Petaling Jaya, Selangor, 17 July 2019 - They are teens on a mission to Make A Difference (M.A.D.) in the world they live in. All 300 of them.
These students, comprising members of the Leaderonomics Leadership Clubs, represented 20 schools in Kuala Lumpur/Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Johor at the one-day annual LEAD Convention, organised by Leaderonomics Youth last Saturday (13 July). Among them were 70 youths from the Myanmar refugees community.
The hall at SMK Damansara Jaya here was supercharged with youthful excitement and enthusiasm. The M.A.D. projects they presented and showcased revealed their maturity and aspiration to improve the condition of the communities around them including their own schools. In short, they are on a journey to build a better world.
There were two stage presentations and 10 booth displays. All these projects revolved around the S.T.I.C.K. criteria, namely Sustainability, Teamwork, Impact, Creativity, Kindness.
Key leadership personalities including Roshan Thiran, Founder & CEO of Leaderonomics, Heidy Quah, Founder & Director of Refuge For The Refugees, and Jana Stanfield, platinum album singer and songwriter who is a member of Together, We Can Change the World, were also present to energise the participants with motivational insights and tips.
Thiran shared the story about the Tank Man who stood in front of a column of tanks during the Tiananmen Square protest in 1985. He recounted how a lone man took the big bold step to make a difference.
Quah asked the audience to reflect on their privilege and values in life, and what they are doing about them. Working with refugees, she said our privileges are not material things, but basic things like being able to walk out of our house and not having to worry about being taken away.
Stanfield aptly wrapped up the session, encouraging the students to be brave and to be the wind beneath each other's wings. Together with some of the students, she sang the following: "I cannot do all the good that the world needs. But the world needs all the good that I can do."
Since 2008, under the community arm of Leaderonomics, Leaderonomics Youth has been working with schools around the country to set up Leaderonomics Leadership clubs with the aim of growing students into leaders.
To date, there are 50 Leaderonomics Leadership clubs in Johor, Kelantan, Kuala Lumpur, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Penang, Perak, Selangor, Sabah and Sarawak. This initiative is fully approved by the Ministry of Education Malaysia.
A LEAD Convention will be held for schools in East Malaysia later this year, on 3 December. A similar convention was held in Penang for schools in the northern region on 6 July.