Week 5 Blog- Senator Adam Pugh

Senator Pugh discussed the importance of mentorship, hard work, servant leadership and civic engagement. Reflecting on conversations discussing how one sacrifices their opinion/ voice by not civically engaging and societies who do not have these opportunities, how will you be an active and engaged participant in your current and future communities? Additionally, what will continue to motivate you to engage when it is not convenient?


  • Brandon Hill

    Senator Pugh was very engaging with the class and gave an insight on the importance of being active in the community. First I believe you must pick a job that is your passion and do it to the best of your ability. If you are doing a job you enjoy this is contributing to society. But there are so many ways you can be an active member in the community. I have done multiple community service events with my church going to Moore after the tornado hit. Tearing down and rebuilding houses, organizing the food, clothes, and other items was apart of our duties. This gave me a sense of appreciation to know that i’m very fortunate for where I am today. For what motivates me is that i’m honoring god when I contribute. This is the kind of life I want to lead and I appreciate Senator Pugh for coming and talking to the class.

  • Lauren Hood

    Senator Pugh’s talk was incredible! He was genuine and seemed to not only be a great leader, but to have gotten there will great morals and having the true heart of a good man. His talk also inspired me to as I continue to grow up, stay engaged with my community. I will be an active and engaged participant in my community by participating as much as I can in voting, serving through the church and using my talents and passions to serve my community in my job, family, friends and other organizations. Wanting to do these things and delivering on them is very different. Obstacles will come. The way I will push through when it is not convenient is by remembering who I am and why I do it. This is just a personal conviction for me. Everyone has their own reasons and that’s such a great thing! For me, it is my love and thankfulness for all Jesus has done for me that makes me want to serve, love and participate in my community. We weren’t made to do life alone. For me, when I get tired of being the person I know I am, I remember why. Why it’s important to vote for what we believe has the good of the people at the forefront. Why it’s important to serve in our community. Why it’s important to serve in the church. When I realize how much I have been entrusted with and the life that I have, serving and engaging in the community is just an overflow!

  • Tianna Arreguin

    In my current and future communities I plan to get involved. There are multiple community events where volunteers are needed or there are also opportunities to create events as well. In my opinion, if you want change, you cannot just depend on others to change it for you. Your community has to be YOUR community. Help others within your community as you would want help for yourself in the hard times. Vote for what you feel is right and best reflects your values. Like Senator Pugh said, do what is right, not what is popular. Laziness is a disease that everybody has. It can be contagious and overwhelming. However, mentality can conquer laziness in order to stay engaged within the community. Even when times are tough and being involved may not be the easy path, you have to tell yourself that in the long run, it will be beneficial. Active engagement is similar to exercising. Going to the gym may not always be convenient, but it is healthy for your body. Being involved in the community can be difficult, but is healthy for your mind and you can then tell yourself that you did the best you could do to make your community the best environment.

  • Han Seth Lu

    I was impressed to find out how a child from a single parent like Senator Pugh was raised to be a successful man today. I also was impressed by his passion, consistency and determination of knocking doors for a year to talk to the community. As far as my opinion is concerned, every great things take times. And it worths working hard to get paid back. But this doesn’t mean every time. At the end, the belief we built and the choice we made will define us and of course, those things will also lead us not to give up even though we cannot even see what the future holds for us.

  • Jacob Thompson

    I was very impressed with Senator Pugh’s talk. It just goes to show that anyone with determination can overcome adversity and become successful in any aspect of life that they choose.

    I feel that I can become an active member of the UCO community through participation in various charitable events, such as, Little Event.

    On my own, I can get involved in volunteer opportunities with my church.

    As far as becoming an active member of the Oklahoma community after graduation, I know that no matter the career path I choose, I will
    do my job to the best of my ability.

  • Jacob Thompson

    My motivation is that I will be serving God through my actions. I have faced adversity in my life and it has made me realize that God has a plan for my life even when I can’t see it.

  • Ethan Bruegel

    My honest opinion gets expressed to others often, whether they like it or not. I take pride in respectfully debating and learning different points of view, so one who has no interest in his or her opinion being heard confuses me. Communities aren’t going to drag its citizens into activism. One must stand up for what he or she believes. Senator Pugh used the value of hard work by knocking on hundreds of doors to get his voice heard. I can definitely relate to this aspect, for I attribute my current position in LOT to my tremendous work ethic. With my narcissistic sense of pride as my driving force, I must channel my work ethic in order to ensure my voice isn’t lost in the crowd, and that I will make a change in this world.

  • Senator Pugh spoke on how leadership starts by serving your community. His beliefs seem to align with E. Cabell Brand in his book, “If Not Me, Then Who?”. Brand claims throughout his book on civil engagement that the key to great leadership is serving first in your local community. There are many ways I can serve my community. I serve at my church. I believe this is important, not only to make an impact on my community, but also to show Christ’s love. I also serve at my school. I work every day to find a way that I can serve my peers. I would also love to find a local homeless shelter to start serving in because I miss the one I served at in my hometown. I can also serve my community through my future job. No matter what it may be, I know that God will open doors for me to serve my coworkers and patrons. Serving in all of these areas can be extremely frustrating and time consuming, but I have found what motivates me in those times of doubt. In John 13, Jesus says, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them”. This verse shows me that even Jesus, the most powerful leader in the universe, serves others. As a Christian, I have devoted my life to be more like Him. Serving my community and those in need is simply one of the many ways I can live my life for Christ.

  • Brook Marshall

    Senator Pugh discussed many great points, and his stories kept me interested in what he was saying. He worked hard to become the man he is today and that encourages me to continue working hard toward my goals. When Senator Pugh mentioned the number of Edmond people that voted compared to the number that didn’t, I was floored. It made me want to participate in all elections available for me to vote in. In our country, many people express their opinions, but don’t vote. Without voting I am giving my right away as an American, and I am not fulfilling my duty as a citizen. As a citizen of the Edmond community I will continue to do community service, and actively vote. Thank you Senator Pugh for the time you spent with the UCO students. You have encouraged me to be more actively involved in everything my community does.

