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Middle School Student Council member: Ellena Cumberbirch

This year we have an outstanding group of student leaders, and we are delighted to introduce Year 11 Middle School Student Council member Ellena Cumberbirch to our ACG community.
ACG School Jakarta Year 11 student, Ellena Cumberbirch

Leadership is about empowering, improving, transforming and working together. At ACG School Jakarta, we believe leadership experiences should be available to students of all ages and year levels, so even our youngest learners are offered opportunities to develop these valuable skills and abilities.

While our Middle School students have the chance to understand and build leadership qualities in the classroom, our Middle School Student Council provides further responsibilities and activities for budding leaders.

Under the guidance and mentorship of Student Council Coordinator Annie Pickering, students learn to find their voice and represent their peers. In a recent interview, council member Ellena Cumberbirch (Year 11) shares her thoughts on being part of the leadership team for the 2021 - 2022 academic year.

What does it mean to you to be part of the student leadership team at ACG School Jakarta?
It means a lot to be able to work with others in the student council. I can learn from others and be involved in matters affecting my classmates and me, along with the well-being of the school. It is also an honour to be one of the many leaders that play a role in setting direction, motivating, and influencing students to help create a positive school culture.

What are you most looking forward to in this role?
Influencing more positivity and motivation in the school through social events such as Mental Health Awareness Week and working with other leaders in those events.

Have you always wanted to be a part of the student leadership team?
Yes! I've always wanted to be a leader and participate in an organisation that creates events to help shape a positive atmosphere in learning. I enjoy being a student council member because I get to communicate with my peers and make a real impact.

Why do you feel it's so important for students to be involved in the leadership team?
Because it helps people learn the art of building relationships within teams, defining identities, and achieving tasks effectively. Furthermore, it enables you to prepare for the upcoming challenges you will face in the future in terms of leadership.

What do you consider to be your primary responsibilities as a student leader?
Student leaders are responsible, fair-minded, positive, and caring representatives. I feel that it's important to ensure that everyone is heard and that we are able to motivate and inspire our peers to help us build a positive school spirit.

Do you have a vision for what you would like to achieve in the 2021 - 2022 academic year?
When I was a council member last year, I spent most of my time on the design team. So this year, I am planning to involve myself in other divisions such as the organisation division or communications division. I would also like to try to encourage my peers to contribute more to social events.

What qualities make a good leader?
I think that it is essential to communicate and work well with the other members of the student council. Because to help my peers be heard, I must be able to speak up and have good teamwork skills.

What advice do you have for students wanting to become future leaders?

  • Consistency is more important than perfection because being consistent helps you build momentum. Focus on the process and getting better as you progress instead of trying to do things perfectly. 
  • Inspire others to follow you, try to understand what they are going through, and find ways to help them meet their goals
  • Having empathy is also crucial in leadership; understanding other people's thoughts and feelings or trying to put yourself in their position are good traits to have.
  • Lastly, be you, stay truthful, believe in yourself and believe in others!