I have to admit that since Pave the Path 2018 was our first Young Leaders Summit, I didn't know exactly what to expect. I was happy to find that the Summit HIGHLY EXCEEDED even my most hopeful expectations!
You might guess that my favorite moments would highlight a favorite keynote speaker, or workshop session, or breakout session. You'd be wrong.
The very best moments came from the energy and engagement of the 100 students leaders!
Moment #1 - Day One and Clearly Everyone Was Engaged
Almost from the very start, it seemed as if the students couldn't wait to get started working together. As soon as they could start actively creating and participating, the vibe in the room changed! We've all been in group sessions where a facilitator says, "Go!", but everyone just sits there bored and unengaged. This group was the exact opposite! As soon as Jeff said, "Go!" they jumped into it. The whole room became energized.
Moment #2 - Wisdom On Display
When the groups were asked to define "Leadership" and post their thoughts on the wall, something remarkable happened. Although all of the answers were different, they were all THOUGHTFUL and RELEVANT. These were 100 high school sophomores and juniors teaching the adults in the room about what Leadership meant - not vice versa! This one was my personal favorite - "Knowing, Going, and Showing" Wow! Profound!
Moment #3 - On Stage
Toward the end of Day One, we moved to the Saint Francis theater. The task was to create a piece of art that related to your view(s) of leadership. A triangle model was given as a prompt - and we supplied some markers and plenty of paper - but the students were on their own to create. The setting change was interesting. No longer at tables, they stretched out and sat together on the stage floor, auditorium seats, aisles, and even out in the lobby. Their creativity emerged as they collaborated to produce their views. Oh, and it was clear that this exercise also helped them clarify those views and articulate them even better.
Moment #4 - Groups Coalesce
As Day Two continued the students continued to work together in groups. Sometimes those were the groups formed by the mere fact that they came from a particular school. Sometimes those groups were formed by the students' choices to attend a particular breakout. Sometimes, I'm pretty sure, they just ran into one another in a hallway or room and started to engage. It became easy for the students to move from one group to another - and work together toward a common goal of becoming a better leader.
Moment #5 - All Together
Take another look at the group photo at the top of this post. 100 students plus various speakers and facilitators. The energy of the Summit had been apparent during the entire time. But, it wasn't until we all assembled together for this photo that the IMPACT was obvious and apparent.
Thanks to all of the Young Leaders who participated and all of the Speakers and Facilitators who helped produce this wonderful event!