On May 6-7, 2020, current and incoming Upper School Student Council members, along with Student Council advisors Ms. Glenville and Mrs. George, had the opportunity to attend Global Student Leadership Day (GSLD). The originally-scheduled summit has been postponed until next year, but leaders adapt when faced with adversity!
The organizational team for the summit worked tirelessly to arrange a virtual conference that quickly grew from a one-day event to two full 12-hour days of live streaming sessions. Extremely high-calibre speakers, many from the Candian Youth Speakers Bureau, shared messages to inspire and train SJK's student leadership team as well as many other student leaders from around the world.
Student Leader and Student Council Advisor Reflections
“My favorite speaker was Heather Moyse, who is a two-time Olympic gold medalist. Her message was all about perseverance and resilience when pushing to accomplish your dreams. As an athlete, I resonated with her story because I hope to achieve some of the things she did one day. One of her points that really stuck with me is that challenges don't have to stop you; you can let them motivate you and make you work harder for your dreams. I felt motivated and inspired after listening to her and I will carry some of her points with me as I work to achieve my goals.” - Rebecca G., Grade 11, 2020-21 Brock House Captain
“I had the opportunity to join the live sessions of Sarah Wells, Ian Tyson, Molly Kennedy, Cheryl Pounder, Alan Stein Jr., and a few more. I received a lot of empowering information about the power of the brain and being able to trust and understand yourself to be able to lead others. Each of these speakers had an amazing message, but my biggest takeaways came from Alan Stein and Molly Kennedy. Alan is a performance coach and instructor and Molly is a resilience speaker. Alan discussed taking accountability by refraining from making excuses, complaining, and blaming others. He talked about staying optimistic and respecting the process. He introduced a mantra that I had never thought about before but now find very helpful for practicing mental focus. The mantra, ‘WIN’, stands for ‘What's Important Now’. A good leader and strong individual can leave out irrelevant information and focus on what's important now. Molly Kenedy discussed the fact that before you can lead others, you must lead yourself. She discussed her perspective and how you have control over how you think. She mentioned multiple times that only you can give something meaning and power. Her session was very motivational and she gave great advice on how to control how you think, as well as how to look at all options for a solution rather than focusing on the problem. This was an excellent opportunity and I am very grateful that I got the chance to hear many of these speakers. They all had insightful messages and amazing stories that were so beneficial to listen to!” - Jannah S., Grade 10, 2019-20 Student Council Member
“My favourite speaker was Phil Boyte who spoke about energy and asked, ‘What do you want to put your energy into?’ This was inspiring for me because this made me think about how much energy I put into video games or YouTube. You only have so much energy, so I was thinking that I need to be careful about balancing my energy between school work, getting outside, and exercising. It reminded me of Commit 20 - I need to put energy into being still, exercising, and trying something new.” - Joseph M., Grade 8, 2020-21 Student Council Member
“I always love hearing inspirational speakers, as they really give me a new perspective on life. Hearing about their hardships, their struggles, and the story of how they overcame these issues gives me hope for the world. It was important to hear that we need to pick and choose our battles, but never give up on the things that we pursue. This is what I think my generation needs to hear: maybe we’re not perfect and perhaps we can’t give everything 100% all the time, but we can still give important things the absolute best of our ability! No matter your lot in life, no matter what has happened, is happening, or will happen, you can still be the master of your fate. We aren’t defined by what has happened to us, but rather by what we have done in those times and how we look towards the future." - Henrietta v. N., Grade 10, 2020-21 Student Council Member
“Hearing from different role models is such an important thing for young adults and students like myself. Hearing from the speakers, especially from my favourite speaker, Heather Moyse, who was a former Olympian, can have a huge impact on our future. This is because it inspires us to keep motivated and preserve through all the hard work that needs to be put in along the journey. Hearing from speakers like these can really help young people like myself to keep going and keep pushing to make sure our dreams come true.” - Syree T., Grade 11, 2020-21 Tecumseh House Captain
“I found the speakers at GLSD to be very inspiring. I especially enjoyed the message that Deborah Gilboa, MD shared, titled ‘From Stress to Resilience’. The key takeaway from her message was ‘uncomfortable is where you learn’. I also enjoyed Alan Stein Jr.'s message. Alan is a veteran performance coach who has worked with professional basketball players, including Kobe Bryant. Alan reminded us of the importance of effort and attitude: two of the only things we can control in every situation that we might face as leaders and in life in general." - Mrs. Julie George, Student Council Advisor
“My favourite speaker from the GSLS conference was also Deborah Gilboa, MD. I found it interesting to hear her speak about the adolescent need for connection. She stated that adolescents between the ages of 12-18 have twice as many receptors for oxytocin as adults or young children. Since this hormone gives us a sense of joy from connecting with others, this means adolescents need to foster meaningful connections even more. Dr. Gilboa went on to discuss specific ways that leaders can be responsive. As leaders, she said we need to ask the difficult questions when people come to us for advice. We need to ask them if they are looking for ‘empathy, advice, intervention, or a combination’; when we know what people need, we are better able to connect with them and allow them to be truly heard." - Ms. Heather Glenville, Student Council Advisor