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Term 1, 2022: Told by the yLead Community

By April 8, 2022April 19th, 2022Schools, Team
Term One has well and truly set precedent for the year ahead, with our impact thus far reaching 95% of engagement since pre-COVID times. We’ve travelled near and far to create in-person, life-changing experiences for over 8,700 young people, across six states and territories, in Australia; and even across the pond to New Zealand. Our online presence has proven to be stronger than ever, captivating 918 students via ‘Zoomies’ for conferences, leadership programs, and power sessions. Term One has showcased US at our best; and without fail, our greater impact has continually been perpetuated through our steadfast yLead community: yTeam, teachers, principals, students, supporters, sponsors, friends, and family.
To wrap up Term One, we collaborated with yLead community members to provide reflections on these past few months:

Udit Dhami | Victoria yTeam 

“Term 1 this year with yLead has been an absolute dream. It has been my first time volunteering with yLead as a yTeamer and I was lucky enough to be a mentor at ASLC Victoria, as well as attend my very first in school at OLSH. A highlight for me was definitely being able to share the energy and connection with the leaders from Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Bentleigh (OLSH) and watch their enthusiasm as they engaged in the workshop. It was so great to see all the leaders who were at different stages throughout their high school journey, work together and collaborate to strengthen their bond as a leadership team.”

“Being part of this experience as a yTeamer has reminded me of the importance of connecting with others at a personal level and to not take these connections for granted.”

“It has been an absolute pleasure working with yLead this term and I can’t wait to continue yTeaming throughout the future!”

Sophie Le | yLead Contractor + New South Wales yTeam

“I have gained a newfound appreciation of the hard work and energy the yLead team puts in to planning and running every session.”

“I had the opportunity to run my first contracting session with over 100 Year 6 students. It was super fun, rewarding and a lot of energy. To think how crazy and high energy running one session is, leaves me in awe of the facilitators that dedicate so much to make sure the kids have an awesome experience.”

“When you see the smiles on students faces as they participate in activities, dance or come up to talk to us about their own fun facts; it astonishes me the impact that we can have on students.”

"My biggest lesson learnt was that, to be a leader it doesn't mean you need to contribute to something big; you just need to do something you are passionate about to make a small difference in your world."

Year 9 Student - Somerville House, Brisbane, QLD

Matt Kershaw | ASLC SEQ ’22 Guest Speaker 

“If the last few years has taught me anything – it’s that to survive we must be able to adapt.  But if we want to THRIVE then we must not only adapt, but learn to turn challenges into opportunities, and be uncompromising with our principles and standards in pursuit of the desired outcome.”

“In October 2002 I attended a Leadership Conference (ASLC) that changed the course of my life.  For the next 17 years I helped dream up, plan and deliver that conference across AUS and NZ to thousands of young leaders.  Whilst the event constantly changed – the one thing I always believed was essential to it’s success was real life human connection.”

“So my highlight of Term 1 was being wrong.  In January 2022 I delivered a keynote address to hundreds of young people attending that very conference from my living room – with Bel and the yLead crew deciding days before that it was the right thing to do to put the health and safety of the attendees and their schools first and go virtual.”

“I was a little apprehensive – how could this conference possibly work online.  As I entered the space and waited for my turn I experienced virtual dance parties, zoom break out rooms, meaningful conversations and engaging workshops – and that same amazing energy, connection and inspiration that changed the course of my life forever.”

“I am so grateful to be part of the yLead family. And I am so impressed that the team has navigated the past few years and come out the other side… but more than anything I am incredibly relieved that our emerging leaders will still have the opportunity to experience the best leadership development program on the planet.”

Sarah Milton | North Queensland + South East Queensland yTeam

“My Term One experience with yLead has been nothing short of electric! In my very first in school experience with yLead, I had the privilege of working with the Year 12’s at St Peters Lutheran College, Springfield. Along with being amazing dancers, the St Peters students shined when it came to supporting one another through the activities and challenges we presented them. In Real Me, the incredible courage of the Year 12s to share their stories was met with unwavering support from their classmates; true leadership in action.”

“I came away from my first in school experience feeling energised and inspired by our young leaders and their perseverance. With such an unusual and difficult start to the school year with both Covid outbreaks and the floods; it was refreshing to see that students and staff alike are still willing to make the most out of every opportunity that comes their way in 2022.”

"The girls seemed engaged in the activities right up until the end of the day. There was a good mix of listening time and opportunities to be active. They also appeared to have developed a good rapport with the presenters. When some girls were beginning to be restless, they quickly attempted to re-engage the girls by getting them up and moving."

Teacher - Seymour College, Adelaide

Krushnadevsinh Ravalji | yLead Contractor + Victoria yTeam

“It’s been a pleasure contracting for yLead’s Term One experiences, especially after the crazy start to the year (let’s be honest, a crazy couple of years) we’ve had! I honestly didn’t think we would get to this stage where we are now… physically in schools!”

“My most exciting, equally nerve-wrecking moment was contractor facilitating for the first time SOLO at OLSH with Year 7 students. The stage was set, I was wearing the blue, about to ‘get on stage’ and run a session for yLead! But the moment I began facilitating, the butterflies magically flew away and I got into the rhythm. Post session, the students gave positive feedback and said they took a lot out of it and had fun!” *sigh of relief*
“After that day, I realised that we put a lot of pressure and expectations on ourselves, when all we have to do is to back ourselves, because everyone else is doing so too!”

“A massive thanks to the yLead team for helping me on my contractor journey!”

Cealè Sadi-Brydon | Facilitator | yLead HQ

“Leading up to term one, I had heard many tales of how busy the first term always is for a yLead Facilitator. I lived in anticipation of the trips I’d be taking, new friends I’d be meeting, and the hundreds of young people I’d be connecting with every week.”

“Across eight weeks, I took more flights than I’ve ever flown in my entire 23 years of life… Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, and back to Brisbane. I experienced the incredible commitment it takes to share yLead with the youth of our nation, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

“There was a special moment that solidified a sense of purpose in the work I do as a facilitator. I shared a day with over 200 year seven students, watching them rise to, and succeed within all challenges. We finished off our incredible day together with our token yLead Heroes dance. Sharing the stage with my co-facilitator, George, and watching 200+ students SHINE because of the environment WE created… That was a very, VERY special moment. One that I’ll take with me forever, no doubt.”

Our Term One impact reaches many spheres in the community, each experience creating incredible memories to be shared. We hope you enjoyed reading these Term One reflections, and if anything, have gained a new perspective on the impact of yLead within our community. 

With thanks to Udit Dhami, Sophie Le, Matt Kershaw, Sarah Milton and Krushnadevsinh Ravalji. 

To learn more about our leadership experiences, click here.