In addition to meeting a lot of great student leaders — one current Orientation Leader actually single-handedly convinced me to apply this year — I also learned a lot from the inspirational and fun workshops. The friendly, energetic atmosphere during the event was infectious.
One of the main highlights for me is hearing from this year’s keynote speaker. Sean Peters opened this year’s summit by exploring the theme of the event (Being the change: Leadership redefined). Through his dynamic and engaging presentation, Peters discussed the inception of Global Agents for Change, a non-profit organization that he co-founded. By showing us how he took an idea (that was in fact born over a conversation over beer) to reality, he showed how he brought about positive change through leadership.
A key takeaway for me from Sean is his encouragement to adopt the “I can” attitude. He pointed out that SFU provides the tools (student clubs, grants, etc.) that students need to truly make a difference. He challenged participants to go do something. I really like this message because sometimes it is hard to get motivated to act on your ideas if you don’t feel that the action of one person can make a difference.
Sean also talked about the Global AFC Changemakers Initiative Grant. This grant provide a small funding to a student (or a group of students) who needs initial financial support in launching social projects off campus.
Another highlight for me is the closing remarks from Wendy Norman, the Leadership Summit Coordinator. Building on what Sean said earlier in the day, Wendy discussed how involvement at SFU can help lay the foundations for success in our post-university lives. Wendy really emphasized here that leadership is something that is more than a formal position. Wendy’s message resonated with me because I know a lot of people who don’t think that they can be leaders. What I learned from Wendy, though, is that leadership can take other forms – for example, making the conscious choice of doing something good for others is really a form of leadership.
Needless to say, attending the Leadership Summit was a great experience. Through the different sessions and hearing from Sean and Wendy allowed me to look at leadership from a slightly different perspective. The summit also encouraged me to continue to do something for the campus and the community.
It was truly a privilege to have attended this year’s Leadership Summit; I encourage every SFU student to consider attending this event next year!
By Kelvin Claveria