We are pleased to be participating in the Jefferson Awards Youth Service Initiative (YSI). Below is the update on the YSI in Chicago that appeared on the Jefferson Awards Website. * * *
The winds of leadership are blowing strong in the Jefferson Awards for Public Service's Youth Service Initiative in the Windy City. We are pleased to announce exciting developments in Chicago. With the help of a couple members of the Jefferson Awards Board of Selectors and our new Regional Program Director on the ground, YSI in Chicago is taking off to new heights. Here are some thoughts from the leaders who are helping to lead the student leaders in the Chicagoland area. Charlene: "Meeting Sam Beard is a life-altering experience" according to Charlene McMann, a member of the Jefferson Awards for Public Service Board of Selectors. She and her husband met with Jefferson Awards Co-founder and President Sam Beard and National Director Diana Sherbacow for a few minutes at the beginning of the Jefferson Awards National Awards ceremony this summer in Washington D.C. Charlene thought she would wind up speaking at a high school or two about the importance of public service. Sam had something more in mind. "Sam came to Chicago a couple of weeks later and before you know it, we are leading the Youth Service Initiative in Chicago and helping to spearhead a landmark, student-led, global-based service, fundraising, and health/fitness program known as Students In Action - Celebrate Service. Sam's energy is contagious and we knew that participating in the mission of doubling volunteering in high schools across the United States and training our country's future leaders would be a wonderful experience that would have a tremendous impact." Charlene is a tough task master with a big heart. She left the world of being a corporate executive behind years ago and has applied her leadership skills and vision to community service. Charlene is a Jefferson Award winner in her own right, recognized for her remarkable public policy advocacy, patient advocacy, programming, and fundraising on behalf of lymphoma and other cancer patients. "One person can make a difference and by enlisting others you can have a profound impact. The Jefferson Awards is the standard of excellence and the young people we are training today will be our leaders of tomorrow. I am pleased to be part of the program and to help it grow."
Scott: Sam and Charlene coxed another member of the Jefferson Awards for Public Service Board of Selectors, Scott Seaman, into the mix. Scott is a partner with the law firm of Meckler Bulger Tilson Marick & Pearson LLP. He is a renowned trial lawyer and corporate problem-solver representing companies, insurers, and reinsurers in complex matters in trial courts, appellate courts, and arbitrations across the country. Scott is quick to credit the Jefferson Awards and the YSI program: "Sam Beard is a one-of-a kind genius. He is a visionary who exemplifies leadership and public service. Sam and Jack Russi (Vice Chair of Deloitte) have put together a first-rate leadership program that provides student leaders with the training and skills to be successful in whatever they do in life. Not only are these students the leaders of the future, they will have a positive impact in their schools and communities this school year. The program looked fabulous on paper, but it is even more impressive when you see it in action. There is marvelous class-room leadership training that covers public speaking; planning, organizing, and running a meeting; effective oral and written communications; decision making; elements of management and leadership; and the 'Project Rocket,' which teaches students how to formulate an effective project or business plan. There also is the 'learning by doing' component through which the student leaders will plan, organize, market, and implement a fundraising event. They will select other students to receive awards in recognition of their outstanding achievements and the schools will promote those students to attract others to become engaged in public and community service. . . . Apart from the training and skills learned, participating in the program is a great door opener and resume builder." Elizabeth Wackerlin: Elizabeth is the Regional Program Director and works closely with the leadership coaches, principals, faculty coordinators, and student leaders. "Elizabeth is bright, energetic, organized, and a tremendous resource" boasts Charlene. . . ." Elizabeth says "it is rewarding to work with our amazing leadership coaches, faculty coordinators, and students and to see the students grow as people, citizens, and leaders. I am honored to be part of the Jefferson Awards and YSI. The student leaders have to achieve seven deliverables, but I want to mention some of the perks of the program. They include: leadership certificates and training certificates signed by public officials and distinguished board members; going to and being recognized at a White Sox baseball game; earning banners for their school;and competing to represent the region and be honored at the National Jefferson Awards ceremony with all expenses paid. Learning, leadership, and community service is a great combination." Faculty Coordinators and Leadership Coaches:The people who make the program great and who really make a difference to the student leaders are the leadership coaches and the committed faculty coordinators. Sam conducted a coach training session this summer in Chicago. According to Sam, "I have been excited about Chicago since first meeting Charlene and Scott and the excitement meter continued to climb as the weeks went on. But when we met the coaches they assembled I saw that the program was taken to the next level."
JA's High School Leadership/Service Program
Taking young Americans 25 or under from ideation to implementation!
Challenging youth to engage in impacted community service projects!
Charlene, Scott, Elizabeth, and faculty with YSI student leaders being recognized on the field before a White Sox game at US Cellular Field
Charlene and students at Glendbard gives books.
Chicago Regional Leadership Competition
During the Saturday Fall Leadership Conference session, Scott (left) speaks to YSI student leaders about the qualities of a leader and introduces Sam Beard, co-founder of the Jefferson Awards. Sam (right) has had the privilege of running presidential programs for seven United States Presidents. Sam leads the students through a project from conception to completion using the "Project Rocket."
Chicago area student leaders receive the benefit of leadership training from Heather McLinden and her scholars from the IIT Leadership Academy. They do a tremendous job.
We are proud to say that the Chicago Area Regional Winner has gone on to won the National Students In Action Competition in two of the last three years!
Congratulations to 2013 National Champions Thorton Township High School Dist. 205!
Congratulations to the 2010 and 2011 Chicagoland Students In Action Regional Champions Adlai E. Stevenson High School. Stevenson won the National Competition in 2011!
Congratulations to the 2009 and 2102 Chicagoland Regional Champions Thornridge High. Thornridge was led by: student leaders Shelby Rogers (senior), Kiara Bishop (senior), Vincent Jones (sophomore), and Markist Booker (Freshman); leadership coach Shirley Rucker-Cooke; school counselor Barbara Green; and assistant principal Brad Bielfuss. As Regional Champions Thornridge is representing the region at the Jefferson Awards National Ceremonies in Washington, DC and received a YSI Gold Banner. District 205 finished second in the Nation Competition in 2012
Congratulations to the 2008 Regional Champion Gage Park and Curie for earning YSI Silver Banners and to BEST, Hyde Park, Kennedy, Phoenix Military, and Northside Prep for earning YSI Bronze Banners.
Congratulations to all schools and student leaders participating in the Jefferson Awards Students In Action Youth Leadership Program.
Special thanks to Chicago Public Schools, one of the first districts in the nation to lead the YSI effort.
Please contact us, if you are interested in participating in the Jefferson Awards (JA) Youth Service Initiative (YSI). There are many ways to participate:
Enlist a high school to participate in YSI (JA will provide all of the necessary information)
Become a YSI leadership coach for a school (JA will train you)
Support YSI financially through sponsorship (sponsorship at various levels carries with it recognition) or through a donation (JA is a 501(a) (3) non-profit organization)