  • Madelynn Dancer

    Jose Ortega y Gasset once said, “The well-being of democracies regardless of their type and status is dependent on one small technical detail: The right to vote. Everything else is secondary.” I cannot stress enough how important and exciting it is for me to have the opportunity to vote. Many men and women have fought and died so that I could possess the freedom to vote. Hearing Senator Pugh share his previous experiences in societies who do not have a right to vote or exercise a free democracy made me extremely sad. Voting was the activity I most looked forward to on my 18th birthday. For me, being an engaged participant within my communities begins with the small step of being an informed voter. I also take many other steps to remain civically engaged. I take time to volunteer in my community, visit with others about their passions, research my local and national representatives, and reach out to my representatives personally to advocate on behalf of my beliefs. All of these activities are time consuming, but they are crucial in establishing a better world. When I feel I am too busy to be civically engaged, I reflect on all of the rights and opportunities I now possess because so many veterans believed in the importance of those rights. I also reflect on what members of other countries would sacrifice to have these same rights. I honestly do not believe Senator Pugh could have touched on a more significant topic.

  • First, I loved getting to hear Senator Pugh speak. He was very informative and I love how he was so interested in getting other people’s opinions. I feel that the biggest issue with voting and the younger generation is the lack of communication to our generation. Most millennials do not use the means of communication that our older members of the community use. I feel that to increase involvement we need to increase promotion targeted at the younger generation. I hope that this issue is improved and that we can fix this issue that he was speaking about. I plan to be involved by making an effort to become more informed and involved in my community. The privilege that we have is one that so many of us are used to, we forget how lucky we really are to have a say. I plan to pay more attention to the elections and when the voting dates are and in turn inform my peers.

  • Katelynn Patton

    I loved Senator Pugh’s speech. It was very inspiring to hear how he started out, and where he is now. Serving God is the most important part of my life, and I can easily apply it to how I serve my community. I am very involved at my church, and I volunteer there pretty often. When I volunteer and am involved at my church, it gives me a bigger voice than it would if I was not involved. I think this is true for the community in which one lives in as well. If one is very involved in their community and is serving very often, their community is very likely to listen to their opinions and ideas. I plan to not only be involved in my church, but to also be involved in the Edmond community. Volunteering at my church is not the only way I can serve God, and serving God means serving him in every area of my life, not just through my church. Volunteering through UCO, volunteering through other local organizations, and finding ways to give back such as donating to food drives are all great ways to be active in my community and to serve God, and I plan to be more active in these ways. When it gets hard to continue to be active in my community, the way I plan to persist in my involvement is by having commitments. It is easy to stop being engaged when you say, “I am going to be more involved in the future, but not right now.” When you make commitments, it is more difficult to stop being engaged because in addition to affecting your community, you are often disappointing yourself. It is also important to remind yourself of the impact you are making, because this is often the most motivating part of service.

  • Kyle Tangco

    One point that Senator Pugh addressed was that if you choose to work hard, do it at your maximum will. I was moved when he stated that, and it motivated me to put in more effort and passion towards my pursuits and goals the next time I choose to help the Edmond community. I love to work hard, and I try my best to get involved in and out of the UCO campus, signing up to help in community services, volunteer in my church, and even try to participate in clubs that UCO offers. One mistake that I’ve learned in my past was that I worried about being too busy and having too many activities in my plate. As a result, I got very bored and had soo much free time that I didn’t know how to use. Now, I desire to seek a challenge, not to be afraid of being busy, but rather, having faith that the work will pay off. And now that I am a member of Leaders of Tomorrow, BCM, and many organizations outside of the college campus, I look forward to the challenge I’m having, because I believe that this is will not only increase my productivity but it will forge my sense of determination to be stronger as a leader; committing in places that I choose to serve in with great drive. Off course it may get exhausting, but this is where I have to look back on what I have declared to achieve. So I list of all of my goals in my phone, short and long term, to keep myself in track of my purposes so I don’t have to falter from what is to be achieved in the long run.

    • Angelique Jois Alog

      The one thing Senator Pugh said that stood out to me the most is, “I’m not supposed to be successful.” He said it was because he was supposed to be another statistic, considering that he grew up poor with only his mom to raise him. I very much related to that since my mom is also a single parent and due to us moving here from another country, we are also living paycheck to paycheck. His talk wasn’t just inspiring, it was also reassuring. He reassured me that I am capable of being the first person in my family to graduate college in America. He also mentioned that in every situation, there are “two possible outcomes, success or learning… hopefully both.” I’ve always been an advocate of appreciating progress as much as enjoying success. In my community, I plan reminding the people in my community of all the things they’re capable of doing and how important they are as individuals. I would like to help them look forward into the future by caring for them enough that they will always remember that everything will be alright. Lastly, I am blessed to be the oldest female out of about 25 cousins, and they will continue to make me strive to make this world a better place. I don’t want them to struggle as much as I did. I want them to have things to look forward to. Nothing will get in the way of me making sure my family lives a good life, regardless of how inconvenient or uncomfortable things may get.

  • Morgan Tarpley

    Senator Pugh was very engaging and relatable. He expanded on different things such as, leadership, politics, and personal development. However, Senator Pugh spoke heavily on how our upcoming generation needs to step up and become involved in the decisions within their community. I completely agree, the future can not only be in the hands of a select few. Every individual should get to the point where they can willingly express their voice and thoughts. Personally, it’s hard for me to come to that focus of “expressing myself” but, Senator Pugh has definitely encouraged me to look more into what’s going on around me and how I can contribute.

