Looking for a life-changing experience for your students? Consider the Future Aces Student Leadership Conference. Held over a 3-day weekend, 8 students (grades 7-10) from 24 schools across the Greater Toronto Area gather in a relaxed resort setting.
Selected by their teachers, students come from all walks of life: half at-risk and half with innate leadership skills. Inspired by the Future Aces Philosophy – a character-building model used to develop self-knowledge and self-confidence – students learn from and encourage other in a positive and fun environment. And as students who attended the recent 2010 conference at Horseshoe Valley discovered, the fun began before they even stepped off the bus.
As each bus arrived, conference host Ace Man jumped on board to give students a warm and lively welcome. This year’s Ace Man, Sean Mauricette, a.k.a. SUBLIMINAL engaged students with his unique energy, and revived anyone sleepy from the drive. His enthusiasm was contagious. You could feel their excitement and anticipation as they cheered in unison when asked by Ace Man, “Are you ready Future Aces!” It definitely sounded like they were ready for an action packed weekend.
One by one they got off the bus. Each looked bewildered, excited but unsure of what to expect. Little did they know they were about to embark on an incredible journey of self-awareness and empowerment.
Guided by their Ace Team Leaders, students began their weekend with a high energy meet and greet followed by a keynote speech from Herb Carnegie, Founder and president, Herbert H. Carnegie Future Aces Foundation, who reminded students, “If it’s your attitude that determines your altitude then make attitude your friend.”
Ace Team Leader Jo’el Douglas – a long time participant and supporter of Future Aces since he attended his conference in 2004 – explained why he continues to come back year after year, “85% of the students who participate are first timers. I’m happy to spread the confidence and support I was given to the students.”
Attendees agree that the conference was an incredible experience.
The conference program consisted of self-reflection and journal writing as well as activities that addressed “Who I am as a Leader?” and “What I Can Do as a Leader?” Answers to those questions were explored in various workshops, such as: Building self-esteem (explore dynamics that hinder us from expressing and developing their talents and passions); Goal setting (learn how to set & achieve your goals, avoid distractions and get back on track if taken off course); Public speaking (how to look confident, establish rapport and make key points memorable); and Let Laughter Lighten Your Load (use laughter to alleviate stress).
And with inspiring guest speakers like Paul Rosen, Paralympian and youth activist, Amanda Belzowski, students learn how to overcome adversity and become philanthropic leaders in their community.
The Future Aces Student Leadership Conference encourages students to explore their talents and abilities as they participate in a variety of activities, workshops and keynote speeches.
With our partnerships with the Ontario Ministry of Education and the Toronto District School Board, the Foundation can continue to this valuable work with youth.
Your students can be a part of this movement. For more information visit www.futureaces.org or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By Nadine Mauricette