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Wisconsin Leadership Seminars Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Philanthropy, Voluntarism Promotion, Youth Development - Citizenship, Youth Development Programs

Mission: WILS identifies outstanding high school sophomores throughout Wisconsin for being responsible citizens in their community and/or school and provide them with the opportunity and encouragement to recognize their leadership potential.

Results: WILS fulfills our mission through an annual 3-day leadership seminar encouraging leadership development through emphasis on personal responsibility, volunteerism, increased awareness of social issues, and open-minded analysis of all sides of an issue when making decisions. The seminar is held at the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater in Whitewater, WI and is offered at no charge to the schools or students. Our volunteers and alumni work tirelessly during the year to raise all funds needed to host seminar. Our mission is carried on throughout the year and into future seminars through our Alumni Association. The alumni hold reunions and perform community service several times between each seminar in order to maintain the WILS spirit, continue friendships and give back to the community. WILS volunteers over 1,000 hours in our communities each year! WILS has served nearly 200 high school sophomores per year for over thirty-nine years. Since inception, WILS has fund raised and fully funded each seminar through 100% volunteer donations of money, time and gifts in kind. Student leaders served return year after year to give back to the organization.

Target demographics: Along with high school guidance counselors and club leaders, we work to identify outstanding high school sophomores who are responsible citizens in their community and/or school and provide them with the opportunity and encouragement to recognize their leadership potential.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Since 1978, WILS has impacted over 200 students per year from all over Wisconsin and upper Michigan.

Geographic areas served: The entire state of Wisconsin

Programs: An annual 3-day leadership seminar encouraging leadership development through emphasis on personal responsibility, volunteerism, increased awareness of social issues, and open-minded analysis of all sides of an issue when making decisions. The seminar is held at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in Whitewater, WI and is offered at no charge to the students or their schools. All seminar speakers and staff are unpaid volunteers. Visit our official website to see what we are currently doing!

Community Stories

45 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 RipplesGuy

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

In my twenty years of experience working in leadership development, I've been lucky enough to encounter many remarkable organizations committed to the important work of helping today's youth identify and nurture their leadership capacity. WILS stands out as one of the most transformative and most comprehensive (not to mention fun, fun, FUN!) leadership development experiences I have ever had the opportunity to be a part of. I am proud to remain connected to several people who credit WILS with helping them recognize and enhance their leadership skills. I'll never forget the several years I spent helping them kick off the weekend, and I continue to support their work with donations.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I will never forget my time at WILS. As a participant, I not only got to volunteer and help others, but met some amazing people as well. WILS has been one of the most impactful experiences of my life. I hope that more people consider volunteering with the program in the future!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I attended WILS in 2013 and have since been involved. I attend reunions, volunteer at numerous events, and am now serving on the Alumni Association Board. This organization has given me more than I could possible explain. Friends for life, confidence, a sense of belonging, and powerful leadership skills to name a few. This has exceeded my life beyond belief. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to attend this seminar because it is truly life changing. WILS is not something that you leave from. Once you are involved, the things that are taught will stay with you for life.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I met many incredible people through WILS. WILS leadership program gave me the skills and inspiration to make the world a better place. Who I am and what I do to improve myself and my community today is a direct result of the positively impactful time I was privileged to spend at the WILS Seminar. WILS is very empowering and uplifting of students across the state of Wisconsin. Collectively, WILS has had a far reach and incredible impact in the great state of Wisconsin and the people in it. I never forget the time I spent at Seminar, as I am always trying to pay it forward daily in pursuit of making my community a better place, in addition to actualizing those dreams of mine WILS empowered me to believe I could achieve, which is a big first experience to have as a high schooler.

My wish is for everyone to receieve the gift of WILS Seminar.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

WILS was an amazing opportunity that wound up being a life changing experience. Going in, I thought it was just going to be something kind of fun that my brother had over-hyped, but upon arriving I felt right at home. Since attending, I have done my best to be at every reunion and opportunity to reunite with my WILS family. WILS has definitely changed my life, and if you have the opportunity to go, I would 100% say go!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Although seminar lasts only a few short days, the impact on my life has been ongoing! WILS completely changed me as a person and enabled me to "find" myself and grow in ways I didn't think I could. Having the ability to meet amazing people from across state and share things about yourself that you wouldn't share with anyone else is a unique experience that WILS offers! Wouldn't have passed up this oppurtunity for the world. :)

Client Served

Rating: 5

WILS was an amazing networking opportunity and changed my life in a matter of 3 days. I can't thank this program enough for introducing me to some of my most cherished friends and a greater sense for leadership. @Australia: Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Wisconsin leadership seminar is the most supportive, dynamic, and life changing group of people I have ever met. They help shape young adults into strong leaders and help them reach their potential. WILS was the best experience of my life and I hope anyone who has the chance to experience WILS makes the best decision of their life and chooses to attend.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've never met a more supportive or caring group of people. This organization cares for everyone no matter who they are. They help anyone or any cause! I love how the community members support one another and supported me when I needed some support! The organization truly cares about the lives and the betterment of the community and society as a whole! Words cannot express just how amazing this group of people is and the impact they have had on my and on other!

