THE LEADERSHIP FOR LIFE CONFERENCE, 2017
On the 28th of July, 19 of our girls accompanied by teacher escorts Ma’am Manjari Garg and Ma’am Sudipti left school to attend the prestigious Foróige Leadership For Life Conference, 2017 held at Maynooth University, Ireland. On the first day of our stay, we visited the Kilkenny Castle situated at Kilkenny, a small county near Maynooth. The conference started off with the opening ceremony where our girls mesmerized everyone with their graceful traditional costumes.
From the very beginning, the ambience was full of spontaneity and positive energy. We were allotted different groups with students from the USA and Ireland. During our sessions we learnt how to work as a team, and were made to do activities which emphasized on building up our self confidence, communication and leadership skills. There was a lip sync battle to break the ice and to develop a better understanding of the other members of our group.
During the cultural evening, we saw numerous performances showcasing everyone’s talents. Our school performed a traditional dance from the Indian state of Gujarat called ‘Phuleku’ which reflected our country’s rich cultural heritage. The support and enthusiasm we witnessed was overwhelming.
During the course of this conference, we witnessed some phenomenal speakers who inspired us and left us in awe of their hard work and perseverance. We met Dil Wickremasinghe, a social justice and mental health broadcaster, a journalist, activist and standup comedian. Sinead Kane, an athlete with five percent vision who ran seven marathons across seven continents within seven days. We met Mairead McGuinness, an Irish politician and Member of the European Parliament and Adam Harris, a 22 year old entrepreneur who started AsIAm to help people with autism and aspergers syndrome and other mental disabilities.
Finally after four days of grueling sessions, quizzes, performances and attending various talks, we made it to the much awaited Graduation Dinner. All the excitement and happiness made us dance till our feet went sore. The most important thing that we learnt from this conference is how to express ourselves with confidence and not hesitate to speak what we truly feel. We learnt how to accept people for who they are and most of all leadership as a basic skill. As we departed there was not a dry eye in the crowd. We left our mark.
– Nayanika Bhardwaj.