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High school students gain leadership skills through Summer Program

Aug 11, 2023

Summer Leadership Program

Students leaving Ivey for a Western campus tour

During an intensive four days of experiential learning and leadership skill development, 76 high school students gathered from across Canada to take part in Ivey’s John F. Wood Summer Leadership Program for the first time since 2019.

Students arrived on campus on Monday, August 7 and got a taste of residence life while staying at Western’s Ontario Hall. On Tuesday, students were welcomed by Dean Sharon Hodgson and dove right into their jam-packed schedule for the week, which included case study sessions led by Ivey faculty, guest speakers, building and campus tours, discussions with career management, and a final project where students were tasked with completing a team capstone project.

Outside of the classroom, participants enjoyed a few fun-filled evenings with a campfire and s’mores, a trip to The Factory, and a London Majors baseball game at Labatt Park.

The John F. Wood Summer Leadership Program provides students with a unique opportunity to develop their leadership skills, get a glimpse of the Ivey student experience, and gain insights into critical issues such as Sustainability, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and Global Citizenship.

"The students have brought themselves impressively to the program and embraced the Socratic method,” said Zoe Kinias, Ivey’s inaugural John F. Wood Chair in Innovation in Business Education and an Associate Professor of Organizational Behaviour. “It is exciting to see this next generation's proposals toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and we are grateful to the faculty and staff who have welcomed them and ignited their curiosity!" 

The week wrapped up with a final project showcase, where student teams were assigned a UN Sustainable Development Goal and worked together to prepare a poster board to convey how they will work towards achieving their goal in the context of a Canadian city or town.

About the students:

  • 60 per cent self-identify as female, 40 per cent self-identify as male
  • Provinces represented: B.C., Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario
  • 30 per cent of students came from out of province
  • Students are in grades 9, 10, and 11, with the majority in grade 10 and 11

Thank you to those who contributed to the Summer Leadership Program

Thank you to Ivey faculty Kyle Maclean, Nadine de Gannes, and Janice Byrne for introducing the students to the case method approach and leading the class sessions. Countless staff within Ivey and from across campus contributed to the success of the week. Thank you to Alex Elias, Kelsey Adams (Wellness & Equity Education), Sebastian Cavaliere (Campus Safety & Emergency Services), Ivey’s IT team, and the staff at Ontario Hall. Thank you also to Zoe Kinias and Maggie Weller at the John F. Wood Centre for their support and guidance prior to and throughout the program. Lastly, alongside Kate Schieman and Matt Pizzuti, this event wouldn’t have been possible without the program coordinator, Alison Hansen.