York U’s annual LeaderShape Institute seeks student nominations

From Oct. 22 to 27, 60 York students will attend the awarding-winning LeaderShape Institute at the Delta hotel in Guelph, ON.

Above: Student LeaderShape participants with their leaders

The institute has earned a reputation as being one of the best leadership experiences at York University. It was originally established in 1986 in Chicago, Ill., and was first hosted by York University in 2008. Since then, York students, along with more than 55,000 other LeaderShape Institute graduates worldwide, have learned what it means to lead “with a healthy disregard for the impossible.”

“The Student Leadership Program staff who are part of the Student Success Centre believe that LeaderShape Institute is a cornerstone to our vision: An engaged York community who challenge preconceived notions of leadership to become everyday leaders,” said Saba Rafiq, student leadership and development coordinator in Student Community and Leadership Development (SCLD).

The LeaderShape Institute is recognized as a leading program in student leadership development in North America.

“We’ve witnessed first-hand its tremendous impact on York students,” said Rafiq. “Participants explore not only what they want to do, but who they want to be.”

Dynamic, challenging and exciting, the week is intended to produce a breakthrough in the leadership capacity of participants — benefiting them individually, as well as their respective communities and the organizations they will go on to lead and serve in the future.

“We have continuously received exceptionally positive feedback about the program from the students, as well as from the staff and faculty facilitators,” said Rafiq.

Still wondering if this is the program is right for students? What follows are some comments from students who took part in previous LeaderShape Institutes:

“LeaderShape challenged my concepts of inclusion, diversity, integrity, influence, empathy, vision making and what it really means to lead by example.  It was really a life changing program and I am so proud that my university offers it for its students.” – James Hutchinson



“LeaderShape is a powerful catalyst. I know certainly that my university experience and career aspirations evolved tremendously because of LeaderShape. I continued to be amazed that one week changed me so much.” – Jose Burgos



“The wisdom and lessons I learned from LeaderShape are part of me forever – I will carry them with me every day.”– Roshni Khemraj



“The program’s ability to stretch your thoughts, beliefs and rooted fears is truly remarkable. This program broke down barriers and fears that I did not think was possible.” – Aerilyn Medina

The LeaderShape Institute is made possible by the collaborative support of student groups, University departments and alumni. Past participants have gone on to assume senior leadership roles across the University whether it be in their respective councils, peer mentoring groups and as active alumni.

If you know of a student (or students) in your area – someone or a group you think could benefit from attending the program such as a member of your peer mentor group, work-study student or any passionate student – organizers ask that you consider submitting a nomination (or number of nominations) since not all participants nominated will be available to attend. To nominate a student or a group for the LeaderShape Institute, visit http://leadership.scld.yorku.ca/leadershape/. The deadline to submit nominations is Sunday, Oct. 1.

SCLD has funding to cover a limited number of participants; however, the overarching goal is to have 60 students with representation from all areas at York University. Sponsors are sought for one or more students. The fees for LeaderShape are $1,000 per person, including taxes. For more information, contact Saba Rafiq at srafiq@yorku.ca, or ext. 20816.