Student Government Ready To Make A Change

February 14, 2020

[Written by CedarBridge Academy S4 Student Arianna Walters]

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we have been waiting for. We are the change that we seek” – Barack Obama

Being the change that is sought is a core principle of a Student Government. Student Government is a body of students that are representatives of the whole school population, mediating between the school and its administration. They are charged with understanding the students and their needs, and respectfully and responsibly represent the students and the school. Being the advocates puts these students in a position to make change in various aspects of the school.

The first meeting to begin discussions and training of CedarBridge Academy’s current Student Government held on Friday, February 7, 2020.

Premier David Burt

Premier David Burt Bermuda Feb 2020

To begin the meeting, former principal of CedarBridge Academy and now Education Commissioner, Kalmar Richards gave opening remarks. While speaking to the students, one could gather her message about leadership into five Cs. She first spoke about character, how one conducts themselves, the company one keeps, and ones commitment and conviction. Using herself as an example, she gave insight into each point and how they molded her to become the person and leader she is today.

Fitting for a seminar about leadership, Hon. E. David Burt, the Premier, was the next presenter to address the students. He began with a question to give the students a moment to contemplate, “What makes a leader? Was it age, personality, wealth, or knowledge?” Throughout his presentation, he spoke about the actions and intentions of a person. From the Premier’s perspective, if the person displayed integrity, advocacy, confidence and compassion they had the potential to be a leader.

When asked what the greatest sacrifice of being a leader was, he answered that it was time. One would have to give up time with friends and family to do their duty diligently. Personally my greatest take away was “Important criticizers will care about you and will tell you to your face, unnecessary criticism will be hidden.”

Speaking about conflict resolution and how to resolve conflict was Dr. John Duncan. His definition of conflict is ‘Constantly or Never Feeling like I Can Talk’. Before one can resolve conflicts, one first needs to understand it. Dr. Duncan’s interpretation of the causes of conflict were perceptions, personality and culture. To combat conflict his advice was to remain calm, stop blaming and shaming, focus on the issue not the feelings, explore the underlying issues, and accept each other’s perspective. In addition, when one is faced with conflict he encouraged us to Improvise, Adapt and Overcome.

From the city of Philadelphia was Rev. Lashonna Smith who spoke about her rise through Adversity to Success. Even though she grew up in poverty, she knew she had the potential to go to university against the odds and prejudice. When her counselor told her, she was not material for university but for Community College, she grew determined to prove her wrong. She did accomplish her dream, and went to university and now she passionately does what she loves, ministering and dealing with children. Her message to the students was that “No matter your background or where you came from, do what you want. Never let struggles or persons stop you from getting what you want.”

The last speaker to present was Carlos Santana, a Bermudian artist who specializes in an art technique called stippling. As a past student of CedarBridge Academy, he was remembered for always drawing or sketching. Being very passionate about his art, he decided to create a career out of it. However, a teacher to pursue a profession in art, as it was impossible, discouraged him. He proved them wrong and is recognized internationally for his work. Santana wanted the students to remember to “Never stop believing and working on what your dream is, no matter what people say, even if it may seem impossible.”

At the end the seminar, students were urged and informed on how to create smart goals and thorough action plans. With this in mind, students discussed various issues the school was experiencing. We came together with solutions to problems in hopes to present it to our principal so changes could be made.

The newly formed Student Government of CedarBridge Academy aspires to diligently represent its students and speak for the school body. With new found motivation and understanding of what a leader should be, we are now ready and determined to create change.

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