Monday, February 11, 2013

A Mother Can Brag, Right?

My oldest daughter "Word Girl" Has spent her life in what she saw as the shadows. I saw this amazing girl who quietly led. Ok, not so quietly as she is named Word Girl for a reason but.. While others strove for the limelight my girl would go about her business and others would follow. When in the 6th grade she found herself odd girl out, she met new people and formed a group of friends that others envied. Never one to shut anyone out she made sure no one was excluded. When a "mean girl" yep we all know they exist, crashed the party and somehow she found herself on the outside looking in on her own group of friends.. she cried a bit but started over and slowly built a new group of friends.. eventually her real friends realized what a mistake they made and my girl, being who she was forgave them and accepted them all back as the true friend she is.. When this same girl crashed again, she too was accepted and forgiven. Of course when she broke my girls heart a second time, I made sure everyone knew. Word Girl might forgive her but she was never welcome in my presence again. Not in my house, my car or any group I was involved in. Sorry, I am not as nice as my girl.

She never considered herself a leader. Both Blond Girl and PITA Boy had band with her in HS and both would comment on how everyone respected her. How even though she didn't have a "title" she was the one who ran the band.. what Word Girl suggested is usually what happened. 

Of course my girl never knew that she lead. She saw herself as just a girl.. who wanted to make sure everyone was included and no one was bullied or picked upon. She defended kids who she felt needed it, up to and including those who were bullied by teachers.. she didn't accept that anyone had the "right" to pick on another. This of course often got her into trouble. 

She was never that sweet little barbie girl.. she always voiced her opinion and in her world..there was good and there was bad, there was right and there was wrong, there was black and there was right... this caused her problems as early as preschool activities.. because in her mind NO ONE was exempt.. Rules were rules.

As a kinder-gardener when her father and I split up.. she over heard the principal telling her teacher how allowances had to be made for this child who was acting up because the parents were divorced.. My girl looked up at the two of them and said.. "my parents split up and my mom would kick my butt if I acted like that.." Since neither the teacher nor principle knew of my split they were astounded. But in a way my girl said it all.. There are reasons but no excuses.. everyone should be expected to behave by the rules.

I say this because she amazes me.. 

With a note saying I couldn't share yet.. believe me this was the hardest thing I have ever done since I was so very, very proud of her!! But I kept my mouth shut.. She told me I could finally share it since she was awarded this award.. 

For those of you who don't have PDF.. I posted the basics below.. I Left out he Reference Letters AND I couldn't get the pictures from the PDF file.. 

“Slow and steady wins the race“

Carlene Verstraete Outstanding Service Award
IRHA 2013

“Slow and steady  wins the race“

“Frankie is truly a leader who works hard at everything she does. She puts aside her individual needs to always help  and assist others. She is 
what I call the producer behind the production of a success.“ 
-Cedricka Carver, Assistant Complex Director

“Frankie is a true example of a student leader. She inspires so many people to strive for their dreams regardless of how big they are. She is an inspiration to everyone that she comes in contact with.“
-Levi Campbell, NCC/ICC Inter-Hall Council

2010-2011 Freshman Year

Camp Leatherneck Attendee

Frankie started off her college career in a progressive way by attending Camp Leatherneck. This is a three day leadership retreat for incoming freshman who were looking to get involved on campus. That was exactly Frankie’s goal. Before the school year even officially commenced Frankie had the opportunity to interact with upperclassmen student leaders as well as 100 other incoming freshmen that had the same exact goal as her.  Even at Camp Leatherneck other student leaders and administrators began to see the leadership potential in Frankie, she was a shy girl who had tons of potential although she didn’t always see it in herself. 

Hall Government

Like any good student, Frankie got her start in hall government her freshman year. One ordinary Monday her RA stopped by her door and invited her to hall government and Frankie make the decision to attend the meeting and life hasn’t been the same since. Every Monday Frankie showed up and was always there to help and participate. The Executive Board knew they could always count on her face as a consistent support for the hall government as well as a knowledgeable voting member at any of the Legislation that came to the hall. Once again it was very apparent that Frankie was going to go on to big and amazing things.

Inter-Hall Council -Late Nights Chair

Also her freshman year Frankie decided to join in our Inter-Hall council; with that she was appointed the Late-Nights committee chair. The Late-Nights committee is a very important committee within Inter-Hall council because it does late night programming for students who want alternative ways to have fun outside of drinking and going out on our campus. It was a big deal that Frankie was the committee chair only as a freshman but nobody disputed it. The potential that Frankie showed even back at camp was now starting to blossom. With the help of her committee and two advisors Frankie 
successfully hosted numerous large-scale programming efforts for alternative nights out. These programs include, but are not limited to; Club Wetzel, Graffiti Dance Party, Insomniac Olympics, LateNight Bowling, and so many more.

“Ever since I have met Frankie, she has had the urge to get involved. She is involved in so many things on campus I can''''' not even count them all. Most people forget to recognize all of the work Frankie does at our school because she is not in a “higher up“ position. However, Frankie goes above and beyond in her duties and expectations on her committees because she is always willing to help other members, including the chair, with their tasks for the week. Frankie is thoroughly deserving of this award.“ 
-Katelyn Kott, Big Pink Volleyball Volunteer ChairGLACURH–bids -delegate (presented SALT)

It seems as if attending Hall Gov and being a part of InterHall Council would be enough for any normal leader’s plate, but Frankie was not a normal leader. Because she was such a quiet influence on campus she was able to 
juggle so much more than the average student.  So it comes as no surprise that she was also available to help out in our conference world as well. Frankie was selected to be a part of GLACURH delegation for the year 2010. 
On the delegation Frankie Immediately began about helping to create bids and spirit items. She was a part of the SALT Award presentation at the conference and she also excitedly attended many conference programs.  
Frankie was more than thrilled to bring the things that she learned at the regional conference back to campus. 

