On Thursday 11th October 2018, Holy Name Convent was cordially invited to participate in the first Annual Seminar of “PREFECT PERFECT™ Leadership Skills Training”, hosted by Ms. Catherine Gordon, of Catherine Gordon’s Institute of Finishing Elements.

The seminar focused on educating the young students of Trinidad on the necessary etiquette skills, protocol and deportment to, firstly, adopt when representing their school as an ambassador, and to, secondly, flourish in the world of work.

Ten girls were selected from the 2018 class of Lower Six, and traveled  down to Cascadia Hotel, St. Anns, ready for a long but delightful day of activities. These students were Sarah Berment, Elize DaVila, Christiana Joseph, Elyse Dash, Siu Lin Cook, Kayla Alexander, Sarah Ross, Kezia Roach, Keriese Franklin and Micheala Noel.

Upon arrival, the girls were escorted into the main conference area, for registration. Everything seemed to be going well, until Ms. Gordon soon announced that students were not allowed to sit together as a school, and must disperse. At first, this rule brought great discomfort for the girls as, naturally, they preferred to stay with their friends. However, as the day progressed, the Holy Name girls grew accustomed to sitting aside students from differing schools, and by the end of the seminar, many of these “strangers” turned into great friends and colleagues.

The first presentation of the day was facilitated by Dr. Samuel Shafe, and focused on Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Dr. Shafe educated the students on the importance of maintaining your Mental Health, combating Stress, managing Fear and Anxiety, and many more vital subjects, that surely, every student will integrate into their own lives and personal development.

Afterwards, Ms. Maureen Bowen lectured about Leadership, sharing various Communication skills, the roles of Leaders and helpful tips on keeping motivated. Ms. Bowen additionally explained multiple strategies/techniques that can now be utilized when Prefecting. Also, when asked about this presentation, the students of Holy Name simply stated they were grateful to learn a bit more about their Leadership styles, and how to further develop themselves as Supervisors.

After lunch, many students were a bit tired and drained from the early morning events. However, everyone was soon awakened by the vibrant and charismatic L. Anthony Watkins. Mr. Watkins gave an enthusiastic talk on using Discipline as a tool for Development. Not only did he propose numerous insightful statements,  offer appreciable advice and all-around greatly inspire every person at the seminar, but he  also engaged the students in a very creative activity. Each table was required to showcase some sort of reflective piece on what the word Discipline meant to them, partially based on the information presented by Mr. Watkins. The students surely did not hold back their artistic abilities, as many songs, chants, poems and spoken words were bravely performed in front of the entire conference hall, impressing Mr. Watkins.

Lastly, Ms. Catherine Gordon taught the young men and women on the Importance of Business Etiquette and Protocol. She displayed the various actions one must take in certain organizational situations and encouraged the students to move from their tables and spend a minute to shake the hand of a person they never met before, and converse with them. This activity seemed a bit awkward and frightening for many, but still forced the students out of their comfort zones, helping them to develop their socialization skills.

As the seminar neared its end, the students were presented with their Certificates of Participation. Pictures were thereafter taken, and everyone bid each other farewell.

On behalf of the girls, we would like to thank Sr. Renee Hall and our teachers, for selecting us to attend this seminar, and for giving us such an excellent opportunity to enhance our development in Leadership and Socialization. We also thank Ms. Leslyn Brito, for accompanying us on our trip. Lastly, thank you Ms. Catherine Gordon for graciously inviting Holy Name Convent, and sharing this outstanding experience with us.

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