By Zainab Chunawala

A dynamic, challenging and exciting week with “Leadershape!” Through six days of dialogue and self-discovery in a supportive learning community we learned of our deepest personal values and passions that brought to life a vision we can create as leaders of tomorrow. The process helps create a powerful blueprint of that vision which serves as a commitment to action! Building relationships, receiving genuine constructive feedback and on-going reflections makes this journey interesting and revolutionary; very moving on a personal level.

This and much more happened at Bark Lake Leadership & Conference Centre in Halliburton to a bunch of 45 enthusiastic and diverse Centennial students and now lifelong friends that I feel so proud to be part of!

The curriculum is exhausting! It’s built to promote the participants’ development and just as much effort or input that an individual put in, is what they will get out of this experience! This is something the facilitators said in the beginning that resonated and will stay with me forever!

Elaborating on the activities would be unfair since it would tarnish the experience of those who would get the opportunity to take part in this amazing program. The philosophies and methods used are so different, making it so much fun and intensifying the learning. Being universal in scope and impact also made it relatable to the global mix of participants in our group.

It connected us to our hearts, making us part of a safe stimulating atmosphere, inspiring us to be the best version of ourselves, making a difference to the communities around us! It brought us together in ways that we feel a constant sense of belonging and I feel I can confidently speak for the whole group sensing the energy that we are still thriving on these connections!

Due to my nature, I wasn’t participating as much as I would have liked to, (my loss there) but I believe that standing on the sidelines gave me a unique view of resilience, hope and strength of the others and made me aware of so many things about myself!

I am extremely grateful to Centennial College for this program! Understanding what a heavy investment it must be, I hope to do justice to this and maintain the momentum the experience has boosted us with.

Throughout the journey, we have been inspired by many stories, learned some lessons, sparked creative ideas and even had a few
“how fascinating” reflections, making it special, memorable and extremely meaningful.

Not to forget the amazing tales of different countries, great conversations, delicious food and hospitality, and the beautiful landscapes that added to the experience! Oh and the almost freezing weather. Of course, nothing that the warmth of friends and the good bonfires couldn’t solve.

I would urge everyone on campus to keep an eye out for these activities and participate in them! I guarantee that you will meet an amazing bunch of people, learn a thing or two and make meaningful connections!