Future Leaders Conference (FLC)
Leadership Through a Mental Health & Wellness Lens
Elmwood's 2023 Future Leaders Conference (FLC) will take place on March 2, 2023. The FLC is an opportunity for middle school students to foster their leadership skills. It was created in 2019 by Head Girl, Grace Goldberg, who believed it was important for young people to develop leadership skills in order to be prepared for opportunities in the future. The conference is for youth by youth, it is entirely student-led, thus providing older students with a chance to develop their leadership skills. What started as a leadership conference has now become an outlet for students to develop their skills in meaningful ways. The former name of the conference is Lead Like a Girl, but in 2022, the decision was made to rename the conference to be more inclusive and better represent our student body at Elmwood!
A Message from Elmwood's Head Girl:
The 2023 theme of the Future Leaders Conference is Leadership through a Mental Health and Wellness Lens. At this all-day conference, students will have the opportunity to spend the day participating in engaging workshops focussed on team-building and community. Within their small groups, they will collaborate to create possible solutions or ways of mitigating mental health challenges within schools. They will choose a challenge that they believe is important and will work with their groups to analyze the problem. These activities will cultivate empowerment for these students, allowing them to make a difference within their school communities. We will also have a lovely guest speaker, Sara Westbrook, who specializes in the mental health and wellness of youth. Her engaging keynote will emphasize the importance of acknowledging your own emotions without suppressing them. My goal is for these students to leave the conference feeling heard and understood, as well as connected within a community with the understanding that they have the power to make differences in society.
Bianca Sugunasiri, Head Girl
I want people, especially young people, to realize that they are not alone and that it is possible to move through challenging times, as long as they have a set of life skills in their back pocket.
- Sara Westbrook
Keynote Speaker, Sara Westbrook
Sara Westbrook is a professional speaker, author and the creator of 3E Emotional Development presentations, workshops and consulting. For the past 15 years, she has been researching and presenting on the subject of emotions, and their impact on choices and well-being.
She has presented her energetic, interactive, and meaningful work to over half a million people, and has been been featured on many media outlets including Global, CTV and Sirius XM.
Using personal stories and songs, she presents user-friendly strategies that audiences can incorporate into their life to help them build the confidence to overcome challenging times and difficult emotions.
Before becoming a full time speaker, Sara was an award winning singer/songwriter.
Schedule of Events
8:30-8:45a.m - Arrival
8:45a.m - Opening ceremonies to introduce the focus of the conference: Mental health and Wellness. Connection and communication (with an escape room and team building games), gratitude and mindfulness (art activities), leadership (connection with those around you and supporting your mental health before you can lead others).
9:00a.m - Morning speaker: Sara Westbrook
10:00a.m - Break & Snack
10:20a.m - Meet Group (Gr. 12 Leaders) & Ice-breakers
10:35a.m - WORKSHOP #1 or #2: Escape room or Calming wellness craft (link). Creative expression of gratitude through drawing or writing.
11:20a.m - Planning time #1: To identify an issue surrounding mental health in schools and generate possible solutions to that issue, and choose one that your group wants to present.
12:00p.m - Lunch & Outside Time
1:00p.m - WORKSHOP #1 or #2: Escape room or Calming wellness craft.
1:50p.m - BREAK
2:00p.m - Planning Time #2 (with snack): Plan a presentation to share one possible solution to the issue that you’ve identified. Presentation should include what the issue is, as well as the solution you’ve come up with and how to implement that solution in schools. Presentations should be approximately 4 minutes each.
2:40p.m - Presentations
3:05p.m - Closing ceremonies and completion of exit activity on intentions of how to move forward.
3:15p.m - Departure
*Scheduled timings subject to change