Increased self-confidence, enhanced leadership capabilities, and strengthened people skills were just some of the benefits ACG Tauranga’s Changlu Guo gained after completing the 2021 Acorn Foundation Dale Carnegie Youth Programme.
The three-day course, which took place last month, saw Changlu and 22 other Western Bay of Plenty Year 13 students (including ACG’s Hugo McCarthy) build their skills in everything from role plays and public speaking, to stress reduction and engaging with peers.
And while Changlu admits it pushed students out of their comfort zone, he believes the results were well worth it.
“The course taught me how to be friendlier and nurture relationships, how to become an effective leader and how to reduce stress. That was particularly helpful for me because I get quite stressed during exam time,” says Changlu, who was nominated for the programme by ACG Tauranga Senior Dean Jackie Webb.
As a leader in the school’s Community Pillar, Changlu jumped at the chance to build his leadership skills and grow as an individual.
“Finding the courage to speak to new people was challenging for me, but in the end, it turned out to be one of the biggest highlights! I loved meeting students from other schools and hearing their stories. My other most memorable highlight was giving a speech at the graduation ceremony and actually being brave enough to speak in front of a group of people.”
The skills the participants developed will serve them well, not only in their final year of high school but as they move onto further studies and beyond.
Adds Changlu, “After completing my master’s degree, I’m going to help run the family business, so good leadership and relationship building skills will be vital."