Colin Powell: An Inspiration For ASF Honor Students ExpoManagement 2010, which took place in Mexico City last November 10 and 11, was one of the most important international gatherings of high level executives of the year, attracting such renowned speakers as Tom Peters, the influential business management author; Magnus Scheving, creator of the children’s show “LazyTown,” which encourages healthy living; business strategy expert Renée Mauborgne and former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. Five ASF Upper School honor students —Sarah Goslin, David Campillo, Roberto Jones, Nicolas Aguilar and Vianca Bedoya— had the privilege of attending, accompanied by ASF Director of Admission and Financial Aid Patsy Hubp and US Dean of Students Omar Ugalde. After the conference, Sarah and David shared some of their thoughts about it with Focus: Focus: Who was your favorite speaker at the conference? Sarah: My favorite speaker was Magnus Scheving; I found his talk very inspiring. He was very enthusiastic about his work and has been very successful in creating healthier lives for children in areas where his show “LazyTown” has aired. Fruit and vegetable sales rose in his home country of Iceland after the airing of his show. David: Magnus Scheving was easily the most entertaining. The most memorable though was Tom Peters, who said, “Make your workers feel needed.” That is one thing I have attempted to keep with me in regards to my leadership positions now. I attempt to show my team that I appreciate what they do for us, especially when it is a good thing.
The Big Carnival Santa on a sunny day visiting kids on a blacktop? Students jumping and laughing on bounce houses? Kids enjoying popsicles and cool drinks on a green grassy field in the middle of December? Well, all this happened at ASF’s Winter Carnival! Students in both the Lower School and Middle School took part in this fun-filled event last December. Some of the exciting attractions at the Carnival included bounce houses, inflatable slides, bull riding, mini-racing, hamster balls and many more. If you weren’t participating in these fun activities, there was also a bazaar where you could buy things for family and friends. One of my favorite things at the Winter Carnival was the arcade section where you could choose from many different games to play, and win prizes. There was ring tossing, balloon popping, hula hoop throwing and one stand where kids even used shaving cream in their game! I also liked the bounce houses because they were so big and so real-looking. I felt like the “octopus” bounce house was about to grab me with its colossal tentacles! One of the funniest things that happened at the carnival was that the head of one of the schools got thrown off a bull! Our courageous leader, however, just brushed himself off and got right back on that bucking bull! And how wonderful were those clowns on stilts making balloon animals for students, bringing smiles to their faces. The clowns basically made anything you wanted, as long as it didn’t pop! To top it off, the most exciting and surprising event was that we had a special visitor, Santa Claus, who brought joy to everyone, including the teachers. And then who could forget that very unexpected weather change in Mexico City of all places? Wintery, soft snow which sprinkled all over the Lower Field! The Winter Carnival was a great way to bring ASF students and staff together in such a fun and enjoyable manner. It’s definitely an experience that we won’t forget!
Focus: What was your impression of Colin Powell? Sarah: He talked about the important qualities a leader must possess, and said, “It doesn’t matter where you start in life, it matters where you end up.” He told some anecdotes of his time as the Secretary of State and about his successes working on an agreement with the Khartoum government in Sudan. David: Colin Powell spoke mainly of his incredible life, which was easily the most intriguing topic of the day. How he was not the best student in high school in New York, almost getting kicked out, but made a great life that has helped so many people. He was very laid back and confident. He was calm but inspiring, and made me want to achieve a greatness comparable to his own. Focus: How would you describe the experience of attending the conference? Sarah: The overall experience was really great and I think we all learned a lot that day. David: I loved the magnitude of the convention. It was an extremely large venue, around 1500 people and all professionals. We were the only students there, so we received some curious glances. But it made everyone feel important and the speakers only added to that with what they said. They provided insight that was seemingly obvious yet we rarely stop to think about it.
— Nina Sachdev, 6th Grade Student
Focus Spring 2011: The Green Issue