  • Joshua Layton

    I plan on being more engaged in my community in every aspect. For a lot of my life, I haven’t done the best at being a part of my community. However, from now on, I hope to change that. In this next year of my life I plan on registering to vote and wielding that fresh sword in every direction I can. I will make sure to share my opinion in the community. Not only will I vote, but I will help out the community by volunteering. If I directly help people and vote for what is best for them, I can do the best I can at making the world a better place. My biggest driving force behind this is that if I don’t vote, I am wasting the biggest privilege I have. It is my responsibility and duty to help those who can’t speak by making our country a better place, so our country can make this world a better place. As a wise, red tights wearing boy’s Uncle once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

  • Tyren Chestnut

    Senator Pugh told us one of his favorite quotes:
    “I can’t hear what you’re saying because your actions are speaking too loud.”
    This quote really motivated me because oftentimes in our communities we talk a lot about the problems that are going on, but we never show a solution. Actions indeed speak louder than words, so I want to in the future become an asset to my community. Senator Pugh spoke of the lack of young adults participating in the elections for various things across our town/community and hearing that upset me. We have to learn to make time to improve our future. We determine the future. To motivate me to engage when it isn’t convenient is another thing Senator Pugh stated in his discussion: “Look for opportunities to put your skills to work.”

  • Karlee Ogden

    I really, really enjoyed Senator Pugh’s speech. He was very down to earth and his speech was not necessarily about all that he has accomplished, but how he achieved his accomplishments. I liked what he had to say about the value of hard work. Every goal you strive to accomplish in life will take work and persistence. What Senator Pugh had to say about the importance of civic engagement was very eye-opening. You always hear how important your vote is, but you take it for granted because it is so accessible. When he spoke of how people risk their lives to have their voice be heard, that was also eye-opening. Another driving force was his example of the vote that took place recently in Edmond and how few voters turned out. He said that the ones who did vote were mostly elder people and they are deciding what the community of Edmond will look like in a future they may not make it to see, and the young people who will be around will just let it happen because we did not vote. That is definitely something that will make you think. Becoming civically engaged has more meaning to me now after hearing Senator Pugh speak. I realize the importance of getting involved not only on campus, but now have a better understanding on getting involved in your community, wherever that may be. When it is inconvenient to be civically engaged, I will think back to Senator Pugh’s speech. More specifically, the liberties we take for granted.

  • Sierra Munoz

    One of my favorite things Senator Pugh encouraged us to do was take risk because there are only two outcomes: success or learning. We either succeed or use the experience as a chance to learn, but never as a failure. One way I want to try this is by getting involved in my community more through being engaged and voting. I was amazed by some of the statistics he shared with us; for example, how at one election, only 2,500 people from Edmond voted out of 90,000. In the future I want to be part of that number who participated in the vote and hopefully somehow make that number grow. If I take a risk and encourage people to vote I will either succeed, or learn something from this task.

  • Lauren Beck

    Fortunately, I do not come from the same rough start that Senator Pugh had in life. Many things, when he began speaking, did not speak to me. Obviously, not every speech we hear is going to apply to, or hit home with every person. I do, however, enjoy when a speaker gets down to the core of their spiel. In Senator Pugh’s message I caught: “Do what you can and do it well.” This seems to apply not only to everyday life, but also being engaged in the community by voicing opinions. It is hard for me to tell how I will be a participant in future communities that I live in, but I will undoubtedly vote as often as possible. However, I plan to make it my goal to be educated before I fill in my ballot. I believe it is just as important to be educated about what you are voting for as it is to vote at all. Uneducated voters can do just as much harm as non-voters. Honestly, life cannot constantly be angled on being overly engaged in your community in my opinion. It is important to keep up with your community standings, if nothing else, by reading the local and state newspapers.

  • Melanie Holcomb

    Convenience is a big part of what people do. It’s the people that decide something is worth doing even though it’s inconvenient that are true leaders. Having that drive and determination to complete a task is what forms active members of society and creates a better functioning tomorrow. What I related to during Senator Pugh’s speech was the grit and determination he showed when doing his job in the military. He said that with every job he was appointed to he would be the best at it. That mindset is one that I would like to create for myself because it is an extremely useful ideology. We all know that actions speak louder than words and that is why having such a strong work ethic would benefit anyone. Choosing to be the best one can be can and will open up a world of possibilities. One of those possibilities is to aid your community. Back home I used to volunteer my time at Agape not because I had to, but because they needed someone to help. I will continue to volunteer my time, but at the moment I need to focus on passing my classes. In the future, I would like to join Rotary Club which is well known for their service all around the globe. They have helped me in the past and now I want to return the favor someday soon.

  • Graeme Morrison

    Senator Pugh was not what I expected from an average politician. Yes, he used the tactic of telling stories when answering questions so he took up more time and got asked less questions like most politicians. He was also not asked any difficult questions; my peers, and the world frankly, need to learn the importance of asking politicians what they’re doing about “insert issue here” instead of what their opinion on “insert issue here” is. Overall, however, Senator Pugh seemed like a genuine, hard-working person who enjoyed talking to a group of college students rather than for the press and I appreciated that. One of my favorite quotes I pulled from the lecture was “I can’t hear you’re saying because your actions are speaking too loud.” This really hit home with me because this quote defines what I want to be – and what I want from – a leader. So to answer the prompt question, I am going to be engaged by simply doing the hard work and leading by example. I personally think that is the best way to get involved is to dive head first. I’ve always thought that if I don’t give my all to something, there’s no reason for me to be doing it. I also want to join the team of UCO students that visits the state capitol. When building a house, you start at the bottom, and if we want change in America – we have to start somewhere. The state capitol of Oklahoma leads into the national capitol which leads to the Supreme Court, HoR, and the Senate. There you can make real change. Setting goals like these and the genuine power of wanting to help others – also my “fiery determination” – is the key to trudging on when something is discouraging. I am just going to continue to walk along my path one step at a time and eventually I will get to where I need to be as a person and a leader.

  • Yu Chien Wang

    I was impressed with Senator Pugh’s talk. I am trying to engage with my community now, such as join some meaningful activities from school or somewhere nearby my place. Do some useful things to community by be a volunteer is very important to me now, also in my life. It’s also is an opportunities to contribute our power to help others. Be a leader is not difficult to me, but I think be a good leader need to has this kind of the spirit of service, and I am learning that now.

  • Ren Jian Lee

    In my current communities, I will be active by volunteering my time and energy in social work and charitable events; in my future community, I will be civically engaged by participating as an active voter in my state and country. I am motivated by my desire to see good change happening in the world and the love God gives me for the people around me.

