Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Meeting Our Mentees, Impromptu Speeches, and Unlocking the "Key to Success" - UP Cebu High School Leadership Workshop #1

Today (August 24) we PP11 mentors had our very first leadership workshop with the students of UP Cebu High School - it was a VERY exciting day :)

We spent the whole morning preparing for our day with our new mentees, and it was well worth it, as our day with the students went by very smoothly. After playing a short icebreaker game, the Leadership Team (Janet, Alyx, Xun, and Jan) matched each mentor up with his or her mentee, and each mentor-mentee group got to spend some time talking amongst themselves about what each person wants to take away from their SEALNet experience, along with other "deep conversation" topics. Mentor-mentee bonds were definitely formed:

Our professional mentor Andrew Plan and his mentee, Kier

Amy and her two lovely mentees

Natasha and her mentee, Brian

We then transitioned into the public speaking portion of our day with a skit put on by the mentors, in which the mentees saw both good and bad examples of public speakers and learned that when it comes to public speaking, L.E.S.S. is more! The acronym L.E.S.S. stands for Loudly, Eye Contact, Slowly, and Smoothly (without the use of "um" or "uh" words) - all mannerisms that one should remember when giving a speech.

Mentors then shared with their mentees about their public speaking experiences, fears, and strengths, and the mentees shared the same. We then split up into two groups and did the same "impromptu speech activity" as we did with the CCNSHS students the day before. Each mentee was given a prompt, such as "If you were an animal, what would you choose to be and why?" Everyone was given one minute to plan his or her speech then one minute to present the speech. After one round, mentors met with their mentees to share points of strength and points that could be improved upon, and we repeated the exercise once again with a second round of impromptu speeches. Everyone already noticed great improvements in all of the mentees during the second round!

Bryan giving his second impromptu speech on the topic: "Learning Doesn't Happen Only Inside a Classroom" while his schoolmates listened intently

The Leadership Team's portion of the day ended with the leadership building game called "The Key to Success." Just as the day before, the mentees were blindfolded then led into a "maze" consisting of a large rectangle with rope as its boundaries. Xun, the leader for today's game, repeatedly announced to the mentees that "there is only one way out of the maze," and that they were able to "raise their hands if they need help." The point of this exercise was to realize that, as service leaders, we cannot accomplish everything by ourselves - we need to rely on others to help us. The mentees who raised their hands and asked for help were un-blindfolded by a mentor and taken out of the "maze." The mentees learned the important lesson that an important key to success is humility.

We then transitioned into the one hour media development portion of our day, headed by the Children's Team (Jenssy, Ross, Amy, and Natasha). The mentees split up into four groups to brainstorm the definition of, causes of, symptoms of, and ways to prevent high blood pressure. This information will be used later on, as the mentees will be going to Lahug Elementary School next week to give short presentations about high blood pressure, as well as work together and in conjunction with UP High to create an information pamphlet that will be used during their presentations and at the Budlaan Children's Fair.

Michael explaining to the group that hypertension is known as "the silent killer"

We all regrouped and shared our ideas with the whole group and reviewed the content that we want to include in the mini presentations and the information pamphlet. The mentees did an amazing job combining the two main lessons of the day - public speaking and high blood pressure - as each group presented their ideas.

The presentation concluded the activities for the day, but before leaving, we all sang "Happy Birthday" to Lance on his special day! It was clear that every single mentor and mentee left UP feeling happy about their newfound relationships and excited to spend more time with each other :)

Happy Birthday, Lance!!

Bryan, Natasha, Alyx, and Chelsea - two mentor-me ntee pairs - doing a "wacky" pose

The mentors met at our hotel to debrief, take a short break, and begin working on preparations for tomorrow's workshop with CCNSHS. We did have time for a Mexican dinner though - tostaditas, quesadillas, nachos, and burritos - who doesn't get excited about that??

Project Leaders Anton and Janet, along with Natasha and Jan, CLEARLY stoked to pick up our Mexican dinner from Mooon Cafe!

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