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.
There is nothing scheduled as of right now.
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!
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.
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!
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.
Words can’t even begin to explain how great my experience was this past weekend at ILS. ILS has taught me so much about myself. Coming out of this experience, I have become a better person. I have also gained a family that I know will always have my back no matter what. ILS was a life changing experience and I wish I could relive it again and again.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.