My presentation discusses the importance of personal leadership and its relationship to the skills learned in outdoor education. The focus of my talk is about cultivating personal leadership skills through self-awareness and emotional intelligence, and encourages students to choose the path they want instead of confining themselves to the one they think is expected of them.
It is about finding and embracing authenticity in yourself and your pursuits. I deliver this message by sharing my own journey through young adulthood and the struggles that I faced with overcoming depression, anxiety, and the stressors of family, Massachusetts high school sports, collegiate selection, and career expectations.
My exposure to outdoor education saved, and completely changed, my life. I use storytelling to describe what it is about the outdoors that allowed me to cultivate the skills necessary to move forward from one of my lowest and most challenging points in life. I describe my journey from that point to establishing a career in marketing and as a professional outdoor educator.
My talk aims to give a “tool kit” for success; 7 actual skills that students can use in their own lives to overcome adversity and achieve their own version of success. They are skills that I learned, and still use, in outdoor trip leading and education, and they are directly transferable to everyday life. They are especially useful skills in preparing students for college and beyond.
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