An annual leadership program for York University students took 60 participants on a six-day retreat to develop the “blueprints for change they wish to see in the world.”
The 2015 LeaderShape Institute was held during co-curricular days, Oct. 25 to 30, at the YMCA Cedar Glen and included 60 students, eight York U staff/graduates and two external institute faculty members.
The program is designed to push participants out of their comfort zones and challenge them to take the phrase “leading with a healthy disregard for the impossible” out of theory and into practice.
Students in York’s LeaderShape program joined the ranks of over 50,000 other LeaderShape Institute graduates worldwide.
The program was established in 1986, and was first hosted by York in 2008.
“LeaderShape was nothing like I have ever experienced before,” says Sayed Saheeb Sayedi, a third-year biomedical sciences major. “The amount of self-reflection and self-actualization that I went through completely changed my perception of the world and how I look at myself. I cannot even begin to describe how valuable this experience was to me, but just to say, I will take what I have learned from LeaderShape and implement all that I can for the rest of my life.”
Graduates of the LeaderShape Institute return to campus with a passion for leading with integrity and a motivation to become involved, grow as leaders and create positive change at York and in their communities.
“I left LeaderShape with the knowledge that I am worth the process,” says Emma Whilding, a second-year environmental studies student. “Though it’s a long process and I’m not totally there yet, I’m starting to see the worth in my vision, in the team that I lead/chose to lead/chose to follow and, finally, in myself. I left LeaderShape with a profound sense of self-worth.”
Students returning to campus after the program say they had a shared experience and have formed a strong sense of connection and support, and that is critical to their success.
“The journey that you take as a person, the growth that you experience internally and the bond created with those around you was an experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life,” says Steph Kovacs, a fourth-year professional writing and Spanish student.
The event was coordinated by Student Community & Leadership Development (SCLD) and was made possible with the support the following partners: Athletics & Recreation, AVP Enrolment – Communications & Recruitment, Atkinson Centre for Mature & Part-time Students (ACMAPS), Calumet College Council, Calumet College Master’s Office, Centre for Human Rights, Career Centre, Community & Alumni Relations, Counselling & Disability Services (CDS), Bethune College Council, Bethune College Master’s Office, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, Office of the Dean – Faculty of Health, Faculty of Environmental Studies, Founders College Master’s Office, Glendon – Office of Student Services & Residence Life, Health Aid Network, Health Education & Promotion, International Recruitment & Marketing, Lassonde School of Engineering, McLaughlin College Master’s Office, Media & Communication Team – SCLD, New College Master’s Office, New College Council, Office of Student Conflict Resolution, President’s Office, Residence Life, Recruitment Office, Stong College Council, Stong College Master’s Office, Vanier College Council, Vanier College Master’s Office, Winters College Master’s Office, York Federation of Students and York’s RED Zone.