For 35 years, The LeaderShop (formerly CEP for Youth) has been helping young people in elementary through high school grow into productive leaders of tomorrow by offering them opportunities to participate in outreach/volunteer services, special community-based events, mentoring and leadership training, and participation in performance groups. The LeaderShop has been serving more than 1,400 local students annually by giving them the tools, confidence and passion to want to make a difference in their communities and their own lives.
The dictionary defines the word ‘inspire’ as the ability to arouse a specified feeling, thought or influence. To me, inspiration is the teenagers I work with, the adults I work under and the kids I lead. The LeaderShop motivated me to explore the world outside of my bubble; it has opened my eyes to the struggles within a community. Above all, it has opened my heart to the strength and determination of individuals – of a generation. This is what makes me volunteer. This is what I try to show the kids I lead. This is my inspiration.
Involvement in The LeaderShop changes the lives of youth and the residents of the neighborhoods served: La Grange, Western Springs, Burr Ridge, Countryside, La Grange Park, Brookfield, Summit and Justice.
To find out what some other young people have to say about their involvement with The LeaderShop, view The LeaderShop’s video at www.theleadershop.org.
Kristin Kennedy is a recent alumna of The LeaderShop and graduate of Lyons Township High School