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Leadership Shares CASL Experience

This year the CCA leadership class of 2018 attended the California Association of Student Leaders (CASL) Conference. CASL is a convention where students from California ASB classes attend and learn crucial leadership skills. CASL is held in different locations every year. This year it was held in Ontario, CA where they were introduced to fellow leaders within the state. During CASL, students were encouraged to step out of their comfort zone and be introduced to new people. CASL was a new experience for most of us, in addition, to having a new experience it was very fun.

At the convention, Jeff Eben, Danny Batimana, and Craig Scott spoke to us about different topics concerning overcoming life challenges. The first speaker Jeff Eben was a man with a tragic and funny background story. He was injured in a water skiing accident and has been stuck in a wheelchair since then, yet he was still so inspiring. In his backstory, he explained how his coach came to him every day, although he was injured, his coach was always there for him. The coach helped him stay motivated through difficult times.

Another inspiring man was Danny Batimana, whose passion led to who he was today. His passion was dancing and public speaking. He was very entertaining with his dance moves and dance crew with him. The crowd danced with him, and he showed us some cool dance moves. He knew a great way of grabbing young children's attention was to be active.

The last and final speaker was Craig Scott who talked about his sister Rachel and his experience as a survivor of the Columbine High School shooting. Some people cried in this presentation because it was emotional, but they learned to appreciate others and that one small action can make a difference. At the end of the presentation, he urged us to take Rachel’s Challenge. To tell any of our loved ones how much we appreciate them. He taught the students to start a chain reaction of compassion and goodness in our lives.

During CASL, we had many workshops. They taught us leadership and social skills. Some examples of the workshops we attended are The Mask We Live In, Converse to Connect, and Maintaining Motivation.The Mask We Live In workshop was presented by Jesse Magaña. He taught the students to not be ashamed of what happens in life and how to overcome life's challenges. His workshop discussed the problem of hiding our true selves from others. We participated in an activity where we met new people based on pure randomness. We also participated Converse to Connect, where we practiced having deeper conversations with other people. We practiced maintaining a deep conversation using methods that we learned during the workshop.  

Maintaining Motivation was a workshop that was inspiring and useful. The speaker who presented this workshop was Allie Estrada. She taught students that if you have plans in life that make you feel good and happy, then you should pursue them. She also said that if you have plans now that make you happy, they may not make you happy later on in life, and that is okay. She showed us ways to find out if that goal was what we really wanted and she told us how we could successfully stay motivated if our goal was distant.

During CASL we had the chance to have time-off and socialize. On the first night of the convention, there was a dance. Students either went to the dance, played with the tabletop games, or relaxed in their rooms. At the dance, there were refreshments and snacks, flashing lights, exciting music, and confetti. Kids were dancing and jumping around the room, having lots of fun. If the students did not want to go to the dance, some kids stayed outside and played with others at the foosball and ping pong tables. On the second day of the convention, we went to a go-kart/arcade place called Speed Zone. At Speed Zone, we had many options to choose from. We had the option of mini-bowling, mini-golf, arcade, and go-karts. There was also a photo booth, hairstylist, food, refreshments, and a hypnotist.

CASL was a breath of fresh air to a lot of people attended and was a great way for students to step out of their comfort zone, so they could socialize with students from all over California and learn leadership skills. At CASL, students not only learned useful leadership skills, but they also got time to learn about other schools and students in general.