JKYog had recently conducted a very successful Leadership Workshop for Youth at the Radha Krishna Temple of Dallas (RKT), Allen. It was a special program for high schoolers and college students designed to empower youngsters to take on leadership roles in their schools, communities, and workplaces. It provided an excellent opportunity for them to acquire tools and skills to not just become successful leaders, but also become more confident, responsible, and productive members of society.
The event was attended by about 70 participants, which crossed the initial allocation of space, as registrations continued until the program commenced! Students were geared up to learn from the various knowledge sessions and eager to participate in the innovative interactive activities.
The workshop provided a great opportunity for the youth to learn from many eminent business leaders and successful entrepreneurs of the DFW community. They were exposed to topics on leadership, entrepreneurship, branding and networking, inclusivity, academic excellence, philanthropy, human excellence, and service.
The two days also featured a series of hands-on interactive sessions where participants worked in small groups on activities designed to develop their communication, technology, social, team-building, and problem-solving skills.
The most-awaited activity was the Business Plan Competition sponsored by Mr. Ram Sridharan, Vice President of Engineering and Technology at StormBridge & Associates, and Advisor at Dallas Venture Capital. Students were divided into teams and assigned a product. Their task was to propose a business plan as a roadmap for the venture that they would later present to the entire audience of speakers and participants.
Students were required to define the vision, mission, and goals for the venture. They would be judged on key components of the business plan which included an executive summary, market analysis, marketing strategy, financial projections, and operational plan.
The participants jumped right into the activity with great enthusiasm. They endeavored hard to research and put together amazing presentations, showcasing their learnings and talents. In the process, they collaborated with other team members building meaningful friendships and social skills. The icing on the cake was the generous $1000 reward from the Dallas Venture Capital group for the winning team, which in this case was tied between two.
The highlight of the workshop was undoubtedly the knowledge sessions by illustrious speakers which included industry leaders, academicians, entrepreneurs, and special insights by founder of JKYog and RKT, Swami Mukundanandaji.
Illustrious guests included:
Mr. Ram Sridharan – Vice President of Engineering and Technology at StormBridge & Associates, and Advisor at Dallas Venture Capital.
Mr. Gaurav Shekar – Program Director of Graduate Business Analytics Program & Asst. Prof of Instruction in Information Systems.
Dr. Debjani Biswas – best-selling author, CEO of Coachieve, TEDx Speaker. B.Tech from IIT Madras and MBA from IIM Bangalore.
Prof. Dinesh Bhatia – Prof at School of Engineering and Computer Science at UofT Dallas.
Council Member Cara Mendelsohn – elected official on Dallas City Council and nonprofit executive with extensive record of volunteer service to the community with many civic awards.
Satish Gupta – President & CEO of SB International – serving as Trustee of Southwestern Medical Foundation in Dallas.
Swami Mukundananda – Founder of JKYog, IIT/IIM alumnus, best-selling author, global spiritual leader, Vedic scholar, and Bhakti Saint.
Swamiji kicked off the event with the very first speech on day one of the event. The topic was Develop Your Leadership Potential – Qualities of a Great Leader. He prodded the youth to think of the leadership potential that they all possess. He enlightened the audience with qualities successful leaders demonstrate as well as the different styles of leadership, driving home the point with real-life examples and stories that captured the attention of all the participants.
Students were highly inspired by the E6 Model Leadership that Swamiji shared of having a vision, embodying the message, encouraging, enlisting, evaluating, and empowering people.
Students were delighted to hear yet another interesting topic by Swamiji the next day, Power of Positive Mindset. He related the immense power our thoughts have in shaping our lives. He explained how good thoughts lead to good actions and success, whereas bad thought inevitably lead to misery and suffering. Students were particularly tuned in to learn of why negative thoughts arise and how they can be eradicated.
Participants were excited to have Swamiji’s presence throughout the event as they had the opportunity to interact and learn from his valuable wisdom over the two days.
Mr. Sridharan gave an enlightening speech on the topic, Entrepreneurship & How to Start a New Venture. His discourse was well received by the participants as it provided valuable tips on entrepreneurship, leadership qualities required to embark on that path, and skills needed to succeed in business. He concluded his speech by giving the participants an opportunity to partake in the Business Plan Competition sponsored by Dallas Venture Capital.
Mr. Shekar’s lecture was a great hit with the participants. It focused on Build Your Brand With your Resume & Networking.
