the service project for the conference and we decided to collect school supplies for some of the inner-city Memphis schools. Of course once Mom and Dad heard about the conference they had to come as well! Daddy was especially excited about a t-shirt swap that is held, I lost count of how many different college shirts he got. At the end of the weekend, we had collected over 15,000 school supplies!!! I was AMAZED. It was so cool to see college students so devoted to a cause, yes there was a prize for the school who brought the most but it was still cool. Just to give you an idea we collected:
Over 700 reams of copy paper, over 1,000 backpacks, over 3,000 boxes of crayons, almost 2,000 bottles of glue, and many other classroom items.
Here is what the collection room looked like:
|It was a little insane!!!|
|Dad has started this no smile thing, weird. They had a blast though!|
SROW made me think of one of my favorite quotes, "Life's most persistent and urgent questions is, 'What are you doing for others?'" - Martin Luther King, Jr.
After SROW, I found out that my old boss got a new job at the University of Memphis. Lofton was my boss when I was a student telecouselor at the UofM. I worked there for about 2 and a half years. Lofton is the best boss for any college student. He is extremely laid back and understanding. He would always let me leave early on Fridays so that I could head back to Middle TN early and not have to drive in the dark. Then of course Micky started working there as well. Lofton truly deserves an award for serving as our own personal therapist on many occasions. He is a great listener and for all of you that know me, you know I could talk to a brick wall. Lofton is now the assistant director of scholarships for the UofM, so a lot of his old student workers decided to through him a surprise party. It was nice to spend the evening celebrating Lofton, but also really nice to get to see some old college friends! We love you Lofton!!!
|Me, Lofton & Micky!|
I can't believe Micky is already a senior at the University of Memphis. During our time at the UofM, our sorority Alpha Gamma Delta has been truly a phenomenal experience. It was truly special to be a part of such a strong sisterhood, but also getting to share that with my biological sister. When the seniors go alum in AGD, the chapter puts on a special program for all of the seniors. Each senior has two members speak for them and present them with their senior gift. It was very special hearing the girls speak for Micky and be reminded of the large impact she not only had on the chapter, but also the impact AGD had on Micky.
|Micky & Coop|
|Looking through the book I made her!|
|Micky, Lauren, Kirbi, & Holly|
|Micky & her little, Paige!|
|Micky & Sammi Jo|
|Paige, Micky & Micky's grand-little, Grace|
Senior year also means the end of the year program for Emerging Leaders. This program recognizes the seniors for their hard work throughout the four year program and they recognize each level's Emerging Leader of the Year. Micky was selected as one of the Senior Emerging Leaders of the Year! I am so extremely proud of all of her hard work through the program and all of the connections she has made. Emerging Leaders is also a very special program which means a lot to both of us (not just because it paid for school, even though that is really important!).
|Receiving her Memphis pin from Dr. Rosie Bingham|
|Emerging Leader of the Year award, presented by President Shirley Raines.|
|Micky & Dean Peterson|
|President Raines, Micky, & Dr. Bingham|
|It is truly an honor to know both of these women. These women have done such an amazing job at the University and are two women that I strive to be more like everyday.|
|Shelbyville kids!! We love our brother Daniel!|
|Micky, John, Matt, Justin Lawhead (he is in charge of the EL program), Brianna, & Ashley. All EL seniors!|
Graduation was quickly approaching and I was so excited because my little sis, Erin, was graduating from the UofM! Erin accepted a job with the PPI group which contracts with Cruise Lines to present workshops on the jewelry shops at each port. This job was perfect for Erin! She is currently working on the Alaskan Cruise Line and is really enjoying it! Her graduation party was so much fun and served as a great going away party. I miss my partner in crime so much, but I know this is a great adventure for her!
|Erin with my graduation gifts!|
|My wonderful, loving second family! Mrs. Stephanie, Erin, & Mr. Scott|
|The girls! Rebecca, Me, Stephanie, & Erin!|
Springtime means GRIZZ time as well! The Grizzlies advanced to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in history and it was truly an amazing time to be a Memphian. I was lucky enough to get tickets to one of the games with my friend Anna Claire and her fiance, Blake! Even though the Grizzlies didn't win that series, we are so proud of how far they made it!
It was such a great semester and I can't wait to see what all this summer has in store!