Sixteen members of Bishop’s junior class joined dozens of their peers from ten other San Diego schools for a leadership conference on Thursday, March 5, 2020.
Established in 2008, the San Diego chapter of Global Leadership Connection (GLC) is the oldest chapter. In partnership with the University of San Diego, the local program is held annually in USD’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice.
According to the GLC website, “The challenging leadership seminars connect youth leaders to each other, to colleges and to adult leaders in the community, in the nation, and on the globe. We believe that young people are our greatest natural resource and the positive relationships they make enhance their lives. They are the hope of our future.”
Bishop’s attendees were Dhruv Banerjee, Lucas Buu-hoan, Ethan Chen, Lila Chitayat, Jasmine Dabbas, Delilah Delgado, Naomi Deokule, Ursula Hardianto, Maggie Keefe, Gavin Lee, Izzy Ratto, Krish Sheth, Miguel Solis, Brooke Weatherup, Austin Yang and Avery Zolfaghari. Director of Service Learning Jackie Gomez said that in addition to “interactive and stimulating seminars, a male and female ‘Youth Leader of the Year’ were selected to receive a $1,000 scholarship.”
Austin earned the Busch Family Male Youth Leader of the Year honors, which goes to someone with the characteristics and the qualities of a student leader, strong academics, and most important, someone who cares about the community and world. He says that he is grateful for the opportunity “to meet and discuss issues with other students from the San Diego region who were elected as leaders. Along with the scholarship, there will be an opportunity for me to attend a GLC Youth Leadership Experience in Washington D.C. in October of 2020.”
Miguel reflects, “I found it to be pretty fun. We got to do activities and listen to speakers, many of whom have lived great and interesting lives. I appreciated how it wasn’t just us sitting and listening to people talk, but us also talking to each other about various topics over the course of the two days. I think the greatest take away, and sort of the tagline of the program, was that leadership is a choice, and you can either choose to do great things and help your community or you can choose to do terrible things and hurt your community.”
Avery Zolfaghari adds, “I felt inspired and motivated from talking to all these determined and goal-oriented people to continue my leadership inside and outside of Bishop’s! We each can make an impact, no matter how big or small.”
Gratitude and appreciation were the general themes of the students’ reactions to the event. Naomi Deokule experience included “truly meaningful conversations, allowing us to build strong connections with like-minded teenagers,” while Ursula Hardianto, who earned one of the $100 Ambassador scholarships highlights how the event “allowed me to take part in such an enriching and empowering experience filled with inspirational speakers and fellow leaders throughout San Diego.”
Another Ambassador Scholarship recipient, Gavin Lee, notes, “I’ve met many new people and learned new ways to look at life. Ms. Harder and the influential speakers who came to talk to us really inspired me to double my efforts in my community service and to continue serving my grade. Thanks to you, I’ve now gained an experience I will never forget.”
Ethan concludes, “What I appreciated most about this opportunity was that I learned that a good leader has to lean and trust others. Before I attended this conference, I thought that a good leader had to know how to everything and have everything planned out. But Ms. Harder taught me that you can’t do everything by yourself, and a leader has to be open to what others are saying and improve upon themselves.”