“How to Affect Positive Change” By Caciques Aldis and Katie J.

This afternoon, we all had the opportunity to lean from the wide variety of guests assembled on our campus. Island School students mingled with university professors, while Deep Creek Middle School conversed casually with the United States Ambassador to The Bahamas. Our campus became a slightly chaotic home to an Leadership in Education Conference. Directly after lunch, we all met in the boathouse where Chris Maxey set the tone for the next few days. Each and every one of us had made a conscious effort to be here in order to learn from advocates, teachers, and students of all kinds reaching towards the common goal of sustainability and student empowerment. Throughout the afternoon, a plethora of groups made presentations on their experiences of taking on leadership in communities and making a difference. Personally, I was particularly inspired by the story of one young man from the African Leadership Academy. At eighteen he started leading a group of students working to revive a support system for HIV/AIDS patients. He and his peers jumped headlong into their project full of ideas about how to affect positive change, making choices and decisions on the fly. However, it was not until they had suffered total failure twice that they realized that in order to effectively affect change, it was essential to first confer with the community in which they were working and assess what their needs truly were. I felt that this was particularly relevant in our work with the Deep Creek Middle School in community outreach and it is something that I will try to keep in mind as I continue through the semester.