Minerva FDN Learning to Lead Program web 2732

Practicing Leadership is a three-week blog series featuring members of our Youth Advisory Council as well as participants and mentors from the Learning to Lead™ program. The series explores how young women leaders are managing during COVID-19 as they navigate disruption in routine, maintain social connections, and put their leadership into practice at home and in their communities.

After a nearly two decades of classroom-based delivery, the first Learning to Lead online program begins on Monday, May 4th and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome this year’s group of emerging leaders. The program was scheduled to start at the end of May, but in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic, we quickly shifted to an interactive online format and moved up the start date.

In times of uncertainty and disruption, it is critical that we continue to provide youth with the skills they need to help them lead now and into the future.

Upon hearing they had been accepted into the Learning to Lead, we received so many wonderful messages of gratitude from the incoming participants. Their responses truly filled our hearts and confirmed the on-going need to invest in youth leadership.

  • This has lifted my spirit and gives me something to look forward to.
  • Wow! This will be a great way to stay connected during these unprecedented times.
  • I am honoured to be accepted into the program. I am excited to learn of its continuation in these difficult times.
  • Thank you so much for the opportunity! I am beyond excited! I am so grateful to get the chance to connect with all these new people and participate even with our current circumstances.
  • Thank you so much for facilitating this experience through all the complications I’m sure your team is facing. I appreciate your willingness to pursue this opportunity to share hope and encouragement with one another, some things the world is in need of right now.

Inspired by the enthusiasm of the incoming participants, we wanted to hear from the women who support the program as volunteers, speakers, coaches and mentors. Here’s what they are looking forward to most this year.

  • My experience as a volunteer Den Mom last year was monumental for me. I saw young women enter the program unsure of themselves and leave making incredible bounds in their self-discovery and self-awareness. The program encouraged these young women to embrace who they are, to focus on their strengths and accept and nurture their weaknesses. It allowed them a safe space to throw off all expectations and biases and learn who they truly are without judgement. Witnessing all this was a life changing experience and I do not say that lightly. Chelsey McDermot-Fouts, RBC Commercial Accounts Manager, Northern BC Committee Member, and volunteer Den Mom.
  • I look forward to the opportunity to connect with young women who are seeking to develop their leadership skills. I hope to share my story as well as insights on the obstacles I have faced, opportunities I have taken advantage of and the self-awareness that I continue to work on. Jessy Sra, Senior Manager, MNP, Kamloops Committee Member, and volunteer mentor.
  • I know that there are countless young women motivated to do, and already doing, amazing things in our province, but I was incredibly inspired by the diversity of the girls I met at Learning to Lead and the meaningful interventions they are making. I felt invigorated by the experience, and trust that this next generation of women leaders will take us in an exponentially positive direction. Zahra Rasul, Owner + Director of Rasul Learning Group, Minerva BC Board Chair, and volunteer speaker.

This is our final post in the Practicing Leadership series. Thank you for following along. We have enjoyed introducing you to some of the amazing leaders who inspire us every day.

Content for this blog series was collected between April 2 and April 9, 2020. Some responses were edited for clarity and brevity, but core messaging was retained.

Learning to Lead™ is an interactive leadership program for Grade 11 girls. All program costs are covered by donors and sponsors who believe in the leadership potential of youth. We are grateful for the support we have received in 2020 from Shaw, RBC, PwC, FLUOR, Pan American Silver, Cottonwood Foundation, Enbridge and many individual donors. 

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