Student Leaders in Barmouth

“We enjoyed every minute of it, as well as learning how to become good leaders with the hope of having a big impact back at school by sharing our experiences with the wider community to produce a real change.” These were the words of the Stonyhurst head boy, Nico Mariscal, at the end of the Sixth Form Leadership Conference. It went from Wednesday 28th September to Friday 30th September and was held at the Jesuit summer house in Barmouth, Wales, with sixth formers from St Ignatius College (Enfield),  Stonyhurst College (Lancashire), Mount St Mary’s College (Sheffield) , Wimbledon College, St Aloysius College (Glasgow), and Cardinal Griffin Catholic College (Cannock) . Fr Adrian Porter SJ (Director of the Jesuit Institute) hosted the conference and all the talks.

Whilst there, the students learnt about a range of topics centred on leadership such as discernment, the life of St Ignatius, styles of leadership, personality types, the importance of the examen prayer, heroic ambition and resources that can be utilised to enact change. They came away with a greater sense of self-knowledge and how different styles of leadership are appropriate in certain situations. In addition, they were taught how varying qualities of different people complement each other making a well-rounded leadership team.

Complementing the input there was ample time for space to relax and reflect, walking along the seaside, visit the town of Barmouth and seeing a  beautiful part of Wales they had never seen before. As well as these informal times to chat and process what they had learnt, more formal discussions were held where they could talk about ways they could apply what they had learnt when they return to their schools. By the end of the conference, they were surprised that they could think of so many ways they could make a difference in the lives of their fellow students.