Virginia Beach, Virginia (PRWEB) June 27, 2014
If you've found yourself nodding your head and tapping your feet to the original song “Happy” performed by Pharrell Williams, then you’ve been listening to some of the musical works of Oscar-nominated, Grammy award-winning songwriter Amir Windom. Regarded as one of the top creative minds of his generation, Windom and a handful of other internationally acclaimed authors, activists and entrepreneurs will speak to students attending Operation Smile’s 23rd annual International Student Leadership Conference (ISLC) in Limerick, Ireland from July 12- July 21.
“The purpose of the week-long leadership conference is to enrich each student’s perspective of the value of service within their communities and help develop their skills as future philanthropic leaders,” said Operation Smile’s Co-Founders Dr. Bill and Kathy Magee. Every year, the conference is held at a different university around the world. Last year, Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia hosted 450 students for the week-long conference. Throughout the week, students will participate in team-building activities, attend leadership workshops, compete in field games and complete service projects.
Conference participants range in age from 15 to 22 and hail from 22 countries around the world. By bringing together international students, community leaders and scholars from all backgrounds, Operation Smile, an international children’s medical charity that provides free surgery for children born with cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities, creates a forum for examining and celebrating the positive impact of cultural diversity.
“I hope my message will empower this group of young leaders to embrace their uniqueness, to be bold in the face of uncertainty and to seek opportunity in every difficulty,” said Amir Windom whose motto of striving to be more than successful, but significant is the driving force behind his desire to change the lives of others.
ISLC participants are actively involved in Operation Smile student clubs or associations in their hometowns. Since its inception in 1982, Operation Smile’s Student Programs has been an integral part of the organization. Student involvement has expanded to elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, universities, and medical schools worldwide. Today, well over 18,000 participants are active in more than 900 Operation Smile student clubs and associations throughout 40 countries. Students often self-initiate campaigns for Operation Smile to raise awareness and donations to fund more surgeries for children in need. Through their school and community-based fundraising, student volunteers raise an estimated $1 million annually for Operation Smile.
To learn more about Operation Smile’s and other keynote speakers participating in this year’s leadership conference, visit our ISLC student conference page: http://www.operationsmile.org/get_involved/student-youth-programs/conferences/islc/speakers-2014.html.
About International Student Leadership Conference (ISLC)
In 1991, Operation Smile Student Programs had its first annual International Student Leadership Conference in Norfolk, Virginia. The conference has grown exponentially since its inaugural event when 40 students from the United States attended. Now, hundreds of student volunteers from around the world come together each year to participate in the conference, where they learn how to meet challenges and take confident steps toward leadership and strong character development. The conference helps high school and college students build leadership skills, self-esteem, a lifelong commitment to serving others, and teaches the importance of cultural awareness. Every year the conference is held at a different university around the world, and recognizes and celebrates diversity among our students. We believe that students play a vital role, not only in the future of Operation Smile, but also in the future of the world.
About Operation Smile
Operation Smile, headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia, is an international children’s medical charity with a presence in more than 60 countries, whose network of more than 5,400 medical volunteers from over 80 countries is dedicated to helping improve the health and lives of children. Since its founding in 1982, Operation Smile has provided more than 220,000 free surgical procedures for children and young adults born with cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities. To build long-term self-sufficiency in resource poor environments, Operation Smile trains doctors and local medical professionals in its partner countries so they are empowered to treat their local communities. Operation Smile also donates medical equipment, supplies and provides year-round medical treatment through its worldwide centers.