Matthew Copley (Grade 11) represented the School at the Global Young Leaders Conference in Europe during the July vacation. This provided him with the experience of engaging with potential leaders in many countries, and learning from several inspirational speakers on leadership issues.
Here is Matthew’s report:
This past June/July holiday I attended the GYLC program in Europe. We travelled between 4 cities: Vienna, Prague, Dresden and then Berlin (although we only stopped for lunch in Dresden). For me, the highlight of this whole trip was meeting people from around the world, with over 50 countries represented there. It was really interesting to learn about different cultures, and meeting, talking and making friends with amazing people from around the world is what made the conference such a great experience for me. I also feel that having friends and contacts who live all over the world will be extremely beneficial for me in the long run.
I also really enjoyed the guided tours around the cities we visited. The first city we visited was Vienna, a city which is very beautiful, although in my opinion not nearly as beautiful as Prague. In Vienna we visited several art museums which is not usually something I would see myself doing but I enjoyed it anyway. Prague was also a great experience as the architecture is amazing as there are old and beautiful buildings wherever you go. The other thing I found extremely gratifying about Prague was that for once the currency exchange was in my favour so I didn’t have to flinch every time I paid for something. Berlin is a much more modern city because of the effects of world war two but for that same reason had a lot of interesting and profound history. Visiting the remains of the Berlin wall with its artwork was awesome, as was the visit to the German Reichstag which is an amazing piece of architecture.
The final piece of GYLC which made the experience what it was, were the LGMs (Leadership Group Meeting), the speakers and all the time spent developing our leadership and communication skills. Understandably I initially viewed these with distrust as they seemed too much like school for someone who was essentially on holiday. However I found myself enjoying these times as it was spent with some amazing people and I think a lot of credit should go to our amazing FA(faculty advisor), Kevin Duquette, who somehow managed to keep our LGM’s from ever being boring and made them fun . I enjoyed listening to all the speakers who came to talk to us about global leadership but I especially enjoyed listening to Muhamed Mesic as he was able to speak to us on our own level. He is also the most inspirational person I have ever met.