Skip to main content

Leadership conference brings a world of possibilities for student

Amelia Savoie smiles

There were several sessions on design and innovative thinking that I attended that broadened my horizon.”

During a recent three-day student leadership conference in Vancouver, University of Guelph-Humber student Amelia Savoie realized many of the transformative ideas she was witnessing could be translated and implemented across any campus, anywhere.

Savoie, a third-year Business student, said the Canadian Conference on Student Leadership (CCSL), hosted by University of Fraser Valley and Douglas College, opened her eyes to the power of collective brain-storming and how that can empower students.

Since its inception 11 years ago, the annual conference, aimed at post-secondary students, has been helping young leaders by giving them a forum to foster ideas. This year’s theme was: “Start with why.”

Attending the Vancouver conference was possible thanks largely to UofGH’s Leadership Development Conference Fund, she said, adding there are several scholarships, bursaries and grants available to eligible students.

The event helped her recalibrate her thinking and priorities to bring a sense of clarity to her life, as a student as well as someone interested in pursuing success on a professional level.

“Until the conference, I was pretty much an inside-the-box thinker,” Savoie noted. “I am majoring in accounting which is all about numbers in a box, but there were several sessions on design and innovative thinking that I attended that broadened my horizon.”

A segment on student leadership burnout hit a chord for the UofGH student. Leadership burnout, Savoie explained, is when leaders get too involved in their role and say “yes” to taking on everything. Savoie says she will learn to prioritize her time and in the process, most likely decline the chance to be part of few initiatives that she would have otherwise heaped on to her already full plate.

At the conference, Savoie used the example of United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals plan to highlight how student leaders could apply the same template towards projects in their campuses.

The United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals is a set of comprehensive goal-based agenda or plan whose objective is to help countries, governments and businesses bring about transformation in areas such as healthcare, environment, gender equality, education and more.

Known also as Agenda 2030, the plan’s 17 goals each have specific measurable targets. The idea is to make major headway in the identified areas by the year 2030.

 “Enactus Humber, a student-led entrepreneurial club (at Humber College), is currently working on launching a project that empowers women living in shelters,” Savoie explained. “The opportunity to attend this conference helped me get a clearer picture of how I could successfully execute some of the elements of the initiative.”

At one of the sessions, participants undertook an exercise to identify their core competencies. Savoie said she was heartened when she found out, her strengths: being adept at analyzing information, an aptitude for numbers and problem-solving skills, are in fact a right fit for the Business program she’s enrolled in.

Next year, the CCSL conference will take place in Toronto, and Savoie says she can’t wait to be part of it.

Learn More About