1. Why should I participate in SYF ?
SYF is a unique chance to learn and build social leadership skills. Through classes, conferences, activities and the community project they design and organise, the participants find their best work strategy and put in practice notions that allow them to complete a concrete project and gain significant experience in leadership.
2. Why is this program only for girls ?
Teenage years, especially from 15 to 18 years old, are ones that can be very difficult for young women, as they search to find who they are and what they want to do in their life and career. There is a tremendous amount of pressure, and young women that age can be very easily influenced. Participating in a program like SYF is an excellent opportunity for the girls to shape their character and become leaders for their peers.
Also, boys and girls learn differently and they act differently in each other’s presence. Being in an environment with girls only allows them to be more at ease, without having to put limits and boundaries on their creativity, thus allowing them to explore their full potential.
3. What do the fees cover ?
- One or more conference per weekend, given by current leaders. Some of our past speakers have included world-renowned authors, vice-presidents of multinational corporations, journalists and Olympic athletes. All our speakers are leaders in their fields.
- Interactive classes and training sessions on leadership behaviours, communication, networking, time management, etc. The classes are given by Mrs Gladys Daoud, who has over 15 years of experience in leadership and innovation coaching and consulting. She is also certified by Edward de Bono in creativity and innovation.
- Each participant is given a course manual to keep, as well as a certificate once she completes the program.
- A mentor to provide individual attention, advice and support throughout the program and to help participants push their limits.
- Hotel and meals for the three training weekends.
4. Is there a way to be sponsored if money is a problem ?
Yes; we firmly believe that money should not stand in the way of a young girl attaining her full leadership potential, and will do all that we can to help those for whom it might be a problem. However, it must be taken into consideration that the full training costs for SYF are of nearly 5 000$, but that participation costs are only 500$. If you are able and willing to help sponsor a young leader, please let us know.
5. Is the average the only selection criterion ?
No; each candidate has to submit a résumé and two short essays, as well as go through an interview. Personality and leadership potential are determined through a combination of all those elements.
6. Why must the school average be above 80% ?
The training weekends and the project represent a big time commitment and an additional workload. As we know that these are years during which grades are especially important, we do not want the program to have the opposite effect of its intended goal and cause the participants’ grades to falter. A high grade point average, in addition to the interviews we conduct for every participant, helps us to determine which candidates are able to manage the work the program entails. However, some exceptions can be made.
7. What is expected of participants ?
An active participation to classes and activities, desire to learn, involvement and work on their community projects between weekends and a positive and open attitude during the training weekends.
8. Can the community projects be done in teams ?
Since the program aims to develop individual and personal leadership, each participant is encouraged to do a project on her own. This helps the young women to improve their sense of responsibility and human and material resource management. Of course the participants are not alone to execute their project: they must surround themselves with a team of peers to whom they can delegate, and will also have the support of their mentor and the SYF team.
9. Why is there a limit of 20 participants per year ?
With more than 20 participants, the group dynamics are affected and it becomes harder to form tight bonds, both amongst the participants and between them and the SYF team. We also want the mentors to be able to dedicate their time and attention to the participants, and having more than 20 would make that individual time much harder.
10. Is it possible to make up for a missed weekend ?
We schedule the training weekends ahead of time and make the dates known, so that upon signing up the participants are making a commitment to attend those weekends. However, in the case of special unforeseen circumstances, the organisers can try to accommodate participants with make-up sessions; this, however, is on a case-by-case basis and at the discretion of the SYF team.
11. Is transportation provided to get to the hotel ?
Although there is no organised transportation, many participants choose to carpool to and from the weekends. The SYF team can also help to coordinate carpooling teams for the first weekend.
12. Can a participant stop the program after one or two weekends? If so, can I be reimbursed ?
No; the participants make a commitment for the three weekend sessions. If, for some reason, a young woman chooses not to return, we will not be able to refund your money.
13. Can my daughter sleep at home and join the group early in the morning for classes ?
No; one of the goals of the training weekends is to allow the participants to bond and get to know each other. This will also help them build a network of young leaders, which will quickly become very useful.
14. What materials are required for the weekends ?
Writing tools and paper; a laptop is not necessary, as computers are made available to the participants. Also, on the first weekend, a course manual is given to each participant. It contains class notes and exercises, and is for them to keep.
15. Is there a program after SYF ?
We are currently developing a second year of SYF for college students. Please check back soon for more information.
16. Is it possible to reach the participants during the weekends ?
Of course; contact information will be provided before the weekends, as we ask participants to turn off their cell phone during the training sessions.