SCA students elected by their peers to be club and class officers spent Saturday, August 23 receiving training on how to lead boldly and compassionately.
Topics included how to be good stewards of club finances, how to use technology to enhance participation in club and class activities, how to employ parliamentary procedure effectively, and how to develop listening skills that promote dialogue and increase productivity.
Leadership and diversity expert Derek Young, who specializes in effecting cultural transformations in businesses and schools, delivered a keynote address on the call to leadership. He told students that “when you are a leader, you have the opportunity to help create the reality that you want to see.” Mr. Young encouraged students to see leadership as a calling that is ultimately about caring for those around you. He illustrated the difference between teaching and telling, encouraging student leaders to be role models who affirm their peers and encourage teamwork. As Liz Rock, Co-Vice President of French Club, put it, “Both you and your group will grow if you model leadership and promote good effort.” Mr. Young also noted that change, challenge, crisis, and chaos are inevitable and pushed students to accept the mantle of leadership during difficult times. Students left the keynote equipped with the skills to motivate, connect, inspire, and manage people in order to make an impact at St. Cecilia and beyond. Mr. Young will return to St. Cecilia at various points throughout the year to train students, faculty, and staff in intercultural dialogue and racial sensitivity.
Students left the day impassioned and prepared for the task ahead. Senior Class Parliamentarian Tawonga Mzumara reflected, “I learned that I should think about what my calling is rather than what I want to be. I also learned that my role as a leader does not stop outside of the classroom or a meeting, but that it is always something that I should carry out.” Art Club Secretary Lizzeth Hernandez noted, “I learned how to be a good listener and how to have interactions that build self-esteem. I will use what I learned in the future to do what’s good and make a difference in our community.”