On March 14, 2019, Woodland Hills High School’s FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) association, was one of a few schools who were sponsored to attend the annual Ethics and Leadership symposium hosted at LaRoche College. The students participated in four sessions; each with a different inspirational speaker.
The first speaker, Fred Hodges, who is the Director of Multicultural Student Services, at RMU, left the students with the important message that we were all meant to be. He said, “I was born at the right time. I was born in the right place. I was born the right race. I was born in the right family. I am not a mistake. I have a purpose.” This was Hodges reason for living when he was depressed and hit rock bottom. He came from a broken family, but used his negative experiences and traumas to produce something beautiful. He reminds us all that when we feel like giving up, there is a greater purpose for our being here.
Dr. Laichack, who also spoke at the Leadership and Ethics Symposium challenged the students to work together in order to achieve a common goal. We were split into four groups, and challenged with the task of creating a budget that would collectively reduce the city’s spending by $300,000. We completed this task in under ten minutes, and were able to understand the role of our city council members, and why they’re important to our communal growth. Dr. Laichack also taught us how to be better leaders, and what a great leader look like. As the future of this world, it is our duty to lead. It is a service we owe to ourselves, and those who come after us. Because of people like Dr. Laichack, we will be prepared to take on our purpose when it is our time, and our time is now.
After the four sessions, the students reconvened in the cafeteria for lunch, and were presented with three different scenarios that each table had to solve. Their morality, and leadership skills were put to the test. Once the students came up with an answer, they selected one student who would present that answer on stage, to everyone in attendance. That took courage, especially because it was unknown if there was a singular right answer. It taught something very important. There are no losses. Only lessons. All of the answers were right in their own way. As leaders of today, it is important for us to remember that there is a lesson in everything we do. Whether we are right or wrong, we can choose to learn from any situation, and in turn, become better versions of ourselves.