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The 2024 Seminar will be held from June 7th - June 9th. 

Please read below for more information or contact our Recruitment Director using the button at the bottom of this page.


Our Annual Seminar

The mission of ILS is to unleash the leadership potential of Illinois youth. We achieve this mission, in part, through our flagship seminar, held annually in June. This year we will be inviting one sophomore student from Illinois high schools to attend. Our Seminar is completely free to the students, their families, and their schools. 

​We are excited to announce Seminar 2024 will be in-person from Friday June 7th - Sunday June 9th!

We encourage leadership development through emphasis on:

  • Personal responsibility

  • Volunteerism

  • Increased awareness of social and community issues

  • Open-minded analysis that considers all sides of an issue when making decisions

During Seminar, leaders are pre-assigned to groups of 8-10. These groups are random to ensure each leader is exposed to other leaders with different backgrounds. Each group has group leaders called coaches that are student alumni of our program. 

The main objective of all programming elements is to build each leader's skills to maximize their own strengths, to consider and appreciate the strengths of others and leave the Seminar well-equipped to take on the challenges of making a difference in their classes, schools and broader communities. 

Additionally, they now have a network of other high achieving student peers, as well as adult mentors, from various backgrounds and across the state.

We also encourage our leaders to stay active in our organization to support the future development of ILS and, more importantly, the future generations of leaders in Illinois. We are very proud of the leaders that our Seminar serves: they represent the bright future of Illinois and continue to make our world a better place.

Sending a Student to Our 2024 Seminar.
We ask counselors/school representatives to fill out the nomination form to nominate one sophomore student leader from their school to attend our Seminar. The student MUST currently be completing their SOPHOMORE year of high school (attending Seminar the summer between their sophomore and junior year). The counselor or school representative in our records will receive a nomination email with the instructions for how to nominate a student from their school. Please remember, only one student per school may attend. Once a student has been nominated, that student and their parent(s)/guardian(s) will receive a registration email with a link to the registration form.

Seminar Details

When attending Seminar 2024, students must attend the entire seminar. Programming is structured to build upon itself throughout the weekend and full participation is required.

Date: Friday June 7th - Sunday June 9th, 2024


Illinois Wesleyan University

1312 Park St.

Bloomington, IL 61701


If you have questions regarding Seminar, our programming, or ILS in general, please view our FAQs below or contact our Recruitment Director, Annalisa Roncone by clicking the button below.

