ALA and Credit Suisse Partner to Shape Young Leaders

ALA partnered with the Credit Suisse EMEA Foundation (Credit Suisse) for the second consecutive year to host a leadership outreach program for a select group of secondary school students from diverse communities across South Africa.

By partnering with local schools and youth organizations, the ALA Credit Suisse Leadership Outreach Program is designed to introduce youth from across South Africa to the concepts of leadership, and to challenge them to think about how they can play a role in South Africa’s future.

This year, ALA hosted 71 students from 13 different partner organizations on its Honeydew campus for 4 days in the first week of June.  Partner organizations were asked to identify students between the ages of 16 and 19 who had demonstrated leadership potential in their schools or communities. During the camp, students worked in teams with 18 ALA student facilitators on developing and prototyping ideas to address identified problems and challenges in their respective communities.

The program made use of curriculum inputs from the Leadership and Entrepreneurship faculty at ALA, as well as guest speakers, team activities, and case work. A highlight of the programme was the the keynote address by Credit Suisse Senior Advisor and friend of ALA, Rick Menell, who spoke to the group about and the importance of service and his personal experiences in solving social challenges – ranging from his years within the mining industry, to his work with a number of philanthropic initiatives across South Africa.

The culmination of the leadership camp was the “Ideas Festival” in which participants showcased their prototyped ideas to a panel of Judges. Each team put to use the skills they had been taught in public speaking, prototyping, and effective presentation. Presentations were judged according to how well the team had identified a pressing need, the innovation of proposed solution, presentation quality, and finally, the potential for impact of the proposed ideas.

The winning team, from partner organization Cloud Dog,   took home first prize at the Ideas Festival for their presentation on their project “Tamb Lamathemba” -a reading and writing program in South African townships.  The project aims to target primary school children of about 10 years old initially with the intention of instilling a reading culture and love of reading  and consequently, improving academic performance. It will run after school at an easily accessible venue and will provide incentives for frequent or increased attendance.

Since ALA’s launch in 2008, Credit Suisse has been a critical partner of ALA in the development and establishment of its Centre for Leadership, specifically supporting the development and on-going refinement of its world class Leadership Curriculum. The annual ALA Credit Suisse Leadership Outreach Program is a forum through which ALA is able to extend the leadership skills which form a core part of the ALA curriculum, to the broader South African community.

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