“I am the captain of my own ship and master of my own fate.”
That is the message keynote speaker Dr. Ivan Joseph, athletic director and head coach of men’s soccer at Ryerson University delivered to students, parents, guardians, teachers and principals that were all in attendance for the Future Leaders’ Symposium hosted by Durham Black Educators Network.
Dunbarton High School’s library was packed wall-to-wall Nov. 26 with attentive guests soaking up Dr. Joseph’s speech on the importance of self-confidence and how far it can take you.
Dr. Joseph delved into a story about a student of his by the name of Steve. Steve loved the game of soccer – but he was not very good at soccer. Steve tried out for Dr. Joseph’s team not once, not twice, but three times with each tryout resulting in him being cut. Dr. Joseph says something was different about Steve in the way he handled rejection, when told at least three players would have to be injured for him to get a chance to play, Steve responded with ‘so there’s a chance?’
Sure enough, three players were injured and Steve got his shot.
Today he is the starting centre back of his team and was voted captain this year. Steve’s story shows how with self-confidence, determination and a transcendent purpose you can achieve what you believe.
In his speech Dr. Joseph expressed the importance of going beyond the limits of ordinary experience, doing greater than what is usual.
“Organizations that have a transcendent purpose always achieve higher success than those who go out and make widgets, car parts, dollars, whatever it may be,” said Dr. Joseph.
The guests broke out into three workshop groups to get more detailed information on topics like bursaries, scholarships, awards and financial literacy with information packets they can take home.
People in attendance also went home with Dr. Joseph’s concise message: “I use the definition of self-confidence to be the ability or the belief, to believe in yourself to accomplish any task, no matter the odds, no matter the difficulty, no matter the adversity. The belief that you can accomplish it, self-confidence.”
Dr. Joseph joined the Ryerson Rams in 2009 (and went on to lead the team to its first winning season since they were known as the Zebras in the ‘70s) from Iowa’s Graceland University where he was three three-time Coach of the Year in the Heart of America Athletic Conference. Dr. Joseph was also awarded NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) Coach of the Year in Graceland.