An inaugural program featuring The Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area recently wrapped up on the campus of Illinois College.
Thirty-two eighth graders from around the state participated in the LEAD: Spirit of Lincoln Youth Leadership Academy in early June.
Executive Director of the Looking for Lincoln Coalition Sarah Watson says Illinois College graduate Laura Marks was a major part of the planning.
Watson says the emerging student leaders spent a week at Illinois College learning about the life of Abraham Lincoln.
“With specific attention paid to the kinds of decisions Mr. Lincoln had to make and kinds of leadership attributes he showed. We use that as a jumping board to ask the kids what kind of attributes they have and what ones they would like to build within themselves,” says Watson.
Several Illinois College students got involved with the program.
“All six of our mentors were Illinois College students. They got a whole lot more out of it than they were anticipating. They thought they were going to be camp counselors. The growth and learning they got was substantial as well. It was a real win-win,” she says.
Watson thanked The Hampton Inn and the Jacksonville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau for their assistance.
Planning is already underway for the program to return at Illinois College next year.