Year 11 students receive leadership and character training

Upper Canada College Year 11 students had the opportunity to build resources that will support them in meeting the expectations of being a leader in Year 12 through taking part in this week’s Youth Leadership and Character Forum (YLCF) events.
 
 
 “The boys who will be in a defined leadership role next year attended an evening discussion with street-involved members of our community, as well as some traditionally successful business leaders,” says Laurie Fraser, the co-ordinator of UCC’s student wellbeing programs. “The following day they engaged in a series of activities and workshops aimed to challenge their perspective, inform them about their strengths and how to use them effectively, and make goals for the coming school year.
 
“This year, the remaining Year 11 students attended Rotman School of Management and participated in a morning workshop with an international program called High Resolves and an afternoon using their strengths to grapple with real school challenges and provide solutions.”
 
Both events explored themes of social justice, citizenship, values and strengths.
 
The YLCF program at the offices of McKinsey & Company, an international management consulting firm, was offered to 2019-2020 school year stewards, heads of houses, prefects, arts captains, Blue Army Generals and Lang Scholars. They didn’t receive the High Resolves program.
 
“The McKinsey event is an in-kind gift thanks to UCC's Sarah Robertson and the generosity of McKinsey director Bruce Simpson,” says Fraser. “The last six years of programming at McKinsey have made it possible for us to see the value of all boys engaging in leadership and character work to support them in school and in life. 
 
“The program leaders at both locations were beyond impressed with all our boys and their level of thought and engagement. They demonstrated compassion, humility, integrity, vulnerability and so much care for their peers and their school. It was a privilege for me to attend both locations and work with these excellent young men.” 
 
This was the first time that all Year 11 students were involved with the YLCF program. Those who attended the Rotman session didn’t take part in the evening discussion with the street-involved people.
 
All of the Year 11 boys did a “Values in Action” survey and engaged in various strengths-based workshops.  
 
"The experience at McKinsey was robust, reflective and rewarding,” says participant Billy Shi, a boarder at Seaton’s House. “Thought-provoking conservations with the street-involved, and interactive leadership and value-based workshops, have offered me a continuous awareness both of myself and of the community I am in.
 
“The time I spent at McKinsey helped lay out my leadership mindset in layers of better realization of myself, better cooperation with other leaders, and better empathy of the community I am in. Looking ahead to next year, I am excited and convinced that the workshop will remind me of who I am, what I do, how I do this, and why I do this constantly."
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