We are excited to announce that Wisconsin Leadership Seminars (WILS) will once again be holding its annual 3-day leadership seminar for outstanding high school sophomores across Wisconsin in June 2017. This marks the 40th straight year that the seminar will be offered at no cost to the schools or students! WILS is a state-wide volunteer organization that identifies outstanding high school sophomores throughout Wisconsin and provides them with the opportunity and encouragement to recognize their leadership potential. The guidance counselor or principal at each high school across the state is invited to nominate one student who already exhibits positive leadership qualities in their school and community.
In our society, a great deal of attention and media are given to our young adults who act negatively. WILS is set up to provide recognition and growth opportunities to students who act positively, acknowledging that we value their contributions and encouraging their continued civic engagement.
The high-energy weekend consists of team-building activities, motivational speakers, community service, a talent show, panels of key leaders from various industries, small group discussions, and more. We encourage leadership development through emphasis on our four pillars: responsibility, service, inclusiveness, and decision making. The reactions of sophomores who participated in previous seminars have been excellent overall. Many express the profound impact that the seminar has on their life and commitment to both their school and community.
Upon completion of the three-day seminar, student leaders are invited to join the WILS Alumni Association. They are able to continue on a path that will foster the growth and development of their leadership skills, volunteerism, and community involvement to become successful, responsible contributors to society. One way that this is done is through participation in alumni leadership retreats, during which community service is performed and friendships are developed with other ambitious individuals. In addition, past student leaders have volunteered as junior staff members, facilitators, fundraisers, planning committee members, alumni board members, and members of the WILS Board of Directors.
The annual seminar is an experience which we’d like to keep open to as many students as possible. In fact, our organization is 100% volunteer run, which enables us to keep our administrative costs extremely low. We’ve worked over the years to ensure that our relationships with contributing groups continue to grow and enhance the strength of our organization. This support has been in the form of volunteering, monetary donations, and in-kind contributions which are invaluable to the successful continuation of our program.
WILS provides an outlet for these outstanding sophomores to gain confidence, learn more about themselves and develop their leadership skills. They can take what they have learned back to their schools and communities and implement these skills in their daily lives. They often become more involved in their schools and also volunteer in their community. Many become involved in the alumni organization where they give back to the seminar each year. The seminar has a tremendous effect on those attending and those volunteering throughout their lives.