To encourage the next generation of college students to extend their development of personal and social impacts into college, UVU staged the annual High School Leadership Conference on Oct. 9 at the Sorensen Center.

The conference was led by the keynote speech of author and executive coach of the coaching program “Authentic Strengths Advantage” Fatima Doman. Doman encouraged the nearly-300 attending high school students to find out their personal strengths and focus on solution oriented thinking.

Doman began by calling on students to stand up and think about their bodies reacting to two different mindsets which she read out loud. She actively encouraged the students to share their individual strengths with their seatmates, and to use them to overcome challenges in life. Doman challenged the students to list their top strengths, and choose one strength daily for one week that they could use in a different way. Doman said, “It only takes five minutes a day. Pay attention to the results. You will experience a mood boost, that according to research, has shown [will] last up to six months. Let your strength to be seen!”

After the speech, the high school students broke out into sessions. They were brought together under the question of how to become a successful in college.

Jack Rowley, a high school attendee, explained what key message he took from the conference.

“So far I have learned how to succeed after failing and how to persevere,” Rowley said. “For me, a professional leader should be wise, accountable and have skills to work with other people.”

McCall Peterson, another high school student who attended the event, shared her thoughts. She said that students have to be aware of their own strengths in order to work with colleagues in effective ways. Peterson also suggested that leader’s top priority should be to become teamplayers.

Jessica Mohammed, one of the mentors of the Learn Engage Aquire Discover (LEAD) program of the Center for Advancement of Leadership, said that the intention of the annual conference is to provide essential leadership skills for high school students as they transition to college.

“The principles learned here will help them in so many different aspects of their lives,” Mohammed said. She pointed out that high school students should have the ability to hold themselves, and need to be confident and able to deal with struggles in order to become a successful college student.

The closing keynote by UVU’s Cultural Envoy Leadership Program was a vivid performance of different multicultural dance groups. The club was formed with the intention to create awareness for the community around students and how they can interact with them in a professional way. The Latino section dressed in colorful costumes and showed traditional dances from the Pacific Islands and South America, which the audience was thrilled to watch.

Leslie Gualotuna, a political science major who danced in the performance explained that her goal was to create a feeling of togetherness in the work field based on the various cultures at UVU campus.

“Be passionate and inspiring,” Gualotuna said. “Go out to the community and be a leader.”