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.
2016 Winter Reunion5:30 PM(12/17) - 11 AM(12/18)Crete United Methodist Church
Anyone who is planning on attending, please do not forget your $20 donation, 2-page overnight consent form, and the food/drink item that corresponds to the first letter of your last name.
- A-E: snack food
- F-J: dessert
- K-Q: drink
- R-Z: breakfast food for Sunday morning
We can't wait to see everyone there!
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.
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.
This seminar helped me gain so much confidence and aided in the realization that I have the power to make a difference as a leader in my community, and in the world. ILS is truly one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had.
Honestly, sending our oldest son to ILS wasn’t high on our priority list when he was first selected. It sounded like a great weekend, but it was in Chicago and we weren’t sure we wanted to make a two and a half hour trip just for that. We are so grateful his counselor convinced us that this was a great opportunity. We try our best to lead by example as parents, but ultimately, teenagers look to their peers as examples. ILS surrounded our son with a group of friends that not only let him know it was OK to be a leader, they encouraged it. We were so pleased we made sure our other children applied for the program too, and are now the proud parents of three ILS alumni! Let your child go? No, you shouldn’t ‘let’ them go. You shouldn’t let them miss this!
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 is the only place that I have ever felt like it’s okay to just be me. I went in to seminar on a Friday morning as a shy, self-conscious 16 year old. I always was trying to please everybody around me, even if that meant sacrificing my own character in the process. I came out of seminar on Sunday afternoon a changed person. I finally realized that being me is okay; in fact, being me is the best thing I can ever do.
Going into the seminar, I was a naïve sophomore who was one of the shyest people in my high school. After seminar, there was confidence instilled in me from interactions with the different people in my group and the staff. This confidence has stuck with me ever since and I am the leader I am today because of my seminar experience. I firmly believe that my life would not same if I was not lucky enough to experience seminar.
ILS has been the most eye-opening experience I’ve ever had. The environment was so welcoming and friendly, I felt right at home from the very beginning. I now look at things in a different way thanks to the skills I learned at ILS. I’ve learned that I don’t have to be afraid of the haters, because they will always be there, and I can only change myself. When school starts up again in the fall, I want to introduce a new club to my school, focusing on the things things I learned at ILS.
I feel that ILS has made me better person. I’m not just saying that to play up the seminar. I can honestly say that I finally realize that I can make a difference in the world just by being myself. I’m not sure that I totally felt that way before the seminar. It was a great feeling to know that I have these people whom I’ve known for only 24 hours supporting me. I hope that there will be many more years of ILS so that I can stay involved and learn even more.
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.