The dinner began with a wonderful slideshow of photos from the week, and was followed by the tearful departure of the Collegiate group for the trip back to Richmond.

The following is the short reflection speech given by Hicham on behalf of the delegation from Morocco during the dinner.

“Esteemed Staff, fellow delegates,

It has been a great honor for the Moroccan delegation to be part of the International Emerging Leader Conference 2012. We never expected such a warm welcoming from the Collegiate students. The incredible hospitality we were greeted with made us feel at home once again. Our experience and interactions during the conference completely changed our perspective on the western society. I admired the open-mindedness that all the delegates shared in common. Being open-minded is truly a beauty and gives you a whole another wonderful perspective to see into the heart of everything. I’ve been in an American style school in Morocco for my whole life, but I never lived the real American high school style. In less than 2 days, I got a taste of what it feels, and it practically defined all of my high-school experience.

This conference raised our awareness and reduced our ignorance about the environmental issues going all over the world. Our trips to different companies shaped and kind of indirectly contributed to our solutions. Working in groups with different people from different backgrounds was simply amazing. Unlike Model UN, we got to know each other before working together which vastly increased teamwork efficiency. Being shy wasn’t at all an issue. To sum up, I’d reflect on this conference with this quote, "Life is not measured by the number of breathes we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” The relationships we made will forever be carved into our hearts. I would like to thank Mr. Keith Evans, Ms. Clare Sisisky, Mr. David Colon, Ms. Anne Rusbuldt, Ms. Peg Galston, Ms. Alice Massie, and our famous photographer, Mr. Dean Whitbeck for every drop of sweat they endured to formulate this conference, getting it together, and just making it as wonderful as it could be.“

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