Nursing student Mikayla Wieblitz joined 100 nominated delegates on the Aspiring Leaders Forum last month in Wellington. This is an annual event that brings together individuals, aged 18-26, from all over New Zealand. Across four days, participants discussed why faith and values are foundational in informing and developing character and leadership.
Mikayla said, “It was an incredible four days of growth, friendship and learning that I feel has sparked a desire within me to learn more, see more and be more.”
Spending the first day at Parliament House, Mikayla was exposed to the day-to-day running of Parliament and heard from numerous MPs who shared their insights on leadership. This was followed by a banquet dinner at the Beehive with Dame Jenny Shipley making a keynote address. Dame Jenny spoke about discovering your “who” and “why” in order to find your “what” in life.
Day two commenced with leaders of the business community talking about their organisations and how they prioritise their people. Leaders of Pacific and Māori heritage also spoke. This has inspired Mikayla to look at enrolling in the Te Hoe Māori for beginners’ course that Ara offers in order to further her knowledge and understanding of Te Reo.
A range of young leaders that have started their own NGO’s and projects within their communities shared their experiences on day three. This was followed by a presentation on selected community service projects.
On the final day of the forum, delegates reviewed their learnings and discussed how they could apply these in their own communities and places of study or work.
Mikayla said, “The forum challenged me to not only look at how I can lead or be a good leader but also about finding out my ‘why’ and ‘who’, both as a person and as a leader in different communities. It has inspired me to look at ways I can make a difference in people’s lives and has clarified the values that underpin my desire to become a nurse and work in the medical profession. I feel as though it has given me critical thinking skills and interpersonal relationship skills that I can take into all areas of life. I hope to get more involved in community events at Ara and be able to share this experience and the things I have learned with other students”.
The opportunity to attend the Aspiring Leaders Forum, was made possible by funding from the Ara Foundation. Mikayla received a scholarship to the value of $1500.