  • Rachel Walker

    I have never been one to enjoy politics. Though Senator Pugh didn’t come across as a typical politician. He was genuine and wasn’t afraid to admit his unfortunate home life. He embraced it and used it as motivation to get to where he is today. Living in a completely different community for the first time in eighteen years, it is difficult for me to step up and be completely engaged because I am not familiar with my surroundings yet. Back in my home-town I was constantly serving my community and being a servant leader. Listening to Pugh’s speech motivated me to stand up for what I believe in, work hard for what I want, and be selfless. I cannot wait to start becoming more involved in this new community I am a part of, and I know that my experiences here will push me to become an even more servant leader in my future communities.

  • Hilda Estrada

    Senator Pugh discussed the importance of mentorship, hard work, servant leadership and civic engagement. I will be an active and engaged participant in my current and future communities by seeking other perspectives. I think having a variety of perspectives will help my current and future communities by providing meaningful leadership qualities, as mentioned. Additionally, stepping out of my comfort zone will continue to motivate me to be engaged when it is not convenient. I will be able to become acquainted to events and projects I never saw myself become involved in.

  • Yu Hsuan Lin

    Senator Pugh is a good speaker and I enjoyed on Tuesday morning. He recommended all of us could search opportunities whatever be an intern or a volunteer. During the working processing, we could learn working methods and different opinions between all of the people. It is not hard to be leader, we need to do step by step and keep passion to exercise. Don’t be shy to ask, we could get new knowledge when we update our brain, and these thinking will be useful in the future. Reading successful example to revise our senses and create more ideas to help us be an abundant people.

  • Evilin Juanes

    I really got motivated to get more involved in politics and listen to what is going on out there in the world I think it is important to look outside of just our general area and realize that more is going on in the world. Not just in the Edmond area, or the U.S., but in other countries too. I was really proud that he spoke his mind on certain topics that others might not agree with because I feel like people in power usually try to change their beliefs based on their surroundings. I think that’s something that one can really strive for, having an opinion, and not just changing it for the sake of others. We need to start making up our own minds and not piggybacking off our relatives or friends. Especially when it is less convenient because that is usually when it matters the most.

  • Emelia Denham

    Senator Pugh’s speech was encouraging and uplifting to hear. His story was inspiring and convinced us that we need to believe in ourselves and we can make the impossible happen. I believe that there are many ways to have a voice and make an impact in your community. It can be as small as volunteering at the Food Bank or even speaking kind words to your peers. Picking a profession that is your passion will give you many opportunities to be engaged in others’ lives and to provide opportunities for them to get involved as well. I plan on becoming a teacher and getting my degree in early childhood education and I believe that will give me a good platform to pour into many people’s lives and be engaged in my community. When it is hard, I plan on persevering and pushing through and speaking for those who can’t or do not know how. It is up to us to make a difference and engage our community in mentorship, hard work, servant leadership and civic engagement.

  • Megan Watkins

    Senator Pugh made many great points about the importance of being engaged in our community and being a part of determining our community’s future. More than that though, he told us of many stories about how he got to where he is today. He told us of a story when he was running for Senate and how he would go every day, door to door, to talk to people to encourage them to vote for him. Even when he felt discouraged that he might not get their vote, he continued to go to the next door. He encouraged us with this and told us that “whatever you do, do it the very best you can”. That is what I plan to do when it comes to being an active participant in my community’s future. Doing that, I also plan to encourage others to use their voice as well and be a part of the reason for a building a better community and a brighter future. Building a community that I can be proud of and building a community that I want my future children to be a part of, is motivation for me to be civically engaged. Knowing that there is a way to make a difference, encourages me to be a voice and a participant in making that difference. Thank you, Senator Pugh, for encouraging me and using your voice to make an impact in our community.

  • cwilliams124

    Senator Pugh’s speech was very impactful to me, especially since I’ve never been able to get into politics. He outlined the importance of using your voice in your community and how we as Americans often take for granted that opportunity to have a voice. What he said about the Edmond voting really changed my perspective on how I participate in my community government. I hadn’t ever considered the fact that so few people actually vote for the things in their community. That alone is enough motivation for me to want to participate in voting in my community. Senator Pugh’s speech was also very encouraging, hearing about how his hard work and determination to not just be a statistic allowed him to rise above his circumstances reminded me of the importance of doing your best one day at a time. Something that really caught my attention is when Senator Pugh advised waking up with the mindset of what can I do today to be successful? I was fascinated by the things Senator spoke about and I really appreciated his willingness to come and speak to us.

  • Madeline Barham

    Senator Pugh had many stories that could relate to many lives. He talked about how being “poor” made him into the man he is today. One of his main points were that how the odds were against him and he should not be as successful as he is today. He told us that no matter what you do, do it to the best of your ability. As cliché as it sounds, he is one hundred percent right. You cannot blame your background and others because you are not successful. You just have to get up and do it. Say you are having to flip burgers to be able to afford an education. You better be the best burger flipper there is. I believe every bit of this because that was how I was raised. He also talked about how our actions speak louder than our words. Yet again another cliché, but also true. To truly make an impact, you have to physically put your whole being into that project, assignment, or whatever it is you are working on. Making a mark on your community takes action. Everyone should be willing to put forth the effort.

  • Pin-Yu Tsai

    I will be an active and engaged participant by being a volunteer in my current community. I think volunteering is an easy way to engage with my community, and is a great opportunity to contribute my power to serve others as well; moreover, it is an opportunity to training my leading ability. In my future community, I will keep being a volunteer to serve others. In addition, I will also join labor union to serve my college and company.

    Enthusiasm will continue to motivate me to engage when it is not convenient.

  • As a member of a variety of organizations on campus I am engaged and active on this campus. One of these organizations is Global Leadership Ambassador (GLA), as a GLA, I help bridge the gap between international students and domestic students. I feel as though some international students do not feel like they have a voice because they are not “home” yet. Some may come from countries where they did not have those opportunities and are trying to escape to gain their voices. I like to think that I am helping them with that. Additionally, as a member of the executive board of BSA, I serve as a voice for other students who may not feel they have a voice. Alarmingly, not many of our student leaders are minorities and I would like to change that. It is inconvenient because when I speak to some minority students about getting engaged on campus or taking on leadership roles, they are hesitant because they do not feel as though they can relate to anyone else in the same position. What motivates me to keep minority leadership growing is knowing that we are in a school that supports them and that they just need to be pointed in the right direction. I see the best in people and I like to help them strengthen themselves and others around them.

