Building lifelong leadership skills at the Confident Leader Conference

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BY: ALYSSA MAHADEO

“With great power, comes great responsibility.” – Voltaire

A quote most commonly attributed to Uncle Ben from Spiderman, but originally quoted by French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher Voltaire is a powerful and simple idea that if someone is equipped with the knowledge, or ability to do something extraordinary, they have been bestowed with a special obligation to use this ‘power’ to lead the world to greatness.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if the youth of today carried this mindset? If it was instilled in the men and women of the next generation,  a dutiful obligation to become the responsible leaders of tomorrow?

The truth is each and every one of us has this ability, but only a fraction of the population takes on this immense role preferring to stand on the sidelines, instead of taking control, standing at the forefront of this mission and leading the people of the world to a better tomorrow.


Many of the greatest leaders in history such as Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Gandhi, and Rosa Parks advocated for social justice, to change the conversation and laid the foundation for the next generation to build on. However in order for the next generation to build a sturdy and reinforced structure they require the right tools to succeed.

On May 12th, 2018 the Lifelong Leadership (LLI) invited future leaders to attend the Confident Leader Conference, take part in the conversation and discuss why self-confidence is important to effective leadership, and how you can develop self-confidence to achieve what you need to in this lifetime.

The Lifelong Leadership Institute (LLI) is an educational organization that exists to inspire leadership and develop leaders, and dedicates its resources to advancing leadership competence and personal success among Canadian youth of Jamaican, Caribbean and black heritage.

“When we see the face of a child, we think of the future. We think of their dreams about what they might become, and what they might accomplish.” shares Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Lifelong Leadership Institute Patron.

The Confident Leader Conference presented by the Lifelong Leadership Institute (LLI) and the Leadership By Design Program (LBD) was designed for African Canadian students who are currently enrolled in Grades 8 to 12, as well as their parents and teachers to develop the skill of self-confidence in order to find their voices, foster their imagination and allow them to translate their passions into something amazing.

“The aim of the conference is to examine the argument that it is difficult to be an effective and responsible leader without a high degree of self-confidence,” explains Trevor Massey Chair of the Lifelong Leadership Institute.

“Ideally, we want student attendees to depart with a deep understanding of self-confidence as a critical soft skill, and provide them with ways by which they may develop their self-confidence.”

From 9:00am -1:30pm students, parents and teachers alike were able to hear informative and inspiring dissertations from Dr Ivan Joseph, Director of Athletics at Ryerson, Aisha Addo, Founder and CEO of DriveHer, Vernette Eugene, Senior Manager, Scotiabank, Issac Olowolafe Jr, President of Dream Maker Realty and Dr Krissy Doyle-Thomas, Neuroscientist at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.

Moderated by Marcia Young, Host of World Report, CBC Radio, each of the speakers brought a unique experience to the auditorium sharing successes and failures, effective teaching/learning strategies and practices, the importance of the saying ‘practice makes perfect’ and most importantly how living your best life is all about the trials and tribulations on the journey to success, living boldly and facing fears head on.

The Confident Leader Conference is only one of the many events hosted by LLI also offering Scholarships and Bursaries, Work Study Programs, and Ontario Student Assistance Programs (OSAP) and their own Leadership By Design (LBD) program, their signature program offered by the Lifelong Leadership Institute (LLI).

The purpose of the Leadership By Design program is to inspire leadership and develop leaders. The LBD program provides youth in the African-Caribbean community with a wide-range of opportunities to develop and practice effective leadership. The Leadership By Design program underscores their determination to prepare youth in the African-Caribbean community for leadership roles in all aspects of their lives. This can only benefit our community and the broader society.

The Leadership By Design program provides at least seven years of development support for student participants, and these will span the high-school years and the university/college years. Students will be accepted in their Grade 10 year and be provided leadership development, and career development, throughout Grades 10, 11 and 12. This is a highly ambitious program geared to providing our youth with opportunities for success in leadership, in their careers, and in community service. For more on LBD visit www.llileaders.com.

“The change we wish in our world comes from leaders who know how to ‘get things done’. Leaders effect change. Leaders get the right results. Leaders engage others. Leadership is a prized attribute that all employers seek.” -llileaders.com

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