Leadership and Peer Support ISU

January 25, 2016

Who am I:

My name is Rahul Zirvi and my student number is 606225. Below is a picture of me from my grade 8 graduation.
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Personal Leadership Statement

What leadership is to me is the ability to effectively take the role of a group’s leader and allow them self and others to succeed. Leadership is not putting down others or saying new to different proposals, a leader is understanding, cooperative and tries to implement new ideas so everyone can meet their common goal. The good qualities of leadership include taking action first and motivating others to follow in their footsteps. They are also able to work around/solve issues. They take initiative and try to divide the work evenly. They give peoples tasks that they are capable of doing to ensure everything is done efficiently and the final product can be something everyone is proud of. Also being able to understand key dynamics that may impose issues and have an ability to solve/work around these issues. There will always be problems that arise when a group is working towards a common goal, so the ability to fix these issues is very important. The most important thing about leadership, in my opinion, is common goal. I believe that everyone in the group must have the same common goal so everyone knows what to do, they will be satisfied with the final product, and no one will be working on something they don’t believe in or don’t think will be adequate. The main place where I think issues start to arise for groups is when there is no common goal. When a group doesn’t have a clear defined goal in mind that everyone can agree with, there will be people who are unmotivated to work because they will not be satisfied with the product because it’s not what they had in mind. Another issue that can arise is there will be confusion and people will not be able to perform their required task.

Analysis of Leadership Experiences

Analysis of Leadership Experiences:

Consciousness of Self:

The event that showcased this was the job interview. For this assignment, we had to make resumes and cover letter, and then have a mock interview for a job. While making my cover letter and resume, I realized that I have almost nothing to put on my resume. Then I had another realization: even with good marks, I cannot get into a good university if I am taking no extracurriculars. This made me reevaluate and begin to change my priorities so I can have a good university application. Because of this assignment, I am now trying to get more involved in school. I joined DECA and this coming semester, I will start peer tutoring for math.


The event that showcased was the post secondary presentation we had to do. I believe that if you work hard in high school & post secondary and remain dedicated throughout, you will be successful in life. And this corresponds with what I am currently trying to do. I am trying my best right now to get into a good university such as University of Toronto, which is also the school which I did my presentation on. In order to get into that school, majority of the programs require about a 85%-90% average. This is very hard to achieve, especially when most good programs require hard courses such as physics, calculus, chemistry, etc.. The presentation revolved around showing the program I wanted to get into, accounting. And the only way for me to get into this program is if I follow my beliefs, I have to work very hard in high school and stay dedicated.


The event that showcased this was the mocktail party on November 11. During this event all of us in our leadership course had to come to room 101 in dressy/professional attire. During this period, we were given a slip of paper that had listed what colour we were and what personality and characteristics were associated with that colour. So for the entire class I had to ask very little questions, avoid eye contact and speak quietly. The display of commitment was staying first showing up to class dressed very well and then keeping in character for the entire period. It felt really ridiculous and I felt a little stupid and couldn't stop laughing. So I had to stay calm, committed to my character and contain my laughter throughout the entire period.


The event that showcased this was the mall trip on November 24. During these event, all of us in the leadership class got put into groups with a couple of our classmates and some of the DDR students and together we all walked around Bramalea City Centre to complete a scavenger hunt. The trip as a whole was very fun, seeing all the different shops and also exploring the mall for different items on the throughout the mall. We had to find things like the mall map, mannequins, Christmas decorations, and a whole bunch of other stuff. So all of us had to work together in order to find all of the items on the list before lunch. We all began to discuss what the plan should be and we decided that we would prioritize certain items on the list, starting off with the easiest items first. Because we worked as a unit, we finished the scavenger hunt before almost everyone. Overall, it was a really fun experience and I enjoyed meeting the DDR students.

Common Purpose:

The event that showcased this was the Mansfield trip. During this trip we visited the Mansfield outdoor centre and spent almost the entire day there. This also was a very fun trip. The bus ride allowed everyone to just talk and play games for about an hour. Then when we got to Mansfield, we began to have even more fun. We numerous games which required us to work as a unit, collaboration, and work with one another. These games were pretty unique in the fact that everyone had to perform the same role. If one person didn’t, the task wouldn’t have been complete. A good example of this is the floor-is-lava game. We had to use big pieces of wood to figure out how to make it through from one side of the room to the other without touching the floor. There were places where we could rest the wood so we could advance forward, but the issue was that there were not enough pieces of wood for us to place down so everyone can go at once. So we had to problem solve and figure out solutions to bypass this. So it took a lot of time, effort collaboration, and ideas to figure out how to get everyone to the other end of the room.The solution we came up with was to allow one person to make it to the end then let that person pass back the pieces of wood so that way people at the beginning can use those pieces to get across. Because we were motivated because we had a fun common goal, we were able to work together and solve the problem after adapting our approach.

