Last Saturday I had the opportunity to attend the graduation ceremony of this year’s S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Youth Leadership Millennium (YLM) program. I participated in the same program seven years ago and since then have been volunteering there.
Although I have attended many of the graduations as a volunteer over the past years, this was the first time I was invited to speak in front of the audience from my perspective as an alumnus. Writing the speech gave me a chance to reflect over the past seven years and how different aspects of YLM have been part of my life.
Much of what I wanted to share with the graduates included learning and applying what was learned to life. The first point was to get the graduates to reflect on what they had learned in the program. I learned a lot during the seven-month program, hard skills like running meetings, and soft skills like working with others. I was also exposed to different things that I wouldn’t have tried on my own.
The second point was to keep learning throughout their lives. The motto of my elementary school was “Be a Learner for Life”. The program can’t teach you everything there is to know about leadership within seven months. It’s up to each individual to put in the effort to better themselves.
The final point was to apply what they learned in their lives. I think much of the benefit of YLM wasn’t really within the program but what came afterward. The opportunities of applying what I learned in YLM Council and further developing the things that I learned in the program was what I found most beneficial.
I’m including the text of the speech I drafted below. For the actual speech, I did cut some parts out to save time because the other speakers also covered about some of the things I had planned, however I stuck with the three main points.
This was my first time speaking at an event like this as an alumnus of the program. Again I learned a lot from this particular experience both when reflecting to write the speech, and giving it on the day.