Honoring the 2015-16 Daily Herald Leadership Team
Meet the 2015-16 Daily Herald Leadership Team.
These high school students raise tens of thousands of dollars for charity and work to improve conditions in poor areas, both nearby and in Third World countries. They coach their peers, buddy up with disabled students, reach back to help younger students and even start their own nonprofits, based on where their compassion, or sometimes personal experience, leads them.
These are teens who show up, but more than that they take on the adult responsibilities of organizing, persuading and leading.
"Volunteering ... is about taking initiative," says Christopher Nevarez of Barrington High School, who volunteers at his former grade school, Sunny Hill in Carpentersville. "Showing up is not enough ... one must be ready to step up and be a leader when everyone else takes a step back."
The four 2015-16 Leadership Teams -- Northwest suburban, Lake County, DuPage County and the Fox Valley -- represent some of the best of today's high schoolers, kids who push themselves out of their comfort zone and get out into the world. In doing so, they also gain an immense understanding of themselves.
"Volunteerism has helped me a lot when it comes to deciding what to do with my future," says Sydney Cavanaugh of Batavia, who volunteers for a group called OrthoKids and has decided to major in physical therapy. "I have discovered how much of a people person I really am."