LETHBRIDGE – If you want to change the world, start with making your bed every day.

That was one of the messages delivered to over 600 students from across southern Alberta Wednesday at the University of Lethbridge, who gathered for the annual Southern Alberta Student Leadership Conference.

The day started with school culture consultant and keynote speaker Phil Boyte, who encouraged students to be “change-makers” in the lives of those around them.

The conference is dedicated to nurturing leadership skills that student leaders can bring back to their individual institutions, said organizer Rick Gilson.

“They are chosen by their schools, and some are in various leadership classes," Gilson said. "Some are leaders in school, some various clubs and organizations.” 

Gilson wants these future leaders to come away bettering themselves and others.

“First the students learn something for themselves, (because) the first person we lead is ourselves," he said. "The second is what impact can I make in my close circle? And then (finally), what impact can I make in my school?”

For students it’s a unique opportunity to gain skills and bring them back to their schools. Country Central High School Grade 12 student Sarah Hutchinson was jubilant during the event.

"I really like leadership conferences in general. Every time I go to one I always come back with a renewed sense of 'I’m going to make a change in my school, I’m going to do this.'”

Hutchison sees the conference as an opportunity to bring back positive vibes to her school in Vulcan.

"More energy, our school right now it really needs that energy. It really needs a push to just bring back some school spirit. So I’m hoping to bring back some energy."

Students at the conference represented half a dozen school jurisdictions in the greater Lethbridge area.