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There is a Leader in everyone, Embrace it! My key takeaways from Sam Thiara's amazing thoughts!

Updated: Jul 20, 2021

Hey everyone! My name is Freya Shah and I will be going into Grade 10 this upcoming September at Woburn CI. I loved to meet my incredible peers for the next two months last Monday, and I am absolutely looking forward to working with you all in the near future! I got the opportunity to listen to an amazing (and very thoughtful) lecture from Sam Thiara, and I am so glad to be able to share my key learnings and takeaways with everyone today!

First off, I'd like to quickly acknowledge our three amazing leaders for this summers cohort; Alina, Sarah, and Tayte! I got the opportunity to virtually meet these three amazing women, with whom I will be spending a good amount of my summer with! Although this is my first time being a part of any type of leadership academy, I am sure that we are in great hands.


So, let's talk SAM THIARA! We got to interact with this inspiring (and very enthusiastic!) individual who shared his post-secondary journey with us. Sam Thiara is a coach, speaker, storyteller, writer, workshop facilitator, educator and an entrepreneur. (THAT'S CRAZY!🤯) Someone with such a broad reach into many career realms is sure to have some very insightful thoughts and ideas, and we got to be a part of that!

Sam has left us with a couple of challenges for the week, but before I dive into that, I'd like to share what I've learned from my session with him.


It's been a tough year for (mostly) all of us, due to the pandemic, virtual schooling, limited social interaction, and what not. In these times, it is absolutely VITAL that we, as individuals in society, show the traits of CARE. CARE is an intelligent acronym, which stands for Collaborate, Adaptability, Resilience, and Empathy.


Collaboration is key in positive interaction between members of a global community. Everyone has different perspectives, and collaborating will allow each of us to present our unique points-of-view and work together towards a common goal! And what's better then a group of emerging leaders like ourselves putting forth our ideas in front of one another?!


This one speaks for itself! We've all shown tremendous adaptability ever since COVID-19 has taken over. Adaptability is the ability for an individual to adjust to any change in an immediate environment. Being adaptable will surely help us grow as leaders, because a leader works with many different kinds of people, all of which have their own unique workstyles and thoughts! Switching to virtual schooling is a great example of adaptability. We've all adjusted to the (unfavorable) situation put in front of us, and look at us! We've gotten through a whole year of school and are taking part in a Leadership Academy during the summer! 😎 GO US!


Bouncing back from setbacks. I can surely guarantee that we all have had setbacks in our lives, but coming up with coping mechanisms for ourselves is an imperative skill to have. As leaders, we have all gone through hardships and tough times to be where we are today. Being resilient definitely does not mean we do not experience stress, but we can easily bounce back to reality and get on with our day.


Empathy is a trait that everybody should possess. Understanding the feelings of others allows us to connect with them at a personal level. A leader needs to empathize with his or her "followers" in order to build good relations and a high reputation.


Post Secondary Tips and Tricks

Sam Thiara explained some post-secondary tips and tricks that will surely help us in the future. Going into high-school, I expected some tremendous changes; and prepared myself for it. But to be honest, I haven't really contemplated post-secondary life. I mean, I still have 3 whole years! But, I'm starting to realize how quickly these years will pass. It feels as if Grade 9 finished in a snap! 1 year went by so fast, and the next 3 will definitely be over before I know it as well, so let's start planning...

Growing up, I learned to focus on the aspects of wellness so that I am able to cope with stressors. I recommend the same!

Prioritize your time.

Make sure you set priorities and keep track of your jobs and activities for the day! Know what you need to do, and rank them by importance.

Learn how to study

Yep! You read that right... re-learn how to study. Your schedule will be 100% different then what you have grown up with, and managing your education will be a hassle!

Be organized.

A well planned organizer makes the unmanageable become manageable. You already have a lot of load on your brain, so there's no need to put the pressure of remembering activities on it as well!

Manage Stress.

BIG ONE! Stress is inevitable, but the way you handle it is unique to you! Understand how you manage your stress, and understand how your body reacts to it. Try keeping track of the physical and mental changes you experience! Maybe make a stress journal, here's mine!

A low mark is not the end of the world!

This is the one I need to learn. I take grades WAY too seriously, but sometimes, you just have to accept things the way they are. Sam explained that your first grades may not be favorable, but there's always next semester! (not saying you should not pay attention btw 🙈)

Take your time choosing courses.

Spread out the courses you take over a timetable that suits you. Make sure you combine heavy courses with lightweight ones so that you can pinpoint your focus.

Enjoy your experience!

Cheesy, I know, but VERY important! University (or college) is going to be the time of your life! Embrace it!

What makes a leader?

Sam asked our group, and we started giving traits such as confidence, Integrity, Empathy, and so on. When he told us, I was pretty shocked. He gave such a simple answer, yet I would've never thought of it!

Answer: Followers! (Yea, my mind went straight to Instagram as well😖)

Simple, yet such a true answer! Followers make a leader. The people around us give us the respect and honor of a leader, meaning you have to earn it! As leaders, it is our job to earn the respect of the people around us, and that respect will give you a position.



So, this is my last takeaway before I get into the challenge! Each of us have different perspectives, and it is wrong of us to deem the other person "wrong" for not seeing things the same way that we do. This picture that Sam used has a really nice way of explaining, even I had to take a minute to figure it out🤣 I learned that everyone sees things differently, yet there is no right(or wrong) answer when it comes down to it. Each of our perspectives on situations is unique, however, if we put them together, we will be able to come up with a creative solution or conclusion to the problem!


The challenge Sam has left for us is to create our own personal statement, and come up with my 5 core elements. *A core element is something that you are not willing to give up or compromise, no matter the situation.

My Core Elements:

  1. Friendship and Family. I am someone who values relationships over anything else. My close friends and family are my support system; always there for me when I need them. No matter what the situation, I know that I will never give them up.

  2. Dance and Creativity. Art forms are my stress outlets. I dance to let out emotions inside me, and I feel that it really calms me down. Dance is my passion, and I am not willing to give that up.

  3. Goal-Orientation. I think that I set many goals for myself, whether they be short term or long term. Goals give me a purpose, a way to be productive throughout the day. I am a determined person, and goal-setting is something I surely need in life.

  4. Leadership. Kind of cliché, but something I need. I represent people in my school and community. I think that by representing people, their thought, and their ideas, I feel confident and proud in myself, which is something that brings me happiness.

  5. Extraversion. I am an extraverted person who absolutely LOVES to talk to new people. Whether they be young or old, I can make small talk with practically anyone. This ability of mine enables me to make new friends wherever I go, and I want to keep it that way my whole life.

My Personal Statement:

Presenting my thoughts and ideas openly and proudly is what is important to me. There was a time in my life where I struggled with being bullied, and what made it worse was that my "best friends" turned on me. I wasn't able to stick up for myself. However, because of that low point, I learned how to stand up when I need to. Ever since I learned from that experience, I have been able to stand with my opinions and speak up when something is wrong. My confidence makes me who I am today.


So, that's all from me today! Before I end things off, I'd like to thank Sam Thiara for his wonderful lecture. I learned so much that my hands wouldn't stop scribbling notes! Anyways, I hope you may have resonated with a couple of the things I wrote about today. Thank you for taking the time to read this post, and if you want to reach out, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn or shoot me a message on Instagram! I hope you have a great day😁!


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