Held at the York University
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
On Thursday, May 11, 2010, the Jamaican delegation for the Emerging Global Leaders Program, consisting of: Andre St.Marie from Kingston College; Kevonnie Whyte from the Ardenne High School; Kimmara Coombs and Shereese Graham from the Morant Bay High School; Marvin Jackson and Hakeem Fuller from the Excelsior High School; Chantelle Richardson from Clarendon College; Aubrey Stewart from Cornwall College; Kacheive Dale from Knox College; Craig Thomas and our chaperone, Mrs. Jennifer Jarrett, from the Calabar High School met at the Norman Manley International Airport at 8 o'clock in the morning. There we began to get acquainted with each other. I could then see the anxiety and excitement we shared to venture beyond our shores.
We checked in our luggage and went to the waiting area to wait for our flight that was scheduled to depart at 11:50 am. We lifted off to a very interesting flight. We arrived in the great city of Toronto, Canada four hours after leaving home. After collecting our luggage, we met two of the organizer and three of the mentors in the program. We were also greeted by some members of The Alliance of Jamaican Alumni Association. Among those persons was Mr. Clive Golding, one of the directors of the Toronto chapter of the Kingston College Old Boys Association.
Our delegation was the first one to arrive in Canada. We were taken to York University where we would stay until the other participants arrived. We had dinner, and then discussed plans regarding our stay in Canada. After that we were allowed to make calls home. Next we were taken to the campus residence where we retired to our rooms for the night.
During our stay in Canada we went to places like the Consul General's office, the RH King High school, and the Ontario Science Centre. When we visited the Consul General's office we were greeted by the Consul General of Jamaica, Mr. George Ramocan. There we got a lot of information about the functions and the importance of the Jamaican Consulate in Canada.
During our visit at the Ontario Science Centre, we saw many scientific displays. Before we left the centre we got the opportunity to see an electricity show which was very fascinating. I enjoyed every minute of this tour. I was able to associate some of the things I saw with some of the things I learnt at school in Physics class.
At the RH King High school we learnt about the Canadian school system and how different it is from ours in Jamaica. We learnt about their different clubs and societies such as the King's Equity Alliance Council and the King's Court Representative Council. We were invited to one of their classes. We also got a chance to observe how the students conducted the abovementioned club meetings. Their school's motto is "We care, we strive, we serve", and the name of their guidance counselor is Miss Carol Evans.
We had a roundtable discussion with some members of the Alliance of Jamaican Alumni Associations after dinner. There I met Mr. Lance Seymour, the president of the Toronto chapter of the Kingston College Old Boys Association. We were told about the importance of the Alliance and how much they have contributed and still continue to contribute to their alma maters. We also were encouraged to join our respective alumni associations so that we will have the opportunity to give other students a chance at having school-life more comfortable. We also met the first person to represent Jamaica at the Emerging Global Leaders Program, Mr. Orlando Lopez. He shared his experience at the program with us and gave us a few words of encouragement.
The main portion of activities began on the third day of the program. We met the other participants coming from Barbados and different high schools in Canada. We also met all the mentors in the program. We were placed in groups and a mentor was assigned to each. There were 10 mentors and Graham Allen was the mentor assigned to my group.
This is a picture of the group 4 (Andre St.Marie to the left and Aubrey Stewart third person from right)
We had five guest speakers and some of the mentors, as well, who made presentations on different topics that dealt with leadership, how to go about effecting change, and some difficulties one might encounter when working in a group. We also did activities that allowed us to get to know each other better and display our leadership abilities.
At the end of the program it was hard to say good bye to our new found friends. Everyone wished the program could have lasted longer, but every good thing must come to an end. We exchanged contact information with our new friends and promised to stay in touch with them. I must say it was evident that we all learned a lot and hoped to share what we learnt with our peers at our various school.
My Opinion on the Program
I really enjoyed being a part of the Emerging Global Leaders Program. I believe it is an experience that all students should have. I was motivated to try and make a positive change in my society. I have gained a lot more knowledge about leadership because of this program. If I should assume a leadership role in the future I would have acquired some knowledge and would able to carry out my leadership tasks effectively.
Firstly, I must say thank you to my school for selecting me to attend this program. Secondly, thanks to the Toronto chapter of the Kingston College Old Boys Association for sponsoring my attendance to this wonderful program. I would like to say special thanks to my parents for their full support.