In early January, two Trinity Hall students attended the Student Leadership Conference (SLC) through the National Coalition of Girls' Schools (NCGS). Every year, NCGS offers students from their member schools the opportunity to attend the SLC, which is organized by their strategic partner the Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia. The conference offers workshops, keynote speakers, and activities to help students strengthen their leadership knowledge and skills. Junior Jacqueline B. and senior Faith M. joined students from around the world virtually to learn about leadership. After the two-day conference ended, our students left with key takeaways they can apply to our community.
The following are post-conference reflections from Jacqueline and Faith:
Jacqueline B. ‘23:
“I can confidently say that I have come away from SLC feeling more confident in not only my leadership capabilities but also myself. Being able to connect with young women who have been through SLC before was inspiring. They held themselves in such a mature and eloquent manner that I strive to imitate in my own life. Hearing from the alumnae only solidified my belief that the women I shared this experience with would go on to achieve great things. The keynote speaker, Rachel Simmons, captured my attention with her knowledge as well as her humor. In absorbing her wisdom, I realized I need to believe in myself the way I believe in my peers. Her discussion on self-compassion was thought-provoking, and I left the Zoom meeting feeling empowered.
The most important thing I got out of SLC was the relationship I developed with other attendees. The support I received from like-minded female leaders was overwhelming, even though I live in a different hemisphere. The supportive environment built by the group of girls, who I am proud to now call my friends, gave me the confidence I needed to return to my school environment and continue to push for what I believe in. SLC truly taught me the difference between having a leadership position and being a leader, and I hope to embody this value in my actions going forward.”
Faith M. ‘22:
“I had such an amazing experience at SLC! The conference and its speakers not only inspired me to continue to aspire to be the best leader I can be in my community but also helped me to redefine what exactly ‘leadership’ means to me. Leadership is about connection and influence, as well as vision and the legacy one wishes to leave upon their (in this context) school community following the conclusion of their term. Being a leader doesn’t necessarily mean being perfect, or all-powerful. Rather it connotes the positive effects one can have on those around them when allowed the space and opportunity.
As the Chair of my school’s Arts Council, a subdivision of our Student Council, my leadership is imperative to the success of several creative events throughout the school year, such as painting events, concerts, and more. Often, I become so entangled in logistics and making sure that everything is flowing smoothly that I forget to pause and remember what being a leader to my council truly means; as long as my team is having fun and understands that I value each and every one of them as crucial to my own success, I’ve done my job. A key talking point of one of my conference workshops was this: when given the opportunity to lead, and the power that comes with it, a true leader will build ‘a longer table, not a higher fence.’ I hope to keep this mantra close to my heart as I finish out what remains of my leadership career at Trinity Hall.”