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 taught me that leadership isn’t all about guiding others. Leadership is about learning to better yourself in order to help others. Be caring, generous, thoughtful, and open to new ideas and people. By doing so, you will help others come out of their comfort zone and accomplish their goals. Most importantly, ILS has given me the environment of people believing in me and supporting me on my road to success. Anywhere I go, I know that my ILS family will be there to bring me up, not tear me down.
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!
Since ILS, I’ve decided to make a dream come to life. I’m contacting my old junior high to speak against bullying from a personal standpoint, and hopefully expand to other schools too. I want to share what I learned at seminar!
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.
Walking out of ILS, I had a completely different idea of what a leader was than the one I had when I walked in. I once thought a leader was a bossy controlling person that had a bunch of people following their every move. Maybe that’s why I didn’t think of myself as a leader, because that’s not true. A leader can come in many forms when you least expect it; they spring into action. I fully support the ILS notion that a leader is someone who builds other people up, and, in turn, builds up themselves. I believe that a leader should be the one to catch people when they fall and encourage them to become leaders too.
I walked in as a leader and walked out as a leader who could take on the world! ILS helped reveal the true leader within me. It showed me that I had so much more to give back to my family, friends, school, and community. It’s very challenging to write down what went on in that short weekend, but all I know, is that I will never be the same person as I was before the Illinois Leadership Seminar.
From experience, I can honestly say ILS was one of the most enlightening, encouraging, and outstanding weekends I have had in my life so far. Before ILS, I was unsure of who I was as a student, teenager, and leader. I was struggling with certain classes at school, feeling I wasn’t good enough to succeed. ILS changed me. It made me a stronger and more open person, a better leader by being able to relate to others, and an all-around better and more inviting person.
I had no idea what I was walking into. I arrived on that June day and was absolutely overwhelmed by this amazing energy emanating from each person there. ILS became a rock for me throughout high school, both as a volunteer organization and as a place to come for support.
I send students to ILS because I know they will love the experience and come back as better people. Students return from ILS with the confidence and energy to get more involved in our community and achieve their goals. Sometimes attendance to ILS is the first time a student realizes his/her personal power and the ability to affect the world in a positive way.
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.