The ILS Experience.
What is Illinois Leadership Seminar?
Illinois Leadership Seminars is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that exists to make a difference and teach life-long leadership skills to high school students in Illinois who demonstrate a spark of leadership. We encourage leadership development by:
- Providing the essential tools and skills for leadership development
- Exposing students to a broad spectrum of views and opinions
- Creating an open and inclusive environment in which thoughts and ideas may be freely exchanged
- Instilling an appreciation for the diversity of the world
- Providing on-going support through our alumni group, volunteers and other opportunities
Leaders participate in team-building activities, community service, a talent showcase, small group discussions; listen to motivational speakers and panels of key leaders from various industries and much more.
We encourage leadership development through emphasis on personal responsibility, volunteerism, increased awareness of social and community issues, and an open-minded analysis of all sides of an issue when making decisions.
Silent Auction & Wine TastingCome join us for the 9th Annual Wine Tasting & Silent Auction to support the Illinois Leadership Seminars in February 2017!
ILS isn’t just a seminar. It’s a family. ILS people are my favorite hello and hardest good-bye. It’s not something you can explain. It’s something you have to feel. I feel it all the time – not just the 3 days of seminar each summer. My life has been forever transformed because of ILS.
ILS gave our daughter a spark that fueled a fire of leadership throughout high school and college. Our world needs more leaders… why not start early? We have always been so proud of our daughter, but we know ILS taught her to be proud of herself and her own leadership abilities. It allowed her to network with other successful young people from across the state and beyond.
Illinois Leadership Seminar is my heaven on earth. There is no other place I know of like it. Not only have I formed lifelong relationships with some of the best people I know, I can firmly say that ILS has made me a better person. I take initiative for any idea I believe in even if no one else supports it, I always look at situations now with a positive spin, and I just live my life. ILS has sort of ignited the leadership spark that I guess always existed in me and I am forever grateful.
Illinois Leadership Seminar gives opportunities to high school students that go beyond what they encounter in high school. It is an invaluable experience for students as every person has leadership potential. Huntley takes advantage of this excellent seminar so that our students who are nominated begin to unfold the leadership layers that they are capable of so that they experience success in their post high school endeavors.
I enjoy sending students to the Illinois Leadership Seminar because they come back to school enthusiastic and ready to share new ideas with their peers. I see an entirely new student come fall and I know that ILS made those positive changes. It never fails.
I honestly would be a different person if I had not gone to Illinois Leadership Seminar, and it continues to change the lives of many other young people. It gives them the opportunity to see their true potential and put forth that force they may have kept hidden for so long.
Our son recently attended the 2014 ILS at North park University. He went in as a reluctant teen, but came out a changed young man. When we arrived and were met by cheers and crazy greetings (Show me how you shake your thing!) he wanted to turn around and get back in the car as quick as possible. Over the weekend we only spoke to him once, and that was incredibly brief. We had no idea what to expect when we arrived on Sunday for the closing ceremonies. But when the leaders walked in, our son was in font of the line, holding his group’s poster high above his head, with a look of intent on his face. After the ceremonies ended, he huddled up his group and spent a few minutes in near silent conversation. It was obvious he had bought into the ILS experience 100%. We were told to be prepared for our leaders to talk our heads off on the ride home, and this was exactly what happened. He did not stop till we arrived home. He told us about his new friends, about his favorite activities, about how his beliefs had been challenged, about how he had challenged others’ beliefs, and about how he planned to integrate his experiences into his life both in and out of high school. He said he plans to return next summer as a volunteer! Thanks, ILS, for giving our son a truly life-changing experience!
The Illinois Leadership Seminar to me means so much. I thought that it was just going to be lectures and speakers all discussing how to lead. I was wrong. The effect that ILS has on the sophomores who come through it is too great for words, and the fact that this change can happen in just two days is simply amazing. Illinois Leadership Seminar is one organization that I would like to stay with for as long as I can.
ILS is a lifelong experience! When those 3 days of seminar were over, ILS was far from over for me. I found a group of strangers who I quickly felt were my best friends, my family. I was blown away by the trust I had in these people to share my personal beliefs and opinions with. I grew so much during high school and college into the me that I always wanted to be and ILS jumpstarted that process. It is said that it is important who you chose to surround yourself with, and I couldn’t be more proud to be surrounded by my ILS family!
It was great to be accepted for my extreme enthusiasm and friendliness. Now, I am confident and not intimidated to go up to friends of a friend, or new people, or people I wait on, or even just the person in line next to me at the grocery store. I guess it seems silly, but I wave and smile to people when I drive now. I don’t even know the person, but seminar taught me that it’s never weird or inappropriate to be happy about life.