Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

Learning Synergy: High school students prepare to hone their leadership skills at 2019 NSSSA provincial conference at StFX

February 27th, 2019

Learning what it takes to become a great leader—and having fun in the process—will be on the agenda as hundreds of high school students from across Nova Scotia converge on StFX for four days from May 16-19 for the annual Nova Scotia Secondary School Students’ Association (NSSSA) 2019 provincial conference.

The NSSSA is a non-profit, student-led leadership organization, and the conference is the largest gathering of student leaders in the province. It is open to any students in Grades 9-12 in Nova Scotia high schools.   

“The theme of the conference is Synergy, and how great leadership means creating something bigger than yourself, whether it be a company or a movement or whatever you want to achieve,” says Alex LeBlanc, 2018-19 NSSSA Conference Committee Co-Chair. 

“There are so many elements that contribute to your success, and sometimes that success can only be achieved with all the parts involved. Great leadership is not necessarily doing everything yourself, but rather having a goal and knowing the steps you need to take in order to achieve it.”

Mr. LeBlanc says conference delegates can also expect to have a bunch of fun in the process.

He says there are many benefits to attending the conference—someone new to the NSSSA can expect to meet lifelong friends, make long-term connections and discover new aspects of themselves, while returning NSSSA members can also expect the best of times with old and new friends, and a new and refreshing outlook of what NSSSA can bring them. 

He says if there is one thing that organizers hope students can learn more about while attending the conference it’s what kind of leader they aspire to be, and how they can bring this piece of themselves out for the world to see.


StFX President Dr. Kent MacDonald says the university is proud to be a partner with the student-led NSSSA and it is delighted to once again be the home for the provincial conference and be able to play a role in supporting these high school student leaders as they learn and build new skills and discover so much about themselves and their potential.  

“It’s great to have our partners in leadership back at StFX again this year,” Dr. MacDonald says.

Mr. LeBlanc says students can expect a classic NSSSA conference complete with old traditions and new ones. “We have so much more in store for Synergy though, and delegates should be prepared to expect the unexpected. Many guests with accomplishments like TED talks and successful social enterprises will be joining us for this amazing weekend. From captivating speakers to welcoming activities to memorable keepsakes, there’s something for everyone at our conference. 

“We plan to help delegates find themselves and their place in the world through our skill-building sessions and through opportunities presented throughout the weekend.” 

Great leadership, he says, is being able to work with each step and each person you come across. 

“Leadership is a well-oiled machine, a puzzle that fits together and makes something great. That’s the message of our conference, Synergy, which is defined as ‘the interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements,’ which is what we believe leadership is all about.”

Mr. LeBlanc says students attending the conference can expect to learn about the real aspects of leadership. 

“If someone has a dream, we will show them how to make it happen through a leadership standpoint and work together with others to discover what they really want,” he says. 

“Students will interact with a unique crowd of aspiring leaders just like them, and create a brand new experience together through spending the weekend building off of each other. They will learn what a good leader can do by themselves, but also what a great leader can do with the help of others.”

For more information or to register for the 2019 provincial conference, please see Synergy 2019 


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