By Uniss Tan, LDVC Camp Director 2019-2021
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, there was no telling how it would change the world. With schools going virtual and many activities being cancelled, our communities’ youth were extremely impacted by the pandemic.
With the intention of continuing to teach our delegates leadership development skills, we decided to transfer our in-person Leadership Development Camp (LDC) to a virtual event, renaming it Leadership Development Virtual Conference (LDVC) 2020. However, this change proved to be so much more.
We created a safe environment away from the pandemic not only for our delegates, but also our staff members. We helped our delegates stay resilient and gave them a source of comfort and belonging throughout these unprecedented times. We felt our efforts were a success, and we still hoped that in 2021 we would have an in-person camp.
At the beginning of 2021, we realized that world was still virtual, and we would have another LDVC. The fatigue of everything being virtual began to set in, but this only strengthened our efforts to create an even more engaging set of curriculum and activities.
This year, we hosted more than 120 delegates virtually, teaching them public speaking, professional development, emotional intelligence and so much more. But more importantly, we gave them a space to share their thoughts and feelings about their goals and identity, while meeting other delegates. Despite being virtual once again, LDVC left a strong impact on our staff and delegates, allowing them to create memories and friendships with their peers.
There is no doubt that these past couple of years have been extremely challenging for our communities’ youth. But I have faith that the LDC and LDVC experience will keep our youth strong and resilient.