28 June 2017 Tom Nieser   | News | Year 09  
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Last Thursday, on the 1st of June, a group of ten year nine boys including myself and Ms M. Kaur travelled to the Concourse, Civic Pavilion in Chatswood, to take part in Altitude day. Altitude day is a one-day event created by yLead to empower year 9 students in this important stage of our school journey. Altitude day incorporates multiple activities that force us out of our comfort zone, memorable advice about unlocking potential and achieving our goals and inspirational speeches by remarkable guest speakers to teach us about developing into young, passionate leaders.

The day was run by yLead’s CEO, Matt Kershaw. Once we arrived at the Civic Pavilion, we were handed booklets containing quotes and activities for the day, before we immediately underwent a challenge. The challenge was called; “Offline social networking challenge”, in which you had to find a person from a different school, introduce yourself and tell them about your interests, and vice versa, before departing that person and meeting someone new.

After five minutes, Matt told us to place our hand on the nearest person’s shoulder, declaring them as “your new bestie.” Each person sat down with their new bestie before Matt introduced himself to us and explained what yLead does. We then repeated the first challenge, but with a twist. Instead of stating your interests, you’d state the five attributes you would like to possess when you’re older. For example, I would say that I am inspiring, creative, grateful, respectful and curious. He believes that by saying it out loud, it will make you obtain those qualities.

Matt talked to us about how to reach potential, and what it actually is. He explained it using a simple diagram. In brief, he said “Think about your life and where you are right now. That is considered your actual. Now think about where you’d like to be. That is called your possible. Potential is the gap between your actual and your possible.” He defined potential as “What lies between where you are now and where you would like to be” He then stated that there are five steps to unlock your potential. 

  • Step 1: Live your passions, explore and experience as much as possible.
  • Step 2: Challenge yourself, step outside your comfort zone.
  • Step 3: Recruit mentors, learn from those who’ve walked the path you’re following.
  • Step 4: Make a plan and take action, make a map on your road to success.
  • Step 5: Have a champion mindset, stay positive and solution focused. 

We then said hello to our first guest speaker, Morgan Koegel. Morgan is the CEO of the One Girl, an organisation that is committed to educating African girls – one girl at a time. Morgan is a 25 year old female who realized the lack of education during her job as a gaol security guard. This realization inspired her to apply for the head position of One Girl, to which she was accepted. She is a passionate believer in the power of education and the capacity for young people to do anything they set their mind to.
Our second speaker, Daniel Flynn, is the Co-founder of the not-for-profit brand, Thank you. The company’s sole purpose is to fund water, food, health and hygiene projects in developing countries. He believes that impossible is not a fact, but only an opinion. He also stated “You have the power to change stuff” which means that if you put your mind to something, you can alter and change that thing for the better. He is passionate about inspiring others to defy what is considered impossible and to dream big.

The third and final guest speaker was Rowie McEvoy. Rowie is a self-made millionaire who is the founder of THE MAX, which is a group of Private, Prestigious and Exclusive International Fitness Businesses Colleges in Australia and New Zealand. As a child she was bullied for being overweight and pimple-faced. She was told that she wouldn’t aspire to anything and wouldn’t succeed in life. Recently, her company was listed in the BRW magazine’s list of Top 100 Fastest Growing companies in Australia. She shared to us how to be passionate about what you do, be healthy, and how to “make every day wow.”

Overall, the day was extremely beneficial and I believe yLead has succeeded in empowering and inspiring the young leaders of Australia. The event was full of helpful knowledge to improve our world and the lives of those around us. I highly recommend it for any year eights that are interested to attend next year.

- Tom Nieser,
Year 9.