Thinking beyond the self: Langley Leadership students attend the 2019 Leadership conference

October 3, 2019

“The culture of student leadership has changed in the last few years and aligns well with the redesigned curriculum: it’s all about the Core Competencies,” says District Teacher Lenny Yun. Last week she took 18 students from across our district to take part in the Canadian Student Leadership Conference in Abbotsford.

“It gives students the opportunity to network, learn and ‘grow’ from each other,” says District Teacher, Lenny Yun, who has taken leadership kids to the conference for the last five years.

Over the course of four days, students engaged in learning, including keynotes from Terry Fox’s brother, Fred Fox, and two time bobsled Olympian, Heather Moyse.

“Through research and class discussions,” says Lenny Yun, “the students delve into the WHY behind a local or global cause and then carefully plan, in collaboration with the rest of the student body or community,  an initiative that address these concerns. And in this process, the students have developed meaningful transition skills and habits that enable them to become socially responsible, contributing citizens.

“Students who take Leadership want to use their voice, energy and time to make an impact in today’s world.”

To discuss their learning, we talked with some of the students who attended the conference to see what their main takeaway was.

Neha — Grade 12 at ACSS

The conference was validating in the way that there were so many students like me that want to help others and bring new ideas into the school, to improve school culture and give students a sense of belonging. I think being a leader means that you take a stand for what you believe in, find your voice, and support others in the process.

Jacob — Grade 9 at BSS

The conference was very empowering, in both the emotional and mental sense. I really enjoyed the keynote Heather Moyse as her message, through her stories, is that you are capable of doing anything if you put mind to it. I think being a leader means that you work together as a team to make an impact on whatever the initiative is.

Indie – Grade 11 at WGSS

[I saw] that there is not ONE kind of leadership but that it exists in different forms and that we can ALL be leaders. Also, as a team we can use our different strengths together to help those around us. I think being a leader means that you are always ready to help out, that you are up for the challenge, and that you lift not only yourself but also those around you.

Sam – Grade 12 at BSS

[My takeaway was] from an activity called “Breaking down the Walls” by Phil Boyte. I learned that we have all experienced adversity and that adversity helps us grow. It was incredible hearing the stories of others and how they overcame their problems. And that in the end, the challenges made us better people. I think being a leader means to come out of your shell, help others break out of theirs, and encourage everyone including yourself to raise the bar and push the limits.

Daniel – Grade 12 at WGSS

I realized that me helping others who are less fortunate or feel isolated is bigger than myself. I have to stand up and face those that judge. It is my responsibility to dig deep and do the right thing. What does it mean to be a leader – to be a great leader you must put the collective over yourself. Being a leader is not about you and your accomplishments, it is about the ones you are serving.

Anoki and Emmy – Grade 11 at REMSS

[My takeaway was] that we are all so like-minded, and that there is a huge sense of family and support. The important way to lead is to lead by example. Leadership is an action. We think being a leader means being open to new ideas, being understanding of our different stories and backgrounds and developing a level of inclusion within our community.

Josh – Grade 12 at WGSS

It is important to be myself and to be proud of it. I think being a leader means to help each other come out of our shells and to work together to make a positive impact in this world.