  • Catie Wilson

    The first step I plan to take to be more civically engaged is registering to vote. By doing that I will be able to participate in voting at all levels of the government. Another way to civically engage myself is to seek out the issues that the community is facing and doing research to form a valid opinion, if one needs to be formed. Senator Pugh was not put in a position to naturally succeed but had to engage himself in activities that advanced him towards personal benefit. His way of civically engaging himself was joining the Air Force. This is a way to be a part of the government in a way that is different than a normal citizen. He sacrificed his life in order to protect our freedoms that we have at home such as that right to vote and to have an opinion as discussed perviously. The last way that I will personally engage more throughout my community is by serving and volunteering in areas that are in need. Although I already do participate in community service, I will be more intentional to realize the importance and impact that it has on myself and the community.

  • Hsiang-Chin Hsu

    To be an active participant in the current and future communities, I think I should keep looking for any opportunities which can make me learn new things, such as to be a volunteer, to join more activities, and to work hard during the class. If it’s not convenient, I will tell myself: ”Don’t give up” because Senator Pugh said that whatever you do, you should do your best. After I work hard and do my best, I will success or learning, I won’t fail. I think that’s the way make me keep going and always have the energy to face the challenge.

  • Linus Hodges

    Sadly, Americans have lost interest in political engagement due to the slander that involves a political campaign. For example, the voting turn out for the 2016 presidential election. According to the Oklahoma State Election Board for the 2016 presidential election for Oklahoman voters, only 1,452,992 people voted out of the 2,773,970 eligible voters. I think we as the people should call to attention the stupidity that emerges during a political campaign and demand a change to reduce the political slander and misrepresentation. Politicians are seen as horrible people because of the stigma surrounding politics. People do not want to partake in something that they feel would not benefit them. People tend to think that their vote does not matter because it’s minuscule to the number of people within the population. The belief that the voting process has no significance came from political corruption caused by monopolies during the late 1800s and early 1900s by businesses and ethnic mafias. Political corruption still exists today, but the people have accepted it as a way of life. I would like to engage in political affairs by engaging by peers in reaching out to the local politicians on issues regarding the state of Oklahoma. For instance, the public education system’s value to politicians verses oil revenue. If the eligible voting students at our university would contact our political deviants and propose that oil companies should have a tax in which would go to education, the officials would have to listen. I would like to register to vote to participate in the voting process. Understanding that rejecting civic engagement tends to be how dictatorships and oligarchy governments are created would ensure that I stay engage in some form with our political system.

  • Rylie Smith

    I was very impressed with Senator Pugh’s presentation because he addressed the issue of small voter turnout. It really struck me that so few members of the Edmond community voted on issues that shaped its future. To me, civic engagement is so important because by doing our small part of voicing our opinion, we are contributing to the betterment of the place that we live. This in turn will affect future generations who will live here long after we are gone. If you do not express how you feel and your concerns about your community, how will anyone know what needs to improve? I plan on being an active and informed member of the Edmond community as well as any future communities I will live in. I feel it is important to love your community enough to help it grow and develop by not only voting, but also by being involved with events and activities. It is worthwhile to support and donate your time to something as important as your community despite the inconvenience it may entail. Your community is your home and you should be willing to sacrifice to see it thrive.

  • Cole Spradlin

    I will continue to vote for a president in the years to come. I will also make a point to vote on local issues. I feel that my voice can be heard locally if I vote. My motivation to vote will be due to the fact it is a special privilege. People around the world dream about something we are encouraged to do.

  • I truly enjoyed Senator Pugh’s time with us, as he felt so relatable and open! From the jokes about his shoes to how comfortable he was chatting with us, he seemed like he was really someone who was accessible. As important as that is with our lawmakers, especially right now, I really appreciated it. It was inspiring to hear about his history with politics and how he did not give up, and it inspired me to work harder. Most of my involvement with the government is limited to BPA, calls to my senator, or school and club visits to the capitol, but I want to work more on campus on awareness and engagement projects, like the ADP’s voter registration program. My motivation is largely based in the people around me, so becoming more engaged in groups like SAFE, the ADP, etc will help me to find more opportunities, and to be continually be inspired by the people around me to always keep up the work.

  • Alexis Guzman

    I used to have a very low self-efficacy, I looked at problems and thought they were too big and I was not able to do anything about it. To a point I still believe I can’t change the world, because it takes more than one person. What I can do, in the case of most problems, speak out about a specific issue I see in the community to a crow I see will be willing to join the cause and from there work together and make a bigger change than whatever I could have done alone. Message that learned from Margaret Mead in her quote “Never believe that a few carrying people can change the world. For indeed, that is all who ever had”. My motivation is that I believe that even if I don’t get to save all of the starfishes in the world, I have the opportunity of making a change in the life of one. Message I learned from “The Starfish Story: one step towards changing the world by Peter Straube.

  • Wanda Clark

    Senator Pugh is one of the most approachable legislators I have met. This helps make the idea of talking to my legislators more realistic and acceptable. One thing that has stopped me so far from getting involved is my age. I did not register to vote until this last week because I am still 17. Being a minor in college makes it very inconvenient to be involved in both the service and civic spheres because everything I do requires a waiver and parental permission. Even with this obstacle I make an effort to keep myself informed and open to discussing my opinion with others. I truly believe that no one is going to come looking for your point of view, you must be bold and be civically engaged if you expect your opinion to be heard. In my current community, I have tried to become engage nationally by reading the free copies of the New York Times and by joining the American Democracy Project. In future communities, I believe that the best baseline to civic engagement is keeping yourself informed and voting. After that, becoming more open with your informed opinions and forming relationships with your legislators is a great step. Even when it is not convenient, I remind myself that there are others who don’t have a voice, and like Senator Pugh said, countries that would give everything to just be able to vote. With those things in mind, I see it as almost inane to not try to be engaged in the communities I call home.

