Click here to read the March 2016 eNewsletter
OLP Juniors attend Global Leadership Connection
by Zoe Morales, Crystal Coriano and Paulina Halley
This three day conference consisted of many activities with the purpose of enhancing leadership skills–from establishing good eye contact and giving firm handshakes to maintaining meaningful positive conversations with peers. The goal of this program is to give student leaders the opportunity to meet other students from their community with the same interests. Icebreakers and activities assured that no attendee would leave without talking to every person in the room. Diverse role models in our community gave inspirational speeches instructing the attendees to reach their potential. With the intention to encourage leaders to have a positive mindset Carole Harder, GLC’s founder, stated, “the youth are the greatest natural resource”. Therefore, this program causes participants to think of themselves and others. Many activities included reflections about self-esteem, dreams, and hopes to maintain a balanced life, while others encouraged positive group work ethic. Students were given fifteen minutes to confront a problem in an elementary school. In order to solve this, skits and presentations were performed in front of all the participants within the time limit. Preparation for the upcoming personal and group interviews occurred continuously in various activities.
Although the purpose of this leadership conference was to make connections to like-minded changemakers, its purpose was also to develop and display good character through these types of leadership activities. In doing so, we were all interviewed to possibly be eligible for scholarships that would either be a grant of money, or a full paid scholarship to Washington, DC to meet people in the field of global and social change, and to further develop our own leader within. These interviews were conducted at random by people of exceptional experience in the world of global affairs and who volunteered to do so. The interview started us utilizing our skill of shaking hands, making good eye contact, and speaking from the heart. The interview questions circled around why we chose, or were elected to be at this conference, what one issue is that we are passionate about and why, what do we want to do in the future, and essentially how we want to go about being a leader in the 21st century. Because this was in fact a competition, an awards ceremony would be held the next day to give scholarships to the individuals who were outstanding in academics, community involvement, and have the desire to be a part of something bigger than themselves. The awards would all be evaluated and determined from our interviews, our resume/application, and our displays of leadership and character throughout the conference.
On Sunday evening, we, along with our parents and Dr. Blade, gathered in the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice Theater for the conference’s award ceremony. School by school, students went on stage and individually shared their dream college and/or plans for the future. With such a talented group of leaders, it was no surprise that these ambitions predominantly consisted of attending Ivy League schools and pursuing careers concerned with social change. At the end of the night, there were sixteen scholarships allotted to students: Twelve $100 Ambassador Scholarships (one of which was awarded to OLP’s Paulina Halley), two $250 Kelley Family Scholarships, and two $500 Jamie Harder Scholarships. Those awarded the Kelley Family and Jamie Harder Scholarships will also receive an all expense paid trip to Washington D.C. later this year. Although there will not be an OLP representative on this year’s trip, we are confident that our younger generations of Pilots have the qualities to soar their way to D.C. in future years.