Psychology presentation at youth leadership awards

POSTED: 02/18/13 12:27 PM

St. Maarten – With the participation of 124 Interactors and other youth leaders, the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards event was declared open on Thursday evening by assistant district 7020 governor James Ferris. Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams, Minister Silveria Jacobs and district governor Vance Lewis offered the young leaders words of welcome and encouragement before wishing them a successful conference. The evening continued after the formalities with dinner and a dynamic presentation by psychologist Giselle Hilliman who spoke on the topic of understanding different behavioral styles.

Hilliman is a multi-talented young professional, and one of St Maarten’s rising young leaders. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Temple University, in Philadelphia Pennsylvania and a Master’s degree from the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, in Boston, Massachusetts.

Her presentation engaged the participants to seriously evaluate their own personalities and those around them in an attempt to recognize how they themselves and others would react to a particular situation. The topic which set the tone for the rest of the conference which bears the theme “leadership and peace through cultural diversity” was followed by an ice-breaking activity which built on the dinner theme.

David McGregor director and trainer of TDC truly broke the ice as participants from Anguilla, St. Kitts, Tortola, Jamaica and St. Maarten took part in an exercise which challenged them to not look at each other in the eyes and remember as many as 20 names, of persons they had never met before, within 20 minutes. The challenge of not looking each other in the eyes failed terribly as clearly in our culture this is not customary. As for remembering names, based on an honor system the winner of this exercise was victorious with claiming to have remembered 18 names. Before lights out on the first night a final treat of ice cream was given; the following morning at 6:30 Patti Panthophlet would set the pace for the day with Zumba.

“I hope you will remember this conference only because you are on St. Maarten, but because you are here to have the experiences which are planned for you in the next coming days,” PM Wescot-Williams said in her welcome to the one hundred participants.  “While I was walking around and speaking to some of you I realized that the challenge is not with those of you who are going to be part of the conference, but that the ones that are going to be challenged are the facilitators and the presenters, and this because of your energy. You are preparing to be a leader and that is the reason why you must be here; because you want to be leaders and because indeed the cliché rings true that the youth are the leaders of tomorrow and I daresay that you are the leaders of today. Most of all I want to wish you a conference which would reaffirm your commitment to be a positive leader amongst all cultures within your community.”

The Youth Conference is taking place at the MAC school in St. John’s Estate and will end tomorrow afternoon.


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