Global leaders program expands in Caribbean

In October and November, 100 high-school students from eight Caribbean countries attended the Emerging Global Leaders Program (EGLP) presented by York in Barbados and St. Kitts & Nevis.

The program, presented by York International in a two-day retreat of workshops, activities and presentations, offers leadership training with a special focus on cross-cultural communication and team building. Since 1999, the award-winning program has been offered every January to York students. The program is also offered to high-school students in Canada, and it was first offered to Caribbean students in 2004 in Barbados.

Left: Caribbean participants in the Emerging Global Leaders Program

Scotiabank sponsored the Caribbean program for 2006. Its financial support enabled York to add more sessions to the program and host evening receptions in each country to give participants a chance to interact with business, community and education representatives. The EGLP sessions focus on goal-setting and other keys to success. They are led by professionals and experts from business, academia, government and the private sector. Past speakers have included former Ontario premier Bob Rae, Barbadian-Canadian writer Austin Clarke and Spanish consul Ignacio Sánchez de Lerín.

The focus of this year’s Caribbean program was on sustainable development, and the aim of local and Canadian presenters was to foster an understanding of the global scope of issues being discussed. Participants learned to recognize and explore topics from different perspectives, strengths and experiences. As organizer Craig Wright of York International puts it: "The EGLP provides a tangible example and model of how our global community may collaborate for the betterment of all its peoples."

Over the years, Wright and co-organizer Heather Moore have seen participants progress to become presenters. "My involvement with the Emerging Global Leaders Program has given me the opportunity to see people from many different countries, cultures and backgrounds work together and achieve amazing results, results that would not be attainable individually," says Wright, who has managed the EGLP team for the past 4 years.

At the Caribbean sessions, local presenters included Andrea Symmonds, chief researcher in the office of the prime minister of Barbados; and Franklin Brand, president of the St. Kitts and Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Canadian presenters were Nigmendra Narrain, political science course director at the University of Western Ontario; and Glenn Galy, principal of the Surrey Connect Home Learner Program in British Columbia, guest lecturer at Simon Fraser University and lecturer in the BC Provincial Instructor Diploma Program.

York was also one of the recipients of the 2006 Scotiabank-Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada Awards for Excellence in Internationalization for the York International Internship Program.