Illinois Leadership prides itself on cultivating leadership skills in every student. Its philosophy states that every student has the ability to lead, and anyone can develop leadership skills if they're interested in working for a more positive future.
Steve Wurth was among the first students to try one of the i-programs offered through Illinois Leadership® Center. "I participated in Intersect, which places a great deal of emphasis on interpersonal communications.” he says. “The skills that I acquired through the Intersect program have been useful in…the workplace, group work for class, and in my relationships with my friends—just about everything that I do.”
Other i programs include Insight, an overnight retreat that focuses on self-awareness and self-management skills; Ignite, which teaches group development skills, such as leading change and systems thinking; and Imprint, which teaches transitional development skills like mentoring and networking. A new i-program, Integrity, is being piloted during the 2006-07 academic year.
Steve liked the Intersect training so much that he decided to become a facilitator for the ActiveLEAD program, which is available to all students, faculty, staff and community members through the Division of Campus Recreation. ActiveLEAD provides participants with group activities that develop leadership skills and promote teambuilding strategies.
"As an ActiveLEAD facilitator, the skills I learned at Intersect became incredibly important,” Steve says. “I learned that effective leaders know how and when to speak, act, question, and decide. They constantly strive to improve, and they are open to criticisms.”
The Leadership Center also offers a Leadership Certificate Program available to all students interested in making a two to four semester commitment to develop and document their leadership growth by working with a Leadership Coach (a professor, staff member, or alumnus).
Students who are interested in ongoing leadership development should consider the LEADS Living and Learning Community. LEADS (Leadership Experience through Academic Development and Service) offers students opportunities to hone leadership skills in courses and programs planned by students, staff, and outside professionals.
The Illinois Leadership Center in room 290 of the Illini Union serves as the hub for all the leadership opportunities available on campus.