I recently received a comment on my blog from my dear friend Fatime over in Sweden. I met Fatime this summer when she was in the US and I was her mentor, learning all about US culture. Fatime now works with high school students, helping them all plan different kinds of events, and says "it's such a pleasure reading your blog." Thank you, Fatime. If your students speak English, you should show them and have them comment and ask me questions, too! I'd love to hear from them and act as their "virtual" mentor!!
I inquired a little further about the program she helps with. It translates to something like "Sweden's Student Council's Central Organization" (waiting for the website to link you to, even though it will probably be in Swedish). In this organization, student council's apply for the membership, where they receive $120 per year and $1 per member. Fatime is their consult, who helps put their ideas into reality (i.e. assistant event planner!). She helps them with any idea they have--rugby tournament, prom/parties, hug-a-student day, etc.
Fatime notes herself that EVERY STEP IS IMPORTANT! What do they need? What kind of advertising should they use? Who is doing what? I really like what they do after the event, which you don't find much today in the rush and turnover of things. Everyone that was involved gets together after the event to evaluate the success. A goal to make the event an annual occurrence and better each time is often decided.
The goal of Fatime's job with these students is to bring back school spirit. Along with helping with the events, she gives lectures and seminars on marketing, leadership, project management and how to involve more students and people in their events. Three years ago, Fatime was the first person in Sweden to bring in the idea of (American) mascots to the schools--she decided on the tiger.
No matter what magnitude, event planning can be exciting and rewarding, as well as provide you with skills beneficial for the rest of your life. These high school students that Fatime is mentoring will forever have the skills they need in order to plan a successful event, no matter what the size!