IRHA  -bids  -delegate/presenter

Because of Frankie’s dedicated, yet, subtle nature it came as no surprise that she was selected to attend the IRHA conference. Throughout the conference and conference prep, Frankie vigorously participated in the delegation as well as, helping to create and present bids at the conference. It is at IRHA 
that Frankie realized her love for not only residence halls, but student leadership within the residence halls and IRHA as well. Frankie 
showed the perfect example of true IRHA luv and she learned that love at the IRHA 2011 conference.

Top ten ways to start off with a bang your freshman year! 

Stuff the bus
Make a difference day ( sorted out Christmas lights for Wesley 
Homecoming participant for Tanner Hall
NACURH Delegate/Volunteer
Summer Assistant
Zoology Club 
Students Today Leaders Forever
Volunteer week ( flew kites with kids, Bingo at Wesley Village)
Participated in Take Back the Night
St. Baldrick’s Participant

“Frankie is the type of person who puts others needs before her own, she is the prime example of a leader. Frankie has shown outstanding service not only to our school but across the United States as a volunteer with the non profit organization Students Today Leaders Forever.... Frankie is a Leader Forever.“
     -Juan Guerrero, Regional Core STLFIHC Vice President

Her sophomore year Frankie decided to let her love show even more by joining the Inter-hall Council Executive Board as Vice President. As vice president she was in charge of all of the committees that functioned under Inter-hall Council. She held weekly one on ones with committee chairs and she gave them guidance on how to lead the committee and have effective programming. Frankie was especially useful because she was previously a committee chair and she knew exactly what they were going through. Under her reign as VP Frankie was able to accomplish so much with the committees including creating a brand-new committee and as well as restructuring already functioning committees.


As you might imagine Frankie’s commitment did not stop there. Frankie also attended the IRHA conference for her sophomore year. As a part of the delegation Frankie helped us write numerous bids and was a key success to so many of our bids winning at the state level. Frankie is always the type of  person that will assist in recognizing others and often times she goes over looked  and unrecognized herself because of the type of phenomenal leader she is.


Even though she couldn’t attend GLACURH 2011, Frankie helped us create bids and prepared the delegation for the conference. Frankie decided that she would not attend the conference and sacrificed her spot to an incoming student who hadn’t had the chance to attend GLACURH. This act was very 
commendable of Frankie and is all the more reason that she deserves an award such as this one. Her dedication did not go unrecognized though because Frankie was then selected to be a part of the NACURH 2012 delegation.


Frankie also realized her passion extended way past residence life and expanded to student leadership in general. She continued being a member of Students Today Leaders Forever (STLF) for the second year in a row, which is the alternative spring break trip that WIU participates in every year. Frankie was a very active member as she attended multiple tours including being guides for the Elgin High School and Denver K.I.P.P. schools as well as, 
attending the college tour. 

2011-2012 Sophomore Year 2012-2013 Junior Year

My Words Matter Committee

Frankie has always been the type of student that was more about getting things done. That is why it was perfectly in her character to be a part of a small group that initiated a program on campus entitled “My Words Matter.”  Within this program, a few Graduate students got together and recruited a few Undergraduates, Frankie being one of them, and hosted a Campus Wide 
program that urged students to be more aware of how words could be offensive or hurtful to certain groups of people. 

Second year, twice as big impact! 

Other things Frankie participated in this year was… 

Zoology Club
Homecoming Secretary
Stuff the Bus
Traveled to Mizzou to cheer on WIU Football
Bayliss and Henninger Hall Mud Volleyball 
Thompson Hall’s Big Pink Volleyball participant
LWG Hall Westerns Got Talent participant
Camp Leatherneck Leader
St. Baldrick’s participant
Desk Assistant
Summer Assistant

Inter-Hall Council- 

As a Junior, Frankie could have decided to take a break from all her student leadership activities but she chose not to. This year Frankie is still going strong as a part of Inter-Hall Council. She is a member of the Late-Nights Committee,  and she always offers her guidance and knowledge to the group whenever solicited. She attends IHC every Wednesday even though she is not required to do so.

IRHA Conference Staff

Frankie has a ridiculous amount of IRHA luv! So it should come as no surprise that she is a member of the IRHA 2013 conference staff. As the PR and 
Technology Chair, the team depends greatly on Frankie to maintain the website, Facebook page, and Twitter account. She is the pinnacle success 
to a lot of what we do with the conference group. Camp Leatherneck Leader
For the last two years, Frankie has been selected to be a Camp Leatherneck Leader. This is one of the most sought after leadership positions on campus 
and Frankie was fortunate enough to receive it because of her humble spirit and dedication to student leadership. Now as a Leatherneck Leader, 
she has the ability to provide opportunities to incoming freshmen the same opportunities she 

Third year and She’s still going strong was provided. 

STLF Bus Core
Stuff the bus
Chi omega
Variety Show Participant
Bid Captain
Desk assistant –captain
Fundraising team for Conservation Trip to Peru

“Frankie does a wonderful job as the Desk Captain in Higgins. She is very friendly to all of the students and employees, but more importantly, she does a great job of completing tasks or implementing processes on her own, with little to no direction. She is an awesome leader and rarely asks for attention in the spotlight. Similarly, I supervised her over the summer when she was a Summer Assistant, and she provided a wealth of experience and knowledge to her fellow SAs, helping them work through issues. Frankie is very competent and knowledgeable, and she truly cares about others.“
      - Joe Nixon, Higgins Hall Complex Directo

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