Students took part in a course called “A Life that Makes a Difference” where they mapped out their journey of development and were able to look at their lives in a big-picture way. Our speaker was Stephannie Tebow, a human resources professional. Ms. Tebow and the LC coaches helped students to select the important events in their lives and understand how the events affected their development as a person and as a leader. At the end of the course, students gave a short presentation on their journey.
One of the students’ favorite parts of the program was cultural immersion night. We prepared a party for the students with a lot of American junk food that Chinese students going overseas wouldn’t be used to, but is common on university campuses: pizza, pretzels, soda, popcorn, brownies, and other snacks. We invited some foreign friends and watched an NBA basketball game with a lot of loud cheering and yelling. We played Wii bowling, had other board games, and some acting games.
At our closing banquet, students shared their thoughts and feelings about completing this intense and challenging week. We presented certificates of graduation and each team took pictures with their coaches. Everyone was sad the week was over but we were all grateful that we could spend this time together.
This April LC program is one of the 3 Leadership Challenge programs in partnership with the Ford Foundation since 2009. Leadership Challenge has trained around 100 students, who were funded by the Ford Foundation to go overseas to study for their Master's degree. Some of these students have returned to China and started to serve their communities.