1719 Society Training – as retold by three senior prefects
My name is Katie Shepherd. This year, I’ve been privileged enough to become a member of the year’s 1719 Society, and on Wednesday I attended a training session to learn more about my new role, along with the rest of the group. It really provided a valuable insight into what we’d be doing throughout next year, and work’s already begun on implementing some of the ideas we came up with.
We began by exploring one of the biggest questions about our role as senior prefects – what does it mean to be a leader? We discussed the qualities that create a role model, such as intuition, commitment, empathy, and awareness, but what stood out to me was the idea of a servant leader: a leader who rules with humility. I think these qualities are essential in the way the Society will inspire change over the next year.
Secondly, we explored the ideas of the Lasallian Values: inclusive community, respect for all persons, faith in the presence of god, quality education, and concern for the poor and social justice. These five core principles will be at the heart of the way we run the 1719 Society. For example, quality education is not restricted to within the classroom; extra-curricular and charity activities we provide will also play a part in it. We’ll also be working to make our school a more respectful and inclusive place, as well as raising money for charities through social events, fulfilling the value of concern for the poor.
As well as thinking about how we can make a difference in school, we also took the time to reflect on ourselves: where we came from, where we are now, and where we want to be. It really got me thinking about what my purpose is going to be, as I filled in a worksheet reflecting on my strengths, my interests, and what the world needs. Together, these things will help me discover what I’m meant to be, and the 1719 Society is a great first step into finding my vocation, and give back to others. As Picasso said, ‘the meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away’. I think that’s a great summary of what the Society will allow us to do: combine our passions with our ideas, giving back to our school, while in the meantime developing ourselves as young people.
We also had 2 previous senior prefects of the first 1719 Society come in and talk to us a little bit more about how the society works, and they answered some of the questions we had for them. They both told us that their closest friends they have now are from this society, how much it changed them in various positive ways and how it overall is a great experience not only for right now, but it will also help you in your future as you can put this experience in your CV when applying to colleges, universities etc.
Before picking what strands we preferred to go into, there were pieces of A3 papers around the room, each with a name of a strand. We all went around the room and dotted down our ideas that we had for each one. Such as: for the communication strand, the ideas we had for this were podcasts, social media such as twitter and Instagram etc. Then, we were able to have a more clear and developed idea of which strand we would be the most useful in to help the school and the society/which strand we liked best out of all of them.
After lunch, we all found out the strands that we would be working in; we were all a bit nervous about finding out which strand we would be responsible for, but after we were told, the room was full of anticipation. We separated into our groups and started to put a plan together about how we can contribute to school life. We finished the day with the badge ceremony and a short service. As we pinned our badges on our blazers there was a feeling of pride, joy, excitement and honour. However some people were also a bit scared about being in charge, as they had never held a position of responsibility like this before, but with each other’s support, we will hopefully be able to leave a long lasting effect on the Lasallian community. We were all so grateful to be given this opportunity and responsibility. We can’t wait to get started and to see what this next year will bring!