By Max Lynch (GSB’19), FSIC Student Leader.
Day 4, the last day of the Changemaker Student Summit was filled with feelings of raw motivation, nostalgia, and happiness. The day was titled “Call To Action,” which involved making pledges for the future, celebrating conference achievements, listening to closing remarks, and saying goodbye to new friends.
As we had already learned about inequality and practiced tackling inequality in past days, the only step left was to plan for the future and promise to ourselves that we would be the change that we wanted to make. After a short presentation on the importance of communications, we were all inspired and instructed to affirm our goals. In doing so, we created posters with our own personal pledge statements. My pledge was(is) to bring change to the Fordham University education system by creating social innovation curricular and co-curricular opportunities.
With these posters we all got in front of a video camera and announced our pledges. The video is currently being processed and edited into a compilation of all conference pledges. We also wrote postcards that will be sent to ourselves in one year’s times. On the postcards we wrote what we hope to have achieved during the past year. I don’t exactly remember what I wrote on my postcard, but I know that it coincided with my pledge. I think that making affirmations for the future was an excellent way to finish off the conference. I personally felt extremely motivated to make the change that I wanted to make after the experience, and appreciated the structured opportunity to create attainable goals. Goal setting for me makes my plan for the future much clearer.
After making our affirmations everyone gathered for the announcement of the Dragon’s Den(Shark Tank) winners from day 3. My group LinkedIn Access defied the odds of succeeding with only 3 group members and scored 3rd place. We were recognized on stage and awarded Cadbury chocolate. I was happy with this result because I thought that LinkedIn Access was a feasible idea that I might even like to work on someday. Following the Dragon’s Den awards, there was an introduction for one last surprise award. The award was to the person who made the most out of the conference, and was the most supportive, engaged, and inspiring individual at the Summit. The Summit ambassadors each began describing this “individual,” and I was getting inklings that this “individual” might be me. As it turned out, the individual who made the most out of the Summit was me, and I was awarded a University of Northampton rugby jersey signed by all of the team members.
This was an amazing moment for me, because at the recognition I saw so many people who supported me. I then felt appreciated, and accordingly important. That is a feeling that does not come around everyday. It was also confirmation that I had been successful with the hard work that I had been putting into the Summit, and reassuring that I would disrupt current Fordham systems and create positive change upon arrival back to New York. The rugby jersey was also an awesome souvenir to bring home to the states.
After the awards we had inspiring closing remarks from the conference organizers, and then it was time to go home. I quickly said goodbye to my new Changemaker friends, as many of them were scrambling to make their scheduled trains, planes, and automobiles. As I left I called everybody by name, and appreciated them for their presence in my life. I look forward to collaborating and meeting with many of them again in the future. My world-wide Changemaker network was drastically expanded.
If somebody asked me to describe in one word my final day at the Changemaker Student Summit, I would say inspiring. The affirmations, awards, closing remarks, and goodbyes left me motivated to live a life of positive disruption, passion, and purpose. I know that I will do all of these things, and am so curious to see where life takes me. Only 6 months of working in the social space brought me to England… Where will I go and what will I do next?