Youth leadership guru Stu Saunders gave a series of successful talks this week. In addition to being the featured speaker at the Grade 9 leadership conference, he spoke to a small group of Grade 12 students and the entire Middle School about creating school spirit and inspiring action through leadership. Mr. Saunders, director and owner of Youth Leadership Camps Canada, has spoken at schools across North America for over 20 years, and is as well known for his insight into the dynamics of high school leadership as his entertaining anecdotes. Below, Middle School student Emma Donald talks about what she took away from Mr. Saunders’ visit.
by Emma, Grade 8
Before seeing Stu Saunders speak, if someone had told be that his speech was going to be motivational as well as funny, I wouldn’t have believed them. But, Mr. Saunders’ presentation was just that. I laughed as he told stories of his awkward teenage years, focusing on his first school dance. Also, when he did a pretty believable imitation of teenage girls the entire audience was laughing.
When he shared some of the many humorous names of school sports teams and mascots he had learned since he started speaking for a living, twenty years ago, the funniest one was a school team called “The Warm Fuzzies.” In addition to the humor, I listened carefully as Stu told us his main message: be yourself fearlessly and seize any opportunity you are given to be a leader. He taught us his version of what Adidas really stands for, “Always Do I Dream About Stu,” and that being a leader in the simplest ways can make a difference to somebody without you knowing it. Mr. Saunders did all of this while also being comical and attention-grabbing.
Finally, I bet that there wasn’t one person in the audience, teacher or student, who didn’t laugh at least once when Mr. Saunders was speaking to us.