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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

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

46 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

Volunteer

Rating: 5

WILS is an organization that has introduced me to inspirational adults as well as students my age that not only teach me about becoming a better leader, but also how to be more myself. I'm forever grateful for the opportunity to be connected with people as amazing as everyone in WILS.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

WILS is an organization that is constantly changing my life and the way I view it. From meeting amazing adult role models, to peers your age to connect with- it's an amazing organization that brings people together to volunteer, make better leaders, and direct new generations on a path to success.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been part of WILS since 2008. I currently work at a university in the state of Wisconsin and can honestly say that WILS lead me to where I am today. It showed me what it takes to be a good leader, how to be myself, the importance and need for volunteering in our community, and allowed me to make numerous friendships.

Cassie12

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with this organization for over ten years. As an educator, I come across programs for everything under the sun. This organization, WILS, is one of the finer ones. I put my time and energy into WILS because of this. The programming and thoughtfulness of the staff is amazing. Each year, the staff reads and evaluates the student and volunteer feedback. Programming changes are made each year so that the seminar is alway top-notch. The large alumni base and return of volunteers year after year prove how wonderful this organization is. Thank you for continuing to serve our youth and make the world a better place!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been apart of WILS for five years now, from being an ambassador, to a junior staff member to now a facilitator. WILS has given me the tools to become a better leader, student and community member. I have made great friendships along the way that are sure to be lifelong. I will always be greatful for the one weekend when I was 16, it changed my life.

Devon6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been involved with Wisconsin Leadership Seminars for years. I have never met such amazing people! Everyday I am thankful to have the people of WILS in my life.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Wonderful organization. They are great people who help others become better too.

Michael378

Volunteer

Rating: 5

From a parent perspective, there is no other organization that combines the power and energy of youth from across the state into one amazing group of future leaders. I have been volunteering and contributing for 10 years and each year I leave the summer seminar filled with hope for the future from a great conglomeration of high school sophomores. Many have gone on to do great things with their careers as I hear stories and meet the alumni each year. More power to WILS.

Mike Skupien, parent of board member and original WILSer in 2005.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization, honestly, changed my life. I attended WILS in the summer of 2014. Going into it, I was quiet shy and did not view myself as a strong leader. After, I was a new person. I learned not to be scarred (scurred) by what others think of me and not to limit myself by creating a box to hide inside. I also learned what type of leader and how to adjust how I work with others to lead a productive group. I now play a more productive role in groups in school and work, and attribute my confidence to that fun weekend with the greatest people in the world. Thank you WILS for not only giving me an opportunity to grow as a person and make new connections, but for giving me an outlet to help others do the same.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a part of WILS since 2005. I have been a student leader, junior staff and facilitator. I have been a part of a handful of student leadership organizations, but nothing compares to WILS. This seminar is run completely by volunteers and students do not have to pay anything to take part in the event. There is one student chosen from each HS in Wisconsin, so most students don't know anyone when they arrive. This experience is something I look forward to each and every year. I have learned so much about myself, gained so many useful life skills and have made life long friends. If I hadn't attended WILS all those years ago and continued to stay involved I can honestly say that I would not be the person that I am today.

Star S.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I attended WILS as a student leader in 2006. It was absolutely eye opening. From 2007-2010 I returned as a Junior Staff member and since 2011 I have returned as an adult staff member, even joining the Board of Directors in 2014. WILS makes it possible for many students to not only learn more about themselves and what kind of leader they are; they are also exposed to different mindsets and opinions of peers their age from all across the state of Wisconsin- all free of cost! This is truly an outstanding organization.

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been involved with dozens of high school and college leadership development events and organizations, and there are so many organizations doing great things for emerging leaders. I have committed a significant amount of TIME and ENERGY and MONEY over the last 15 years to WLS because they are exceptionally well-run, efficiently managed, and have an absolutely outstanding reputation. I have remained connected to HUNDREDS of alumni and they continue to credit WLS with exponentially increasing their leadership capacity. I no longer live close enough to speak at the annual seminar, but I still have money and love to give to them.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with this organization for over 12 years in several different roles from camper, junior staff, facilitator, and speaker/presenter. The opportunities available to those who attend are second to none; both in terms of networking and personal growth. This organization has had a huge impact on the person I am today.

1 Murphy D.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Wisconsin Leadership Seminars has given me the tools to carve a path much different than I anticipated. After attending in 2009, I gained the confidence and social support to unleash my leadership potentially. As I am entering my my seventh year with this organization, I have had the chance to further my own leadership development by taking on roles in the Alumni Association, the Board of Directors, and as seminar staff. These roles in turn have allowed me to support other Wisconsin high school students as they undergo the seminar experience and really begin to critically think about the issues in our communities and understand that they have the power and voice to make waves.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

WILS is truly an outstanding organization that positively impacts of not only the students it serves, but also the volunteers who run the organization. I am blessed to be a part of this wonderful group and will continue to live out WILS mission in all that I do.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

WILS has been a part of my life for almost 20 years and it has been amazing to see how this organization has shaped leaders from all over Wisconsin. I'm lucky enough to participate each year at the seminar and help develop new generations of leaders. I can't imagine my life without WILS. I am proud to part of this organization!

Board Member

Rating: 5

A wonderful organization and group of people I am blessed and honored to work with. 100% volunteer, no paid staff, and all students attend for free.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've seen first hand how WILS can change lives. This is a 100% volunteer organization and everyone is very dedicated to helping students find their leadership capability.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I know it may sound cliche, but WILS has changed my life in countless ways. I attended the 2014 seminar, and I have only grown as a person since. It taught me how to be a leader of my peers, myself, and simply everyone around me. WILS also gave me connections with people that I will have and cherish forever. This is a one of a kind organization that always has ways to say involved and keep in touch.