Controversy with Civility:

The event that showcased this was the team challenge on November 14. For this activity, we were set into different groups of 4-5. We all were given tasks and we were required to communicate and work together to achieve a certain goal or complete a task. Some of the tasks included building a catapult out of popsicle sticks and another was building the paper airplane that could fly the furthest. An issue that arose were that we all didn’t have a definitive idea/method as to how to create the best paper airplane. So instead of bickering about which one of us had the best plane, I came up with the idea of all of the group members building their own plane and the person whose plane flew the furthest was going to be the one we were going to use for the competition. This ended up working out pretty well, the only thing that didn’t go our way as when we threw the plane during the competition , the plane hit the ceiling and immediately stopped flying. But other than that, our method of solving this issue worked, our plane flew very far when we first tested it.


The event that showcased this was the eco-buddy trip on November 15. During this event the all of us in the leadership class had walked to Springdale Public School to meet with some grade 3 students who we had been previously sending letters to. The goal was to teach these kids about the environment and why it was so important to take care of the earth. We made these kids also make a pledge as to how they will help the environment and taught them things like brushing with the water turned off, the importance of not littering etc.. We even told them about our milk bag collection program at our school and they brought in milk bags since November. During the second trip, we visited them again to make mats out of the milk bags to donate to victims in countries which had suffered severe natural disasters. These kids are very impressionable at this age and we have taught them a very good thing. This action as a whole connects to citizenship because we all worked to help people in need of mats by bringing in milk bags, and also educating impressionable children the importance of taking care of the environment (which hopefully they will continue to do for the rest of their lives).

Leadership Experience Reflection

I think one of the greatest leadership experiences that had a great impact on me was the extracurricular fair on September 9. For the extracurricular fair, we had to show up a little early, around 8:15 a.m., and help set up booths and do some other tasks in order to help set up event on time. So throughout the first and second period we were helping students find places within the school in which they can get involved. There were booths set up about extracurricular activities with sign-up sheets and lots of useful information for the newer students at our school. This event connected to all of the 7C’s in multiple ways. First, consciousness of self. When looking around at these booths and seeing all the different things the school provides was kind of eye opening because I didn’t know the variety of different things were available and I also realized that I was not involved in school. Seeing all of these booths made me realize I am pretty disengaged to my school outside of attending from period 1 to period 4. So this is kind of motivated me to be more involved in school. And as a result, I joined the DECA group at our school. DECA helped me realized that I like business and ever since then, I have wanted to become an accountant. So in a sense, this event helped shaped my desired career path and also made me want to be more involved in school. Secondly, congruence. Overall, I believe I am a kind and caring person that believes in helping others & during this event, I actively tried to be forward, outgoing and assist all of the people attending. I genuinely wanted to help some of these kids find hobbies in the school to get involved in, especially the grades 9’s; because coming into high school, there are a lot new people that you don’t know, and getting involved in extracurriculars is a great way to meet people. It took a while for me to make good friends at this school in grade 9 because lots of people came from other middle schools, and I wanted to help these students find places where they can easily make new friends and meet people. Also, getting involved in school also looks good for your university application and I actively made this point to multiple grade 9 and 10 students. I think that my actions that day did reflect my beliefs in helping others and being kind to everyone. Next, is commitment. I woke up about 15 minutes earlier and arrived at school before announcements so I could take out the tables so people’s booths can be put up. It wasn’t a large commitment, but it was still a commitment I had made. Furthermore, collaboration. When I came to school early, Jash, Mohak, and a couple of other guys had all helped carried tables out of the gymnasium and into the front foyer. The tables were fairly heavy and each table required at least two people carrying it. So either Mohak or Jash and I would collaborate and work together to carry a table to the front and then help set up the booths. This also allowed me to get talk more to both Jash and Mohak, and Ibrahim and ever since then, we have all been pretty good friends. Another one of the 7C’s was common purpose, Jash, Ibby, Mohak and I all generally stayed in a certain area when the grade 9’s came down in order to allow all of us to talk to as many new students as we can. We all wanted to help these students find places where they can get involved and we did this by having one person in a certain area in the front foyer so we can all talk as many different students as we could with the goal in mind to help these kids sign up for something. Next is controversy with civility. A common issue that arose was kids not being interested in any of the extracurricular activities being offered. So I tried discussing and opening dialogue with students and figuring out what they were interested in and then suggested places where they could sign-up for according to their hobbies. And this method worked for most kids, they found something to sign-up for, but there were some students who simply weren’t interested in signing up for anything. Lastly, citizenship. Everyone in our class as a unit were helping students find places where they could get involved in our community, our school. So by helping these students get involved in our community, we displaying citizenship.This event shaped my definition of leadership into what it now is currently. Relating back to one of the 7C’s, I realized how important it really is to approach controversy with civility. Instead of giving up on trying to convince students to join a particular club, I changed and adapted my approach by finding out their interest and then figure out a club that I could suggest them to join, or I told them clubs that looked good on a university application. With this adaptive thinking and new approach, I convinced a couple of students to actually join a club like DECA. From this point on, I realized that leadership isn’t just being cooperative, respectful and open to ideas. I discovered that if you are an adaptive thinker and try to work around issues that are imposed, you will have a much better chance to succeed. And this approach is how I dealt with numerous issues in group projects throughout the school year.

