4 Summer Leadership Opportunities You Wish You Did
Do you consider yourself a leader? If so, chances are youʼve taken part in at least one
summer leadership program.
Itʼs pretty much a rite of passage, because there is so much to gain: connect with
leaders, hone your chops, have fun, explore the world (and your potential)!
But where do you start? Do you go for the most prestigious programs? If so, how do you
even measure that? Do you make a beeline to the most exotic and far away? Or do you
seek out those programs which are geared towards developing a new skill?
Over the next two weeks, weʼll be collecting your feedback, and sharing some of the
most exciting responses through Project GYST. Although weʼre sure to hear about some
really cool, obscure, borderline scary-futuristic experiences (because what goes on in
Silicon Valley doesnʼt have to stay in Silicon Valley), hereʼs a few we know weʼll be
1) Shad Valley:
Shad is a 1 month program for high school student leaders. High achieving students are
sent to one of Canadaʼs leading universities to learn about all things engineering,
innovation and entrepreneurship in a group of 50+ of other high achievers like
themselves. Their unofﬁcial motto: work hard, play hard. Morning lectures are matched
with weekend camping trips and late night group meetings are met with late night
broomball matches. Oh, did I mention they also get into groups and create a business
plan for a novel product that they create? And this all in three and a half weeks.
Although it starts in high school, thatʼs far from where it ends. Universities could take a
lesson or two from Shad Valley, whose 30+ year old alumni base is almost as
supportive (and extensive) as the Shad Valley program itself.
Parlez-vous français? Well, now is the perfect time to learn or improve! Especially for
those who just had to type that into Google Translate. Explore spends 5 weeks teaching
its participants the language of love while immersing them in it (the language,
apparently thereʼs policies against the latter).
Imagine learning French in the heart of Quebec City! How cool is that? The best part,
itʼs social! Learning a new language can be tough. Doing it with a whole bunch of other
people all of whom are eager to learn and have as little experience as you do? Well
3) Volunteering Abroad:
This is probably one of the most popular options as of late, if for no other reason than
because it is so easy! Organizations for this are springing up like wildﬁre, giving you the
chance to travel to developing countries and… teach English… build schools … save the
world. On top of that, these trips are low cost (the most expensive part obviously being
the plane ticket), and give you a chance to expand your horizons. Whether itʼs
befriending people from all over the world, experiencing the local culture, food and
landmarks or taking advantage of the comparatively cheap night life, youʼre sure to
make a life changing experience out of it.
4) DIY! Thatʼs right, Do It Yourself!
When all else just doesnʼt quite work for you, get off the couch and do it yourself! There
are so many opportunities to meet people and hone your skills. If youʼre looking for the
perfect experience, just tailor a few of them together to make your own personal
summer program! Why donʼt more people do this? Probably because it seems tough. It
sounds challenging to ﬁnd workshops worth going to and making sure you stay on point
for the entire summer.
The good news is, it isnʼt really that hard! A lot of groups, Raeallan included, are holding
events in the coming months! And isnʼt the art of leadership all about continually
challenging and improving yourself?
Want to master the art of public speaking? Check out The Academy of Persuasion!
Still want more? Keep an eye on Eventbrite for the latest conferences and classes!
And just remember, whatever you do for the rest of this summer, make sure to Get Your
Tell us here what youʼre doing to GYST for a chance at cool prizes and some