Six-day retreat shapes future student leaders

leaderShape image for YFile homepage

Some 60 York University students participated in the University’s annual LeaderShape program, which took place during the fall co-curricular days Oct. 28 to Nov. 2.

a group of images from the LeaderShape retreat
A collage of images from the 2014 LeaderShape retreat

Offered by Student Community and Leadership Development, the program is an intensive six-day leadership retreat where participants develop a personal “vision blueprint” for the change they wish to see in the world.  Students participating in LeaderShape travelled to the YMCA Pine Crest Camp in Northern Ontario and took part in a series of carefully planned activities designed to help students explore not only what they want to do, but who they want to be.

At the camp, the participants experienced a program that fostered the development of their personal visions. Megan Collins, a second-year Faculty of Health student, shared her LeaderShape vision: “I envision a future where York U Life is an inclusive and influential online community that connects students of every identity with on-campus resources and empowers students to get involved to further develop the York community in a positive direction.”

The LeaderShape experience is meant to push participants out of their comfort zone, and challenge them to take the phrase “leading with a healthy disregard for the impossible” out of theory and into practice. The York University students participating in LeaderShape joined the ranks of more than 50,000 other LeaderShape graduates worldwide.

“I can see clearly now, I can see where I want to go, and I can see all the things I need to do to get there,” said York second-year social studies student Jeff Thammavongsa.”I was just so happy I was given life again. I want to thank my family cluster for reminding me who I was, and who I want to continue being. I now know who I am, what my good qualities are, and how I want to live my life from now on.”

The LeaderShape Institute was established in 1986 and was first hosted by York University in 2008. Some 160 York U students applied to participate in the 2014 program.