I am embarking on the last month of an intensive, six-month leadership training program entitled Next Up. The Women’s Centre has supported me to take part in this incredible training opportunity and I’m sad to see it coming to an end.
Next Up works to educate and foster a network of social change leaders across Western Canada. The program was created to support emerging leaders to develop and strengthen their knowledge and skills. The program addresses diverse topics through an engaging process that emphasizes theory, practice, critical thinking and hard skills.
I am a member of Calgary’s second group to participate in the training. With 11 other diverse, socially active and eager youth, the training sessions and discussions have been fascinating and eye opening. We meet every Tuesday evening and one Saturday or Sunday a month. In that time we have covered an immense range of topics. Some of these topics included: Alberta economics 101, multiculturalism, framing dialogue and telling your story, facilitation, models for alternative health care, privilege and oppression, etc. We have also had the opportunity to engage with a range of inspiring leaders including municipal and provincial politicians, documentary film makers, young women that are working towards food security in Calgary and representatives from the Parkland Institute and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – just to name a few.
In addition to the amazing facilitators, intense topics and discussions, my cohort has also had the opportunity to spend time with members of Calgary’s previous cohort, many of whom are on the advisory committee or have facilitated sessions with us. In fact, a couple women from last year’s cohort are also Women’s Centre volunteers!
An additional way to connect to members of previous cohorts is through the optional coaching program. I really value the opportunity to chat with my coach on Skype every other week. She lives in Vancouver and was part of a previous Next Up cohort out there. Our sessions are a way for me to set goals for my personal leadership development and work out realistic and measurable steps to accomplish these goals. I can bounce ideas and thoughts off of her and she does an amazing job of helping me find clarity and direction.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to be involved with Next Up! Not only have my leadership skills increased immensely but my confidence has as well. E-mail me for more information or check out Next Up’s website: http://www.nextup.ca/