Mid-Year Leadership Training recap

[image description: group picture of training participations & OMM staff smiling on Zoom (in gallery view)]

On Sunday afternoon, January 30th, 2022, 78 student leaders from 54 schools within the Our Minds Matter club network joined our Mid-Year Leadership Training.

With a tumultuous start to the new year due to surges in COVID-19 cases across the country and inclement weather in the DMV Metro Area, the Our Minds Matter Program team was so pleased to be joined by such a large number of student leaders. 

For our opening connection, student leaders were asked to share an aspiration or goal they have for their clubs in 2022. Some of their responses included increasing club membership, hosting a school-wide campaign, working to decrease the stigma around mental health, and fostering a greater sense of community.

[image description: picture of computer screen on Zoom with participant icons in right sidebar and shared screen of Padlet board with corkboard background]

Next, as life is full of obstacles & setbacks, the OMM Program Team shared a framework with student leaders to reason through common club challenges. From starting a third year in a pandemic to the everyday stress of life as a high school student, life comes with a plethora of road bumps that can impede any teen, student organization, or school from reaching their goals. Therefore, during this training, students learned about a critical thinking and problem-solving tool that can be used in any setting. 

Students were then given the opportunity to use the framework to reason through a common club challenge: low club participation. In breakout rooms, they came up with a list of possible reasons why a club might be experiencing low participation rates. As a group, the OMM leaders were then shown how to analyze potential root causes and strategies to address a club challenge such as this one. 

We were delighted to observe how engaged students were with this exercise! Based on a poll, 82% of students in attendance agreed that the problem-solving model could help overcome club challenges and setbacks. 

Following, clubs earned rewards for their Club Bank for things such as having their club’s work highlighted in a Club Feature (to include Blake, Cougar (QOHS), Cubs, Frost, Gahanna, Madison, Milton, Parkview, Oakton, Rams, and South River Minds Matter clubs) or for hosting four or more meetings this past fall semester (to include Cougar (CHS and QOHS), Dolphins, Mount Vernon, Oakton, OC, Rams, TJ, and Woodson Minds Matter clubs & RHS Peacemaker Ambassadors). We hope our clubs will use these rewards towards snacks for club meetings, materials to host a school-wide campaign, or swag to promote their club in their community! 

Last but not least, this training concluded with a mindfulness practice led by Anthony, our partner at Evolving Minds. Anthony has developed short mindfulness tracks (less than 5 minutes each) for Our Minds Matter clubs to listen to at the end of a club meeting so they can leave each meeting feeling grounded and centered.

A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who came out for our Mid-Year Leadership Training! We were so happy to see you all, and even happier when we saw that 98%of student leaders reported feeling a strong sense of support from OMM staff. Our Program Team is looking forward to supporting our network of over 127 clubs this spring!

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