Leadership Compass Self-Assessment

The working style that was given to me based on my answers was analytical. One example of a scenario where this learning style fits me is when I am doing tests, I usually fixate and analyze the problem that I cannot seem to solve instead of moving on to another questions. The analytical section off the sheet had said that analytical people may get bogged down by information or the analysis process at the expense of moving forward, which is exactly what I do on tests. It bothers me to have an incorrect answer so I like trying to fix those first. Furthermore, the next example of me displaying an analytic work style is when I am doing things like homework, I overanalyze things. I overthink difficult questions and it often leads me to not even trying to solve them opposed to at least attempting to. I think too much about the question, then I confuse myself. This happens again a lot with math homework. My teacher often tells me that I should at least try the question and follow your instincts when doing a difficult question. The last example of where I display analytical thinking it in classes like construction. When we are given drawings of projects that we have to make, I like observing the drawing in order to understand and plan ahead where I am going to start and in what order will I complete the task. I overall do not agree with the analysis of my work style. It was listed on the sheet that analytical people are often stubborn, distant and cold from other people, are withdrawn and distant, and resist emotional change. I think these attributes are ones that do not reflect the person I am. I am usually a kind, open person with friends and strangers. I don’t like being very distant from others or being withdrawn. I enjoy others people’s company and actively try to communicate with others. This is why I think that some of the attributes the sheet listed for analytical workers do not suit me.

Leadership and Social Justice

The issue that I have picked is homelessness in Toronto and the GTA. There lots of homeless people in the GTA and especially in Toronto. There are many causes to this injustice, but the most common ones being increase in poverty, lack of affordable housing, drug addiction, ex-convicts unable to find jobs, and so many more. This not only affects the homeless it affects us too. If the thought of thousands of fellow citizens without homes doesn’t bother you or make you want to help make a difference, then you should know that Canada has spent an estimated $4.5-6 billion in 2013 alone just for things like federally-operated shelters, social services, health care, etc..But my point is, money should not be you motivation to help make a difference, the injustice alone should motivate you to want to make a difference. Non-profit organizations like Housing Help Association of Ontario (HHAO) actively work to help assist homeless people get jobs and find provincially funded housing. Organizations like these are ones that we as a school can help try to donate to. My idea to help this issue would be to have an announcement, probably a short PSA about the homeless in our community and how it affects us. I first want people to be aware of the issue because staring awareness is very important if you want to help make a difference. Then, similarly to toonie for terry (raising money for the Terry Fox foundation), we will ask people to bring in their loose change in for about a week or two and see how much money we can raise. We can the profits to an organization like HHAO. Well one leadership skill that I can use to address this skill is how much I care for others. Leadership is not only caring about your group members, but it is also about caring for others, whether they be strangers or people who are homeless.

Advice to Future Leadership Students

My advice for all of the students that have some interest in taking leadership is that it is overall a great course and has a lot of benefits that almost no other courses provide. Something you should be aware of though is that this course does have work to do. It is not just some bird course that you can simply be constantly lazy and not put in an effort. It is not an easy 90% if you don’t work for it. This course does require some effort with the homework and assignments. They are really not very hard or long, you just need to invest in some time and effort. If you do all of these things, you are guaranteed to excel. Now the benefits of taking this course is that you get a lot of applicable experience that can be put on resumes. In this class we some volunteer work (doesn’t officially count as hours but it is something you can refer to in a job interview), had a field trip with the DDR students, teach young students about the importance of taking care of the environment, and we even have mock interviews and make resumes later on in the course. This course gives you a lot to talk about in a interview and helps you put things on your resume. This is an advantage that no other course provides at this school. Before leadership (when I did my resume for civics and careers), I had almost nothing to write about. It made me realize that I have very small amount of volunteer hours, I don’t get involved in extracurriculars. Lack of involvement in extracurriculars This is something that can affect your university admission. But after leadership, I have had a lot of experience that will help me get a job when I apply for one in the summer. Overall, leadership was a great experience and I would strongly recommend this course to anyone in grade 10 or 11 who needs another elective.