Honoring the 2015-16 Daily Herald Leadership Team

  • Members of the Northwest suburban Leadership Team gather at Harper College. At left, bottom to top are Ashley Prabakar, Hoffman Estates High School; Millen Srivastava, Barrington High School; Kristina Dominguez, Buffalo Grove High School and Aneri B. Patel, Maine East High School. At right, bottom to top; Natalie Brady, Rolling Meadows High School; Nicole Ricken, William Fremd High School; Christopher Nevarez, Barrington High School (in the middle); Karly Rose Grapenthin, Palatine High School; Justin Cruz, St. Viator High School and Julia Niklewicz, John Hersey High School.

      Members of the Northwest suburban Leadership Team gather at Harper College. At left, bottom to top are Ashley Prabakar, Hoffman Estates High School; Millen Srivastava, Barrington High School; Kristina Dominguez, Buffalo Grove High School and Aneri B. Patel, Maine East High School. At right, bottom to top; Natalie Brady, Rolling Meadows High School; Nicole Ricken, William Fremd High School; Christopher Nevarez, Barrington High School (in the middle); Karly Rose Grapenthin, Palatine High School; Justin Cruz, St. Viator High School and Julia Niklewicz, John Hersey High School. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Winners of the 2015-16 DuPage County Leadership Team gather at College of DuPage. Top row, from left: Mohit Patel, Fenton High School; Michael King, Glenbard South High School; and William Marchese, Wheaton North High School. Middle row, from left: Nicole Popow, St. Francis High School; Claire Larkin, Glenbard East High School; Francesca Sikora, Montini Catholic High School and Tushar Dwivedi, Neuqua Valley High School. In front, Kyra Conroy, Naperville Central High School and David Kwok, Hinsdale Central High School. Not pictured: Alice Cecilia Reid, Benet Academy.

      Winners of the 2015-16 DuPage County Leadership Team gather at College of DuPage. Top row, from left: Mohit Patel, Fenton High School; Michael King, Glenbard South High School; and William Marchese, Wheaton North High School. Middle row, from left: Nicole Popow, St. Francis High School; Claire Larkin, Glenbard East High School; Francesca Sikora, Montini Catholic High School and Tushar Dwivedi, Neuqua Valley High School. In front, Kyra Conroy, Naperville Central High School and David Kwok, Hinsdale Central High School. Not pictured: Alice Cecilia Reid, Benet Academy. Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • The 2015-16 Lake County Leadership Team gathers at College of Lake County in Grayslake. Behind the piano, from left: Meghan Fitzgerald, Grayslake Central High School; Connor Leden, Warren Township High School; Olivia Sorenson, Adlai E. Stevenson High School; Ben Panitch, Adlai E. Stevenson High School; Dan Marshalla, Lake Zurich High School; Eleanore van Marwijk Kooy, Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart; Marutinandan Dubey, Grayslake Central High School. In front of the piano, from left: Nathan Borries, Antioch Community High School; Vivian Margaret Lee, Mundelein High School and Nia McClendon, Libertyville High School.

      The 2015-16 Lake County Leadership Team gathers at College of Lake County in Grayslake. Behind the piano, from left: Meghan Fitzgerald, Grayslake Central High School; Connor Leden, Warren Township High School; Olivia Sorenson, Adlai E. Stevenson High School; Ben Panitch, Adlai E. Stevenson High School; Dan Marshalla, Lake Zurich High School; Eleanore van Marwijk Kooy, Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart; Marutinandan Dubey, Grayslake Central High School. In front of the piano, from left: Nathan Borries, Antioch Community High School; Vivian Margaret Lee, Mundelein High School and Nia McClendon, Libertyville High School. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • The 2015-16 Fox Valley Leadership Team gathers at Gail Borden Library in Elgin. From left, they are: Karl Rauschenberger of Elgin Academy; Molly McQueeny, Geneva Community High School; Cameron McCall, Huntley High School; Emily Laughead, Rosary High School; Bryan Jeffery Giannone, Harry D. Jacobs High School; Allison Holloway, Larkin High School; Lucy Gruber, St. Charles North High School; Sydney Cavanaugh, Batavia High School and Elnora Burzlaff, Harvest Christian Academy. Not pictured: Jyotsna Bitra of Illinois Math and Science Academy.

      The 2015-16 Fox Valley Leadership Team gathers at Gail Borden Library in Elgin. From left, they are: Karl Rauschenberger of Elgin Academy; Molly McQueeny, Geneva Community High School; Cameron McCall, Huntley High School; Emily Laughead, Rosary High School; Bryan Jeffery Giannone, Harry D. Jacobs High School; Allison Holloway, Larkin High School; Lucy Gruber, St. Charles North High School; Sydney Cavanaugh, Batavia High School and Elnora Burzlaff, Harvest Christian Academy. Not pictured: Jyotsna Bitra of Illinois Math and Science Academy. John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
Posted1/14/2016 5:15 AM

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."

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