Jessica335

Client Served

Rating: 5

I went to WILS in 2010 and have returned for reunions whenever possible. WILS helped me see my potential for leadership roles, which boosted my confidence and motivated me to become a student representative on my school board, high school valedictorian, hold several positions within my sorority during college, and continue to pursue my goals of obtaining my PhD and running my own lab. I think that the lessons I learned and the friendships I made at WILS are unlike any other. Everyone at WILS comes from a different place and has had different experiences, but we all share the fact that we have been recognized by our schools as having leadership potential. WILS changed my life and I don't think I would be who I am today or have had the same amount of success if it wasn't for this organization teaching me the skills I needed and providing me with a support network and lifelong friends.

Board Member

Rating: 5

In 2005, I was lucky enough to attend this amazing seminar. Watching the organization grow and change over the last 12 years has been an amazing journey. I can go on and on about the benefits of the seminar - the leadership and life skills you gain, the friendships you make, but what speaks loudest is to meet one of our alumni. We are in all fields of work, making a (big and small) difference in our communities, in ways we likely would not have had we not been given a chance to attend the seminar. I meet many people who are worried about the future, but I'm not - after meeting these teens year after year (and being friends with many more alumni through the years), I have no qualms about where our world is headed. This organization gave me some of my best friends, helped me get great jobs, and made me the person I am today. That's why I'm not just a board member - I'm also a volunteer, and a donor.

Samantha95

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended WILS this past summer and it was one of the best things that has happened to me! I met so many new friends. WILS taught me so many new things about being a leader and made me more confident. WILS is such a great organization that I am so happy to be apart of!

Shane16

Former staff

Rating: 5

This changed my life for the better. I am now selecting a new major to help more people and open more voluenteering oppertunities

Lauren119

Client Served

Rating: 5

Going into WILS my sophomore year of high school, I had no idea what to expect. I half expected a weekend full of hokey workshops, boring speakers, and awkward activities designed to teach you how to be a leader. Instead, I found inspiration, passion, self-confidence, and a second family. At WILS, you are not taught "rules on being a good leader". Instead, you are taught how to use your own personal strengths and weaknesses in order to lead not only peers, but lead your own life. The skills that I took away from WILS, and the people I have met through WILS, have impacted my entire life. My college roommate that I have had for the past 3 years, and will have for my final year of undergrad, is actually girl I met at WILS! I am now in my junior year of college pursuing a Biology-biomedical sciences concentration and Spanish double major. I am currently studying for the MCAT and preparing to apply to medical schools this summer to pursue a career in Obstetrics or Neonatology. I am certain I wouldn't be where I am now without WILS.

Client Served

Rating: 5

WILS is an experience like no other. The seminar takes individuals that already exhibit leadership characteristics and exemplifies those traits by surrounding the participants in an environment that encourages individuality and diversity.

My perspective of what a leader looks like changed that week, and that shift was definitely for the better!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was a WILS attendee in 2013 and I can say it was absolutely the most memorable event of that entire summer. I met wonderful people that welcomed me like family and learned about different leadership skills from many different community members. Thank you so much for putting all this time and effort into making a difference in leaders' lives.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

WILS honestly changed my life. It was an incredible organization that genuinely wanted to help me become the absolute best person I could be. They instilled a confidence in me that no one else could, and for that I'll always be grateful. It's why I keep coming back - because I think other kids deserve to have that same experience.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

WILS is the highlight of my life. It gave me the confidence to discover my passions of leading and volunteering. The environment created at WILS alows me to thrive in a way I never thought possible. Definitely the best thing to ever happen to me.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Easily the most influential group I am a part of. Everyone is willing to help each other, everyone is accepting, and there are great people that serve as the backbone of keeping this organization great and thriving. Honestly blessed!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

WILS helped me find out how good of a leader I could actually be and is full of great people!