This week, we held the Maine State Leadership Day which had been postponed due to the Lewiston tragedy. We hosted over 750 students from around the state, from ages 10 - 19, and from both public and private schools. The theme of the day was "The Courage to Lead." Keynote speaker Malcolm Gauld kicked off the learning by sharing leadership lessons that he has learned over the course of his life. He emphasized the following:
- Control what you can control, and your energy will move you forward.
- Reach for the highest goals and, regardless of the outcome, you will feel pride in what you accomplish.
- Connect your strengths with the courage to face your challenges
Students then attended workshops given by peers, educators, and Maine entrepreneurs. Some of the workshops were "Truths and Myths of Leadership in Action," "The Importance of No," "Leadership is a Sacrifice," "Building Culture by Building Spirit," "Manager and/or Leader," and "Listen to Lead." There was palpable energy on campus as students from throughout the state connected with each other.
After lunch, a group of students joined a panel to discuss the following:
- When have I had the courage to lead myself or others?
- Who in my life has inspired me with their leadership?
Some of the comments from the students included:
"I found the courage to change the direction of my life."
"My role models have been my father and grandfather for their courage in how they have lived their lives."
"I was asked to step out of my comfort zone recently, and I found the courage to really go for it."
Hyde's Athletic Director Stefan Jenson, who has directed this day for ten years, added, "It takes a ton of work to pull this off every year, but our students and faculty step up. I love seeing the mix of students who are learning from each other."
It was such a powerful day for all of us at Hyde, both as the hosts and participants who were inspired to hear from the youth in our state.
Laura D. Gauld '76