Students benefitted from his practical tips and the dos and don’ts of creating powerful resumes and building a strong social media profile, especially on LinkedIn. He discussed the importance of profile pictures, descriptions, Google searches, posting articles online, and other techniques that will help in getting noticed by employers and procuring the first job.
Dr. Biswas kept the students enraptured through two lectures over two days. She illumined the participants with the topic, A Bridge to Sanity: Inclusive Leadership in Divided Times on day one, followed by Leadership from Within – Building a Powerful Authentic Brand on day two.
Her topics hit a chord with the students as they learnt about diversity and inclusion, the unconscious bias many face at work, and how to avoid making incorrect judgments in our social interactions. She emphasized authenticity and branding ourselves with our unique talents and abilities, which she called ‘distinguishing markers.’ Students particularly enjoyed the small group activities she organized as part of her sessions where the concepts were reinforced in a fun and interactive manner.
Professor Bhatia delivered his speech on Academic Excellence and the Leadership Opportunities it Brings. He emphasized that great leadership entails lifelong learning.
Through intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, seeking mentorship, research skills, and a passion for learning, one can remain inspired and motivate others. He explained how by striving for excellence in our academic pursuits, we acquire skills and training that serve us well in every profession.
Council member Mendelsohn gave an interesting lecture on Service Leadership. She described the various levels of government and their roles.
She related her personal journey as a government official and how her contribution is making an impact in the community in the areas of education, public safety, taxes, effective government, economic development and transportation, racial and economic disparities, and more. Students were intrigued by her vast leadership experience and asked inquisitive questions later on.
Mr. Gupta touched the hearts of the audience through his topic, Meet the Steel Mogul With a Heart for Philanthropy. He enlightened the students with his life story of struggle and perseverance because of which he attained success. He focused on attributes of hard work, believing in oneself, and balancing work with family life.
Satishji related how it is important to grow our strengths but even more beneficial is to work on overcoming our weaknesses. He concluded his speech by telling students to invest in themselves through education and gain experience so that they may become the best leaders of the future and give back to society in meaningful ways.
The event concluded with an amazing panel discussion where the participants got a chance to benefit from the vast expertise of the guests they had the pleasure of associating with over the two days. They asked the esteemed speakers and honorable Swamiji questions related to business, leadership, humanitarian viewpoints, life struggles, how to handle failures, human excellence, and more.
The evening ended with a networking dinner giving the participants an opportunity to interact one-on-one with the speakers and Swamiji, as well as exchange contact information for future questions.
“It’s not every day that anyone can encounter such an opportunity that can leave a mark on their heart and mind. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to participate in this workshop that surpassed all my expectations and ignited such a spark in me. I made such meaningful connections, both with the speakers and my fellow participants. The interactive workshops, hands-on experiences, and engaging discussions created such an active learning environment that I really enjoyed. This experience transformed me in ways I never thought possible.” – Anushka
“I wanted to learn what leadership means in different aspects of life. One thing I really enjoyed was that each speaker had a different understanding of leadership and how they interpret it in their life. And I was very happy to see the number of people interested in this workshop. I was excited to meet new people here and liked how everyone participated. I am very grateful for this opportunity and to all the volunteers who set this up.” – Hashmita
“I was really inspired by the people here. The business leaders and entrepreneurs that took valuable time out from their daily lives to teach us. I never thought it was possible to learn as much as I did in two days. You don’t learn such real life skills in such a short time. This was really fun and I enjoyed the presentations that we all had to make. Thank you.” – Participant
“The entrepreneurship challenge that we did yesterday showed me that leadership is not only in this field. It is also about controlling the mind as Swamiji taught us. I will definitely use that skill. Thank you.” – Sohan
The Radha Krishna Temple is firmly committed to serving the community and inspiring the youth to become the best version of themselves. Youngsters have an incredible opportunity to learn leadership skills by engaging in RKT’s Youth Club.
Radha Krishna Temple is committed to serving the DFW community in numerous ways. RKT offers many programs for the youth to acquire life skills, develop professional talents, and grow their personality.
The RKT Youth Club offers a year-round program for high schoolers to develop their leadership abilities, serve the community, and learn life skills.
The Temple also offers the Toastmasters Junior Gavel Club for children to who want to develop their public speaking skills.
For more information and registration for these programs, visit https://www.radhakrishnatemple.net/youthclub.