Leadership doesn't necessary need an authority title to perform.

My name is Lily. I live in Surrey and I am a member of the Surrey Immigrant Advisory Roundtable. Over the last year, I have been involved in the Community Leaders Igniting Change program. I learnt about the program through one of the Surrey LIP e-Updates (sign up here) and decided to apply. I was selected among other 17 local residents who wanted to learn more about how to make Surrey a more engaging and connected community.

The eightteen of us come from different neighbourhoods in Surrey and all of us are interested in making positive changes in our neighbourhoods. We all have been active in our community and through the program we were supposed to learn new knowledge and develop new skills to make our efforts even more effective. Dr. Kathleen Burke was our instructor, and all the members have been given a book called "The Practice of Adaptive Leadership" to study prior to each class discussion.

In the class, Dr. Burke offered lots of activities for us to do and discuss. It was a great experience. Through the discussions we learned how to interpret the situation, how to handle it, and what leadership is. Through this class I gained confidence about leadership. I now understand leadership can be anywhere: work, school, home, you name it. Leadership doesn't necessary need an authority title to perform. Members of the group have very diverse background. However, I think I was one of very few immigrants there. It was awesome to see the ideas other participants were having and the visions they were seeing. I was not as confident at the beginning of the program, but now I know what I can and should do. I would encourage other immigrant residents to become more involved in civic life, expand their horizons and use all the community resources that Surrey offers.

About the program: Community Leaders Igniting Change (CLIC) builds on the existing expertise and knowledge within the neighbourhoods of Surrey. The Surreuy Poverty Reduction Coalition has taken the lead in piloting a number of new initiatives, including “Community Leaders Igniting Change” – a 12 week free education program for Surrey residents interested in making positive changes in their neighborhood. The education program is housed with SFU and includes concepts like inclusion, compassion, listening, strategizing, relationship building, self and other awareness, engagement and critical thinking. Group members will continue to meet monthly for 6 months following the completion of the education program in May 2015. Each group member will initiate and lead a community-based project to improve connections in the community. The application process is currently CLOSED. Please direct any questions to info@surreyprc.ca.