York gives 58 students a chance to hone their leadership skills

Fifty-eight York students were given a chance during Reading Week to hone their leadership skills at an intensive, six-day workshop in Orillia sponsored by York.

From Feb. 10 to 15, the students engaged in discussions, workshops and activities led by the trained facilitators from the renowned LeaderShape Institute.

Right: York students discuss their personality assessments

The Illinois-based, non-profit organization promotes values such as integrity, diversity and creativity, and encourages participants to develop “a healthy disregard for the impossible”. Students are taught concepts such as “building community”, “the value of one, the power of all” and “challenging what is and looking to what could be”. Throughout the week, each student worked to define a personal vision for changing or contributing to the world in a positive way, and developed a “breakthrough blueprint” to achieve that vision.

This is the first time the LeaderShape Institute has offered the program in Canada, said Frank Cappadocia, director of York’s Centre for Student Community & Leadership, which sponsored the program. “Bringing an award-winning program like LeaderShape to Canada was a dream come true,” he said. “This was an incredible opportunity for York University and our students.”

Above: Student participants pose with Frank Cappadocia (third from left), Calumet College Master David Layton-Brown (centre) and Marty Williams, assistant director Student Community (third from right)

“I received several letters from student participants talking about how incredibly transformative the LeaderShape week was for them,” said Cappadocia. “I’m delighted to read the positive feedback about our students’ experiences and the new connections they’ve made. Our first LeaderShape Institute was a wonderful success.”  

Azalyn Manzano, a third-year, health-policy major, said the LeaderShape experience was awesome. “I’ve never seen a better program. It was great meeting so many incredible students. These are the people who are going to change the world.” She said the program has made her feel more confident.

LeaderShape alumni now total over 31,000 and include Google co-founder Larry Page, Chicago Bears quarterback Brian Griese, and now Hamid Osman, president of York Federation of Students and Chair of York Student Centre Corporation.