South Africa Summit Travel Grant Winner: Derek Zhang
We would like to feature Golden Key member Derek Zhang’s participation in the 2013 South Africa Summit. Derek, a recently turned alumnus at the University of British Columbia chapter in Vancouver, was awarded a travel grant to attend the Summit and presented a workshop for Golden Key members. Find out more about Derek’s experience:
What originally attracted you to attend the South Africa Summit?
The global vision and focus of Golden Key, the opportunity to print my footstep on to a continent that I’ve never been to before, the “LEAD — INSPIRE — GROW” theme of the South Africa Summit and the keynote speakers.
What did you like best about your visit to South Africa?
The students and staff members of Golden Key in South Africa are extremely nice, helpful, and open. Everything from hotel issues, travel needs, personal safety to conference experience- they try their very best to make us feel at home.
What was your experience like at the Summit?
One word: EYE-OPENING! I was amazed by what the keynote speakers, workshop presenters and conference delegates were able and willing to share with the whole group.
Do you feel as though your leadership skills have improved?
Absolutely. There were opportunities for my leadership skills to grow even before my colleague and I departed Vancouver for South Africa. We had to look for the best route to get to Cape Town, and we also collaborated with our executive team to prepare a workshop to be presented at the South Africa Summit. Also, after we came back to Vancouver, we led a series of events to relay all that we learned at the South Africa Summit to members of our local communities. At the Summit itself, there were numerous leadership-focused workshops and speeches, which I also quite enjoyed.
Did you present or conduct a workshop at the Summit? If so, please describe.
Yes. My Co-President, Phyllis Tang, and I hosted a workshop titled “Starting in Canada: Making a Global Impact with Service Projects.” Below I quote the description of our workshop that was printed on the South Africa Summit program guide:
“The University of British Columbia Golden Key Chapter presents its service projects: mental health awareness, suicide prevention initiatives, Kidney Walk for Life, Big Brothers Clothing Drive, U of British Columbia World Vision fundraiser for children to purchase school supplies and textbooks in Africa, the Better World book drives in Canadian universities and the health and nutrition Canada-wide service project. We hope to introduce our service projects to chapters beyond Canada in hopes to benefit school communities around the world. This workshop addresses the various aspects of hosting successful service projects in diverse geographic areas and how to obtain funding for them.”
Would you attend another Summit in the future?
For sure! I am currently a member of the planning committee for the 2014 Golden Key International Summit to be held in Boston, Massachusetts. I am also looking forward to the 2014 Canadian Regional Summit (CanCon) in Toronto.
Would you like to attend a Golden Key Summit? Apply for the 2014 International Summit Travel Grant and you could receive a grant for $500 USD if you live in North America or $1,000 USD if you live outside of North America.