  • Reagan Whitlock

    I loved having the opportunity to hear what Senator Pugh had to say. Many things he discussed had an impact on me, especially about being an active participant in your community and if not you’re giving up your voice and opinion. So often today I think people don’t realize that if you want to see change in the world you can’t just talk about it, you have to put actions to your words. You have to be willing to go out and make those changes you wish to see. Gandhi stated, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” This quotes means so much to me because it motivates me to stand up and fight for the things that I wish to change in the world by being active and serving my community. I am going to be an active member of my community by continuing to serve in my church, at the VA hospital in OKC and also in local shelters. I plan to serve by continuing to hold my annual free Dream Cheer Clinic for the young girls in my hometown, also serve with my career choice, Criminal Justice, by providing justice and security to the world.

    Passion and showing God’s light through my actions will continue to motivate me through my life to serve. I wish to help others and give back and to show a little love in a world filled with so much hate.

  • Kenzie Taylor

    Senator Pugh didn’t give his self enough credit for his speaking abilities and his ability to use quotes in such an impactful way. I am so thankful he came to speak to our class! Not only was he engaging, he leveled to our playing field and made it feel like he was just simply one of us. A leader that can come down to another level is truly a leader with standards. Aside from his great style in clothing choice for the day, I think Pugh made some very valid points about mentorship, growing as a person individually, and overcoiming the circumstances you are given, even from a young age. Senator Pugh truly is a dime a dozen, he was the kid who made it. His story is insperational, touching, and motivating. But my favorite part of the speech wasn’t until the very end when he welcomed any of us to stop by his office or email him anytime. I think it’s so important for state officials to stay informed of the concerns and worries of those in the community, even those of young people. I am once again, very thankful that Senator Pugh took the time to come speak to us this week.

  • Lillian Baker

    In order to become more involved in my current and future community, I can participate in meetings and voting. But another way to get involved is to find a church. A church that wants to help be a change in the community. Christians all too often want a change but aren’t willing to make the change. So find a church that wants to make the change. Then once you are involved, remember you are setting up a future for your family’s. What we vote on today, what we decide today will effect them more than it will ever effect us. That would be my motivation to stay involved. Because I would want nothing but the best for my kids and their kids and their kids. So we have to get involved now and be wise with our decisions now in order to pay a better road for them later.

  • Raliyn Thomas

    To be an active participant in my future community I will volunteer and help those in desperate need. I would learned what the people want and what is wrong in the community. I would throw different events in the community to encourage people to come together and have fun. The things that would motivate me to want to keep doing more for the community is seeing how big of an impact it effects the community and even seeing more people want to join in on helping the community.

  • Maritza DeLoera

    Senator Pugh stressed the importance in being active in your community so it reflects the standards that want to be set. Staying updated on current events in my community will help me maintain an active role because it will allow me to know what is happening in my community. I will be an engaged participant in my community through actively voting and community service. Voting is a vital part in any community setting because a decision will influence the community. So, by voting It means that I care with what happens in my community. I plan on volunteering heavily throughout my college career and my life. I will strive to help my community through small or big actions because any action is an impact. What will continue to motivate me even though it may not impact me is that I know it will impact someone in my community and future communities. To better my community is a team effort, so you can’t just quit on your team when it isn’t convenient because it’s when they need you most.

  • Jacqueline Kolker

    I recently registered to vote, and I am very excited to be able to have my voice heard in the near future. In my current and future communities, I plan on continuing to volunteer for issues that I am passionate about, such as animal rights. I am motivated to volunteer and be an active community member whenever I am surrounded by people who want to help the community.

  • Emily Norman

    As someone who is worn out by the constant pounding of opinions found on the news, I was refreshed by Senator Pugh’s choice to spend time speaking with us about involvement, work ethic, and leadership over campaigning for his stance on specific policies. I did not feel as if he was trying to change my opinions, but more so that he was interested in whether or not they were being heard. I appreciated his willingness to stand by his faith and was energized by the thought of a man like him in our Oklahoma state office. His speech motivated me to be sure and vote on anything and everything I can because the more people vote, the more accurately a decision will reflect the whole. I am now planning to become educated on as many voting topics as I can so that I may be an informed voter and therefor a more productive member of my community.

  • jjohnson217

    Senator Pugh was very engaging with our class. He did not talk up or down to us, he treated us as peers. Senator Pugh is a great example of how, even with little means, your impact on your community can come from your voice. I plan on using my talents in communication to be more engaging in my community. Whether is it strengthening old relationships or building new ones, I believe I can relate to people and have a positive effect on them. In some professions it is believed that it is not about what you know, but who you know. While this is not always correct, there is some truth to it. My ambition will not allow me to fall short of my goals. This will motivate me to stay connected with people who I can learn from. One short term goal I have is for me to find a mentor who can guide me through the things I would like to accomplish and help me figure out how I can contribute and give back to my community.

  • Curtis Diaz

    For me, civic engagement is something that comes through personal connections with people. I think that by meeting and understanding people, I gain a broader perspective on what should be done in my community. I feel that without this understanding, nothing great can be achieved in a local community. I can choose to be active by finding situations where many different people from my community are present and both educating and be educated on the goals we share. With this information, I can vote responsibly, honestly, and effectively. When I need motivation, it is best for me to think of what good could be happening and how I am missing out by being passive.

  • Emily Nelson

    Civic engagement is something that I did not always care about. When I turned 18 my dad presented me with a paperback constitution, and a voter registration form. I filled it out to appease my dad and I went on with my life. However, It wasn’t until I got to college that I was exposed to more points of view. I began to see injustices and feel angry about it. Some being of my own rights as a gay woman. Something within me grew as a social justice advocate and I wanted SO badly to make changes. That’s when it clicked. I couldn’t do anything productive if I wasn’t willing to be an active participant in government, how was I supposed to change anything! I now feel very strongly about voting. However, as a college student, I am So busy. I need to pay better attention to local elections and keep improving as a young voter.

