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Views from the Summit: Perspectives on Altitude Day

By March 29, 2022Event

yLead’s annual Altitude Day roadshow provides the opportunity for Year 9 students around Australia to learn tangible leadership skills, network and connect with students from across their wider community, and be empowered to step up and be the best version of themselves.

Across 10 days, the yLead team will travel to 12 different locations around Australia to create spaces for these students to thrive, learn and grow… but why should your students be there? We reached out to past students, past volunteers and even attending teachers to ask why…

There is no denying that Altitude Day would not be possible without our incredible educators who invest in their students year after year and bring them long to Altitude Day. They are the ones who invest in their students day in and day out and fight to provide these opportunities for their students. We reached out to the incredible Mr Alex Barnes, teacher at Murrumba State Secondary College to see why it is that he invests in the Altitude Day event for his students year after year. This is what he had to say…

Why and how do you believe that Altitude Day adds value for Year 9 students?
Altitude Day provides an opportunity for students to network with other like-minded leaders to ultimately discover the impact they can have on their school communities. Altitude Day acts as a platform for students to kickstart their leadership journeys and gain some tangible skills from some of South East Queensland’s upcoming and emerging leaders. 

As a teacher, what change in your students do you see in your students when they walk out the doors of Altitude Day at the end of the day?
“As a teacher at Murrumba State Secondary College, I see a huge transformation in the young leaders from the moment they enter the doors of Brisbane City Hall to when they leave at the end of the day. They are inquisitive, show great courage and give 100% in every activity and session which yLead creates. Our students came back to the school community unafraid to take risks, unafraid to challenge the norm but ultimately, unafraid to give everything a red-hot crack.”

Why do you continue to bring your students back year after year, time and time again?
“Murrumba continues to bring our young leaders to Altitude Day each year as we believe the experience and impact yLead fosters in these students is invaluable and cannot be created anywhere else. We believe that our students walk away from the event not only as better individuals, but better leaders and ready to tackle the senior phase of their time at the college.”

What would you say to a colleague at another school thinking about bringing students to Alt Day for the first time?
“Never underestimate the impact an experience like this can have on the students. Year 9 students are at such a pivotal stage in their life and a major transition period in their schools, therefore, an experience like Altitude Day is essential in providing students with tangible skills to create change in their college community.”

Through the advocacy and work of teacher like Alex, student like Rachel and Taylah have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the Altitude Day experience. Rachel and Taylah both attended Altitude Day as students in 2017 and 2018 respectively, and ever since, have been involved in the creation and participation of yLead events for not only themselves, but others.

 

As a student, how do you remember feeling when you were in the Altitude Day Space?
The altitude day space was filled with warmth and excitement and empowerment which allowed me to feel confident in my abilities and make the most of all the new experiences and activities.”
– Rachel 

There is no denying that there is a lot jam packed into one day of impact – Altitude Day provides an array of different learning and tangible skills for students to take away. We asked Rachel and Taylah what their top learnings were from their Altitude Day experience. This is what they came up with…

  • Grab opportunities: they don’t stick around for ever and you never know where they may lead you.
  • Never give up – showcase resilience, change your approach and come back to try again.
  • Don’t be afraid to fail – we learn from our mistakes
  • Leadership is in fact key. Whether it’s a business or in a group trying to work something out, leadership is an essential skill
  • Anything really is possible if you push for it.

Walking out of the Altitude Day space at the end of the day can be a bit surreal – what could have just been a normal day at school was most definitely not. You are leaving with new skills, new connections and new friends… it can be a hard feeling to encapsulate, but Rachel and Taylah gave it a go.
“As I walked out of the doors of altitude day I felt excited and optimistic for what was to come in my high school journey and it gave me the confidence and skills to write my own journey and legacy in my school and wider community.”
– Rachel
“Walking out that day just made me feel reassured for the kind of leader I wanted/still want to be. I felt like I had really accomplished a lot that day and took in so much information that helped me become a better leader.”
– Taylah

The Altitude Day experience is truly like no other, and it would not be possible to create such an empowering, supportive and safe environment without our yTeam volunteers. Every year, these incredible young people give their time to create this space for year 9’s around the country – some even joining us at multiple events each year! We reached out to some of these incredible people to ask them WHY. Why do they give their time year after year to create this space? What is it about Altitude Day that is important to them?

“I believe in the importance of giving everyone the opportunity, space, and confidence to dream BIG – Altitude Day provides just that. A highlight of mine is always seeing the transition of students from the beginning of the day to the end. Speaking to the students, all apprehensive about what they are about to experience. However, through the magic that yLead facilitates, these students now leave the space with a seed planted within, and the tools to take on their big dreams. Although we may never see this seed bloom, we can be sure that what they take from the experience will equip them with the confidence and courage within to become change makers of the future.”
– Jess Faulks
“The Altitude Day space is one that is difficult to describe… its electric, empowering, full of knowledge, and fun all at the same time. It is its own special kind of magic that can often transcend words, but the team have done their best to encapsulate what it feels like…”
– Jack Drury
“Altitude Day is a yLead event that I believe you have to experience to explain it to someone! It is like a world class sporting event with a packed-out room of passionate students who have dreams and ambitions that want to live out. Coming away from it made me feel very empowered to know that no matter what we do in life, our dreams can certainly come true.”
– Luke Jobson

You almost have to be there to describe Altitude Day. It’s a feeling that sends shivers up your spine when others speak, when students combine to showcase the best of them. It looks like hundreds of eyes across two weeks, engaged, realised their true potential as leaders. It’s something that you honestly have to see to believe, and these students believe when they leave after Altitude Day.

Neither Jess, Jack nor Luke had the opportunity to attend Altitude Day as students, but there is no denying the value that they place on an opportunity like this. They all believe that it is an invaluable opportunity for any and every year 9 students and an event truly not to be missed.

“I am sure anyone lucky enough to experience an Altitude Day would agree, that you can’t walk away from an experience as great as this without feeling empowered to achieve whatever it is you dream to achieve. I believe everyone, no matter who they are or what they believe should have the opportunity to f”eel as if they can change the world in their own way – Altitude Day provides the perfect starting point to spark unlimited potential.”
– Jess Faulks

We cannot extend enough gratitude for the incredible young people who make up our yTeam and give their time to make these opportunities possible, and a world-class experience for others.

Over the last couple of months, we have seen heartbreak throughout our communities as the East Coast navigate tragic flooding. Destruction and heartbreak have filled our feeds, however, there are also some incredible instances of leadership that have shone through. As an association that believes in acknowledging these acts of leadership and giving back, we are super excited to announce a partnership with Seamus and the team at Mane Financial to provide 20 complimentary places to Altitude Day to a school within a flood affected community. Details on how to nominate you school can be found by clicking here or heading over our website to find out more.

 

We can’t thank the incredible team at Mane Financial and Seamus for affording this opportunity to these Year 9 students and empowering them to step up and out in their communities. Nominations are open to anyone and everyone and can be made by a student, staff member, past student or any member of the community who believes that their nominated school would love the opportunity to empower their Year 9 students.

Altitude Day truly is an event like no other, it empowers students, staff, volunteers and our staff alike – witnessing the limitless potential of our young people, our future leaders. It is a world class event that provides Year 9 students the opportunity to connect, learn and be empowered to step up and out in their communities and lead within their world.

To nominate your school for the opportunity to receive sponsored places for this event, please click here. If you would like more information, head over to our website or alternatively, hit the team up with any questions by sending an email to info@ylead.com.au