The Emerging Global Leaders Experience

Last Updated: Saturday, 01 August 2015 Published: Sunday, 26 October 2008 Written by Reisha Felix (Deputy headgirl)

At the end of the school year 2007-2008, some students from Dominica were selected to participate in a leadership program called the Emerging Global Leader Program (EGLP) which was held in Barbados. All the schools who wished to participate were given questionnaires to fill out. From the selected group of students who the schools picked, only 11 from Dominica were chosen.

Jillane and Reisha

It is no surprise that Mrs. Dublin and our proud teachers selected the same prominent four who later were to run for the position of head girl and deputy head girl to represent our school. The questionnaires were all sent to York University in Canada who was the coordinator of the program. Based on our answers that we gave to questions such as “how do you define an emerging global leader?” not one, but two of us from Convent High School were chosen. Jillane Prevost (5-D) and I were graced with that honour. WOW! We were really excited. We were sent all necessary information, from what, where and when is E.G.L.P to the hotel we would be staying at.

Along with our chaperone, Mr. Simeon Joseph, we left as a group on the morning of Wednesday, 8th October and arrived at the Almond Beach Village Resort in Barbados at about 11 am that same day. We were warmly welcomed by the hotel staff and the program facilitators and right away we began to mingle with our other 73 new-found friends from the Caribbean countries of Barbados, Jamaica, St. Vincent, Grenada, St. Lucia, Trinidad and those we didn’t know from Dominica.

Over the four days, we learned how to analyze ourselves with different methods, and we also participated in many sessions two of which are ‘Five Effective Leadership Qualities’ and ‘Skipping Your Pebble of Leadership’. There were two activities I found most interesting at the program. The first one was our community project planning. For this activity we were all to come up with the different areas in our communities that we thought needed urgent attention.  We learned a lot about each others’ problems. Our minds were pretty much opened to the different problems faced by the other islands. Some problems, however, were common to all the islands. After listening, to each other, a skill that was highly exercised over the four days, we came together again but this time to propose solutions. We were very skeptical at first as we were all in the mind set that the problems were too big for us to handle. But with the help of our mentors, we did a great job at it.

The other activity was an extremely interesting and challenging exercise where we were given a scenario happening within a country. There were different groups who had different views on a plan that the government had. This plan was to be approved by the World Bank before any actions took place. Our task was to each choose a group and role play these people. We were to decide whether or not we were ‘for’ the project or against it. This activity creatively got us to think and also developed our public speaking skills but the skill really in question was decision making and of course presenting points to support these decisions. We all were impressed by the ideas and proposals we came up with. We also learned to be assertive yet respectful of others’ points of view. Another area in which we developed was in the skill of compromising.

Overall it was an incredible experience; one that Jilane and I agree that has changed us for the better. Now, we are better able to handle situations that we will encounter. We are better able to deal with the different people that we may meet. And of course, we are better able to emerge as global leaders first in our communities and then in the world.

One special thing we learned and that was very much emphasized was that we should grab every opportunity as it arises for we never know when, let alone if it will ever arise again.

We are eternally grateful to Scotia Bank who sponsored this entire experience, to our chaperone, to our parents, to our friends and of course to our dear principal who all were there behind us 100% with their support. Special thanks to the Almighty Father who got us through the trip with life and strength. We promise to make the best of this life changing experience and that when we return to the follow up program next year that we make you all even more proud.

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