  • Jake Seawright

    Senator Pugh really opened up my eyes about involvement, especially in my generation. It was so shocking how little my generation actively participated in voting blocks. I myself am not registered to vote and his speech made me want to get involved, even if it just by voting. I truly believe that there are lots of issued that are being discussed and my generation is oblivious. He also inspired me to be more persistent. He went door to door constantly asking for peoples votes even though he may have already have it. He used persistence to get to where he is today and I respect that.

  • Cole MacCollister

    I will be an active and engaged participant in my current community by being an example to others through acts of kindness. I believe that by being a friend to talk to and a hand to pull people up is a great way to be social and spread kindness by doing so. Something as simple as letting a neighbor use your phone charger or printer can make all the difference in their day. Holding open a door or giving them a smile could also turn their day around completely. However, everyone has a bad day every now and then and this is to be expected; we are human. Your reaction can perhaps turn their day around still and instead of giving a negative reaction to a negative action, greet it with positivity. This may not always work, but there is always a chance that you could change someone’s day for the good.

  • Sini Noronen

    Someone like Senator Pugh inspire people to be active in their communities. He is the voice for everyone who have struggles in life. That is why I need to show the example for others and be a forerunner. People are never satisfied and there is always something that you can change and make it better. I feel the responsibility for my future kids and for the future generations to make good decisions now. Also, not everyone in the world can vote. As a woman I feel the responsibility to stand up for our rights and show the example. I have to get involved in organizations, helps others and show an example and inspire others.

  • Maya Weese

    I enjoyed having the chance to hear Senator Pugh speak. He spoke about his experiences and personal development towards becoming a leader. It’s important to become active in your community. While many of us can recognize the problems within their communities, not everyone takes the time to commit to a solution. A particular quote from the lecture that struck me as important; “I can’t hear you’re saying because your actions are speaking too loud.” I hope to become more involved in the future.

  • Casey Base

    I really enjoyed Senator Pugh’s speech. His quote about not hearing what a person was saying because their actions were speaking so loud was very profound

  • Austin Loard

    Senator Pugh’s speech was very interesting and his life history shows that anyone can become a leader if they work hard and put their skills to good use. The point that really stood out for me was when he told us to always look for opportunities to put your skills to work. My family and I moved to a new community before I started the 7th grade. It took a while for me to get involved in my new community. I started to get involved through my church youth group and then in my school. I found that the more you get involved, the more opportunities present themselves for even more involvement. By the time I graduated, I had found many ways to be involved in my church, my school and my community.
    Not being from Edmond or even this part of the state, has me starting again in a new community, with new opportunities to get involved. Being a part of LOT has already given me many opportunities to serve my new community.
    Of course, being involved was easier before our classes started to get busy with tests, speeches and other assignments. Classes have to be a priority, but being involved must be one as well. It may mean a little less sleep, or a little less time to socialize. It may even mean not going back home as often as I thought I would. But the benefits of being selected to be a part of LOT has taught me that it will be worth it.

  • Erin Jones

    Senator Pugh made lots of valid points. His childhood means coming from nothing made a large impact in my life. Due to the fact that I also come from humble means. I will be an active and engaged participant by being a volunteer in politics my current community. Being a volunteer will help me become a better servant leader. Not only Politics but speaking my mind and making decisions that are not always liked.

  • Mikayla Little

    Senator Pugh’s speech was encouraging and uplifting. I really appreciate his desire to get to know people in the community on a personal level.

    I will be an active and engaged participant in my community by registering to vote and learning all I can about each election. It is important to be an active voter because the major point of voting is to hear the voices of the people and to act on what is heard. Most of our government’s decisions are dependent on what the majority group of people vote for. Our voices are important because they shape what the future of our country and world will look like. The future of our country based on what is voted on and that will keep me motivated when it isn’t convenient to be engaged.

    Another way to be an active member of society is by serving. In the coming years, I will continue to serve in the church. Serving is a way of giving back and my motivation will be my love for Christ.

  • Sarah Faust

    Senator Pugh had an inspiring story about being raise by a poor single mother and how that did stop him for making a name for himself. I believed that he is a someone who over came adversity by seeking out good mentors and staying focused on what he wanted in life. I feel that successful people need to keep this mind set of no matter where they came from that if they stay focused and stay on the right track then nothing can stop them. And Senator Pugh is a perfect example of that. I hope that in my future I would like to find a mentor within college and with a church. By finding a mentor I would become stable in my community and I want to help the youth of the community with either their faith, leadership, or family.

  • Bianca Navarro

    Senator Pugh said, “the best way to serve your community and solve problems is to look for things you care about.” I think finding things that you are passionate about and are willing to work hard for will definitely make you an active person in the community. As for me, I will continue to volunteer and vote for things that I am passionate about. Time should really never be an issue if it’s something you truly care about and are wanting to make a difference in. There is always going to be time when it comes down to the project you are working on. Like Senator Pugh said, “everyday, put your sneakers on and work hard.”

  • Erika Jenkins

    The need for more civic engagement from people nowadays is vital. Quite frankly, not enough of us are participating in and positively contributing to our communities.

    No matter how small an individual feels, they are the ones that can make the most difference in our every day lives. No matter how small the gesture. No matter how small the voice.

    I wish to serve my community to the best of my abilities. I will continue to help those who are simply are incapable of helping themselves. I wish to contribute to the growth and development of not only these people, but the community we make up. Even the slightest, in discouraging times, purpose drives me to continue on. The slightest impact is all I desire. Whether it is made in the background or the forefront; it all matters. Everything.

  • Amanda Rebman

    I will be an active and engaged participant in my community by following elections that are coming up and going to vote in these elections even when they are “small” issues. I will do more research on the upcoming bills that our legislators will vote on, so that I may be able to notify my representatives of how I wish for them to vote thus allowing me to see the change in our society. I can do more research on each member of my community running for election and voting based on policies not party affiliation. I can also volunteer in my community. This will most likely allow me to see the immediate feedback of the change that I have helped implement in my community. It will allow me to work on my schedule versus the schedule of the elections and bills, which can sometimes pop up when you have a lot of life events. I will continue to stay motivated by reflecting on the positive change I can see in my community through serving and notifying my congressmen. This will enable me to know that my efforts are not useless and that I truly have a voice in my what occurs in my community.

