minerva bc large group of youth women happy at learning to lead program

Nearly one year ago, we pivoted our Learning to Leadprogram for Grade 11 youth to an online format. Our YAC, a group of young leaders, immediately jumped into action to support the redesign and implementation of the online format. They advised on effective online learning strategies, supported small group conversations during the sessions, interviewed guest speakers, moderated panels, and resolved tech issues on the spot.

We invited these leaders to reflect on how stepping into the Learning to Lead™ program in this impacted their leadership growth. Here is what they had to say:

Liv Dundson, L2L PG 2019 Alumna

In Learning to Lead 2020, I acted in a variety of roles, and thoroughly enjoyed all of them. The conversations being had in each session were honest, empowering, and even though I’d been through the program as a participant, I left every session feeling more inspired and aware of the different ways I could make a difference through my leadership. Even though I was there to observe and help the participants, I’m sure that I left feeling just as empowered, capable, and connected as the other 150 individuals who took part. 

Becca Kahle, L2L Vancouver 2019 Alumna

“By participating in Learning to Lead 2020 I learned the importance of vulnerability and was astonished and inspired by the participants. My leadership has been impacted by the confidence I have gained, and I was taught the great significance of sharing my journey through mental health. I have made many lasting connections that I will cherish.”

Mandy Huynh, L2L 2017 Alumna

Participating in Learning to Lead as a mentor has been tremendous in gifting me a renewed sense of powerful agency, as a curious and passionate woman. Even under homebound restrictions, my confidence in my ability, and the abilities of other women in my generation to enact social change has grown ever further this summer. In the face of pressing problems in our world, of which I’m constantly learning more about, L2L and other similar experiences has left me still courageously optimistic for our future. I was once afraid that growing up would taint my rosy, golden view of the world, but more time and experience has only brought me more curiosity, compassion and hope.  

Manseen Sangha, L2L 2019 Alumna

“I often found it difficult to voice myself and be my authentic self in new social spaces to share ideas but ever since I attended Minerva’s Learning to Lead program in 2019 and as an YAC member as of March 2020, I have started to challenge my fear of speaking up to advocate for myself as well as people around me. Minerva has encouraged me to identify my leadership abilities while also taking into account my values to become an effective leader.” 

Michelle Rodrigues, L2L 2017 Alumna

“Through hearing the inspiring stories of mentors and connecting with Grade 11 girls from across the province, I learned that leadership looks different to everyone and is shaped by our individual values. Volunteering gave me the opportunity to reflect on my own leadership journey and share what I have learned since taking part in L2L in 2017. In the difficult times we are living in today, hearing the participants share their dreams brought me a lot of hope for the future of female leadership and inspired me to continue along my own leadership journey.”

Monika Jandu, L2L 2017 Alumna

“Learning to Lead 2020 was a program like no other- considering it was completely remodeled in order to adhere to the current COVID-19 restrictions in BC. As a L2L alumni and current YAC member, I had the opportunity to contribute to this amazing program by moderating a panel discussion with established female leaders. This experience was interesting, as it was the first time I acted as a panel moderator online before. I was a bit nervous leading up to the event; however, I joined the Zoom call and had the chance to interact with the participants and help them brainstorm questions for the panel. The opportunity to interact with the participants was very rewarding, as it was a chance for all of us to be vulnerable about our feelings and discuss challenges that we are wanting guidance about from the panel. As a leader, I am always aiming to try new experiences and become a better person and it goes without saying that my involvement with L2L 2020 did just this and more.” 

Rosemary Vayalikunnel, L2L 2018 Alumna

“Participating as a leader in the Learning to Lead program this year gave me a new perspective of the program, as I guided younger students in developing their own leadership skills. Unexpectedly, it wasn’t just me providing mentorship and support to these young girls, but I also learned so much from them. Their incredible passion for leadership re-lit this same fire in me and motivated me to continue pursuing my goals and look to improve my own leadership skills. Participating as a leader in Learning to Lead was just as wonderful and valuable of an experience for me as being a participant.”

We are more resilient because of our youth leaders! Click here to learn more about this year’s program.

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