  • What is Illinois Leadership Seminars (ILS)?
    Illinois Leadership Seminars is a non-profit, 100% volunteer organization with one mission: to unleashthe leadership potential of Illinois youth. We accomplish this mission in two major ways. First, weprovide students all over the state with an opportunity to attend a free leadership seminar. Second, aftera student has gone through one of our programs, they have the option to stay involved with our alumniassociation. The alumni association provides our students with an active nationwide network ofsuccessful leaders to rely on for support with everything from advice on how to run a high school peprally, to college applications and job interviews.
  • When and where is ILS?
    The 2024 seminar will be held from Friday, June 7th - Sunday June 9th at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, IL. Address: Illinois Wesleyan University 1312 Park St. Bloomington, IL 61701
  • How did I get selected to attend the Illinois Leadership Seminar?
    We reach out to high school counselors and faculty all over the state and ask them to nominate one outstanding sophomore from their high school to attend our seminar. We leave who to select and how to select them totally up to the schools. Some schools have a private staff vote, some hold an essay contest and some school representatives just hand pick a student on their own. No matter how our students are selected, they all have one awesome thing in common: leadership potential. If you are unsure of who specifically selected you and you would like to find out, please contact our Recruitment Director, Annalisa Roncone, at and she will look it up for you.
  • Why should I go?
    ILS is an opportunity to be around other outstanding leaders your own age. Sometimes, students are nervous about attending a seminar where they don’t know anyone, but to us, that’s the best part! ILS is a fresh start. There’s no pressure from your peers to be anything or conform to any mold. At ILS we encourage you to be one thing... you. Our message is simple: No matter your gender, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status or background... you (yes YOU!) can be a leader. We aim to unleash the leadership potential that is already in YOU.
  • Where can I find the consent form I’m supposed to bring with me to Seminar?
    A link to the consent form can be found here.
  • What actually happens during Seminar?
    The program includes motivational speakers, leadership activities, group discussions...and that’s just the beginning. During the ILS experience, a broad spectrum of leaders will address various aspects of leadership in our changing world and the challenges future leaders will confront. You will have the opportunity to ask questions of the speakers and participate in small group discussions throughout the seminar. The program is not designed to teach you what to think, or even how to think, but rather to emphasize the importance of critical thinking skills in leadership roles.
  • How is the Seminar structured?
    Once a leader has registered for our seminar, they are assigned to a small group of 8-10 leaders. These groups are random to ensure each leader is exposed to other leaders with different backgrounds. Each group has group leaders called coaches that are student alumni of our program. Different seminar activities require different levels of participation. Some highly interactive activities and discussions will be done within the small group, while other activities will be done as a large seminar group.
  • Are there any other rules I need to know before attending?
    Glad you asked! Click here to view our rules and regulations.
  • Is the Seminar REALLY free?
    Absolutely. We work very hard all year long to make sure that no student or school has to pay to attend the Illinois Leadership Seminar. Sponsorship funding is provided by GFWCs (Women’s Clubs), corporate grants, ILS fundraising efforts, and individual donors, including many alumni of the seminar itself. Schools, parents, and students incur no costs, with the exception of transportation to and from our seminar site.
  • What should I wear?
    Dress is mainly casual and active. This means jeans, shorts, t-shirts and sensible shoes are most acceptable. For Sunday, please bring business casual clothes to wear.
  • What about transportation?
    Each leader is responsible for getting themselves to and from Illinois Wesleyan University. Please plan ahead. If you are in need of a ride or would be interested in carpooling please contact
  • Is housing provided for students?
    Yes! Housing in the dorms at Illinois Wesleyan University is provided for students for Friday and Saturday nights. Please bring your own sheets (beds are twin XL) and towels for showering.
  • Something has come up and I will be unable to attend. What do I do?
    We understand that things come up, but if they do, please let us (and your school representative) know! You can email our Recruitment Director, Annalisa Roncone, at or give her a call at 847-840-0817.
  • What, if any, additional interaction or contact should I be expecting before the seminar?
    Our Recruitment Director, Annalisa Roncone, will be sending out additional reminder emails in the months and weeks leading up to seminar. Email communications will be sent to all email addresses that were provided to us during the nomination process. If you have questions about which email address we have on file, or wish to make changes, please email Annalisa at Other than the reminder emails, you will be receiving a phone call from your Senior Coach in late May / early June. When you register, please be sure to list an accurate phone number where we can get a hold of you. If an incorrect phone number is listed, we have no way to call you. Each Senior Coach will be calling to ease any pre-seminar concerns and answer any questions you may have, but if you have questions you would like to ask, your Senior Coach is available as a resource.
  • Whom may I contact if I have additional questions?
    If you have additional questions, please contact our Recruitment Director as she is your liaison until you arrive at Illinois Wesleyan University. Annalisa will always get back to you within 72 hours. If you have questions regarding the programming, structure, or other details about the Seminar, you may call our Seminar Chairperson, Ixtel Viramontes. Please do not hesitate to ask questions! We are here to help! Annalisa Roncone Recruitment Director 847-840-0817 Ixtel Viramontes Seminar Chairperson 815-217-1111 Kelly Paton ILS Corporate Board President 847-525-7764
  • What is ILS doing to protect the health and safety of participants given the unique circumstances COVID-19 has presented?
    All participants, volunteers and presenters will be required to adhere to recommendations from the CDC, State of Illinois, our host site Illinois Wesleyan University and Illinois Leadership Seminars. Protecting the health and safety of participants and our volunteers is paramount. ILS will closely monitor the information available from public health experts. If for any reason it is deemed that in-person gatherings cannot take place as scheduled, ILS will provide a virtual alternative.
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