  • Bryan Becker

    First off, to engage in my community I plan on being a Christian leader and example. I have already started a college ministry called Revival. Revival reaches out to college students who are looking for a tight community of believers that they can grow in their faith with.
    When I begin to feel unmotivated I just have to remember what the ultimate goal is: making disciples of Jesus Christ. Also, if I keep in mind that other’s eternity is at stake it is hard to discount the importance of my cause. You would have to be heartless not too care about how another person will spend their eternity.

  • Maddie Higdon

    Like Senator Pugh, I am very passionate about education. I believe that by not putting more effort into bettering the public general education in our state, we are severely damaging our future. Even worse, we are damaging our childrens’ future. In order to not only be successful in higher education but to be accepted into a university, you must have a good educational background and I think a lot of people do not understand that. Bettering education will be my motivation to get involved with my community. I am attending UCO to major in Vocal Music Education and I plan on using my voice to better the opportunities the children of Oklahoma’s future receives.

  • Garrett Gunn

    UCO has an extraordinary amount of organizations and clubs that are offered on campus. They offer so many great opportunities to give back and get involved in your community. I plan to join as many of these clubs as possible so I can get involved in the community and give back as much as possible. Being a college student this is the best and quickest way for me to reach out and make an impact on my community. In the future, I realize it my not be convenient to give back because I’ll be working 40 hours a week but I love the ton I grew up in. So, I will do whatever is necessary to make and keep the town of Jones a great place. Whether it’s something simple like picking up trash on the side of the road, to planning an event for the whole town to raise money for the Veterans.

  • Jarrod Barnett

    I can be an engaged participant by being involved with my community. I think it is important for someone to be knowledgeable if they want to have their voice heard. And although they might feel as if what is best for them is important, if they are actually involved they can see the changes that need to be made in the community. I have always been one to offer up my help and be involved if I can, however having only being able to vote for the past two years and not even being around the town that I am registered I have not had my voice heard. One time I was asked why I was doing something, then asked why two more times about my responses, it was then that I realized that one of my main motivators is so I can be able to make my parents proud and one day if I’m lucky be able to provide for my family just as they did for me. So I think part of that would be making the future better now would motivate me to still be engaged even though it might not be convenient for me at the time. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.

  • Unfortunately, I was not able to attend class because I was sick. However, upon reading a friends notes I saw that one of the points Senator Pugh mentioned was the importance of a mentor. I strongly agree with this point because of one very significant person that was placed in my life. The first was my high school band director. he was a great influence on me because he never accepted anything, but my personal best. I honestly believe that he played a very large role in shaping how I now view life.

  • Chloe McKinney

    I was extremely inspired by Senator Pugh’s presentation. Hearing his story and about the obstacles he overcame to get where he is today was amazing. He talked about how when almost no one even knew who he was when he first began. However, through hard work and persistence, he became successful. His advice to go out and do the best we can do at whatever it is we are doing not only motivated me to get more involved, but to put maximum effort into the things I am involved in. In my time at UCO, I think it is important to become involved on campus and in the community, to speak out about the things I am passionate about, and strive to make changes for the better where possible. In the future, I hope this experience will be the building blocks to continue to be involved in my community, succeeding in my efforts to make positive changes. I hope challenges and oppositions will serve as motivation to aim higher and work harder.

  • Mikkail Bishop

    Senator Pugh was an excellent example of a good leader and politician. He told us all that he was genuinely concerned with our voice and what we had to say about certain topics. Also I was very enthused to hear him say that we could send him an email or come down with some fellow peers to discuss any possible standings on an upcoming bill or something to do with the community. One way for sure to be engaged in the community is to vote, it surprised me how little people voted. There are other ways as well like volunteering at an animal shelter or soup kitchen, endless possibilities. What usually motivates me to contribute is thinking about the future and when I one day have kids what I am leading this world to be.

  • Dayton Skeels

    To maintain being active and engaged in my community I will search for more service opportunities. Inconvenience strikes us all, but to overcome this struggle I plan to find hope in those I affected. Civic engagement lends the opportunity to express your opinion and your voice. Pushing for more civic engagement in my community has a domino affect and creates a foundation for others to get involved. Then, those individuals will also become an impactful source later on.

  • Lance Cooter

    For me I will use my skills in communication to help me strive and become an active member in my community. I want to build new relationships and grow in all the old ones. I also plan to have an mentor. I want to have someone who is a good leader and is very involved in community activities.I also plan to be a mentor in the future and help give guidance to our youth.

  • reandre clark

    i will be more involved in the community and campus. I want to lead my peers to make them better leaders. I will help improve the community around me that people will learn to love.

  • Matthew Ecton

    Senator Pugh brought up some great points that really resonated with me. In today’s political environment, I feel that the overwhelming majority of my generation has become pessimistic and even ignorant of the issues in our community. Typically, individuals my age tend to either be uninformed about current events or they simply don’t care about them. I intend to break this stereotype by staying informed about what is going on in this country and around the world. I also plan to stand up for what I’m passionate about. I will keep the bigger picture in mind. Though I may go through trials and tribulations, I will remind of 2 Corinthians 9:6, which says, “whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”

  • Taylor Powell

    At UCO I want to do whatever it takes to help improve the community. For me, I think the best thing that I can do it become more involved. That may include voting, serving, or giving my opinion. Whatever it may be, I want to be an example for others, to show and help them do the same. I grew up in a small town, and everybody loved to work together. I believe working together is what makes a great community.

  • Matthew Ecton

    Senator Pugh provided us great inspiration through sharing his story of success. Despite growing up poor, he did not let his circumstances dictate his ambitions. He was passionate about making his communities better and worked hard to get where he is today. I will keep in mind his advice to ask myself “If today I were to do everything I can to be successful, what would I do?” I wont let failure keep me down; instead, I will take it as an opportunity to learn.