Children are indeed the future; and in no time they will be leading the way. And so, the Alleyne School is ensuring its students are well equipped and trained leaders for the future.
Today at the St Andrew institution, over 30 students representing leadership bodies within the school, gathered for the Inaugural Student Leadership Conference. The conference, themed Emerging Young Leader For Effective Leadership, acted as a training ground for the students, ages 13 to 16, equipping them with much need advice and instructions to guide them on to the next journey in their lives.
One of the presenters, Monique James, youth commissioner from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth advised the students that the first step in being good leaders was “knowing who you are”. James drew on many personal experiences to help inspire the students who at this time were very much engrossed in her presentation.
“Spend time with you. Do not be afraid to look in the mirror. Be comfortable with who you are,” she added.
She then stressed: “Eliminate the negatives. Do not believe what others have to say about you that is bad. Replace the negatives with the positives. It may be hard at first, but remember that practice makes permanent.”
James further encouraged them to make vision boards with quotes and daily affirmations to encourage themselves.
“If you see it, you are more likely to do it. It worked for me, and it can work for you too,” James encouraged them.
Responding to the praises she received after her very engaging and informative presentation, James urged the young ones to “process the information to really create a change; don’t just hear it today and forget it”.
Scotiabank representative Belinda Miraj gave the students advice on interviewing techniques and skills. They were also advised on being ethical leaders by teacher Claire Noel-Arthur, and having healthy bodies by Anthony Headley.
Alleyne principal Julia Beckles, ending the list of presenters, gave the students essential advice on Thinking And Speaking On Your Feet. Her presentation, short and to the point, provided students with tips that would be a great asset in the near future.
Conference chair and organizer of the school’s Behavioural Management Programme, Tameisha Cozier, told Barbados TODAY the conference was aimed at creating well rounded leaders within the school.
“The programme itself has been going great. It was apart of the vision of our principal and we recognized that they were many students in our school who were heading many organizations, and when it came to public speaking they were always nervous. So we wanted our students to know who they are as leaders.
“So as part of her vision we got them together and we met with them and we did brief training sessions so far. It has been going pretty well, and this is another step, and we are getting presenters coming in from outside to present to them,” Cozier said.
At the end of the presentations, each group of students was presented with a challenge and asked to come up with solutions for each challenge while working as a team.
“The students are very enthusiastic about it. They have been responding well. We are hoping that coming out of this conference they can help and train others students who are apart of their respective teams. We are hoping to maybe take this to a grander scale and maybe invite other students from other secondary schools in the community.
“Even if they don’t join with us, at least our initiative will spark something and get other schools to train the leaders in their particular institution. We are just encouraging them to be better leaders in their own right,” Cozier explained.