Lincoln-Way East students attend Teen Conservation Leadership Conference
Thursday, August 11, 2016

From August 3-5, twenty-six Lincoln-Way East students attended a three-day Teen Conservation Leadership Conference in downtown Chicago.

“It was amazing to see 26 students willingly give up three days of their summer for this. On the first day, the schedules were packed from 8:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.,” says teacher Maria Wilson. “Even with such a long first day, they all showed up again the next two days; it was such a great group of students.”

Wilson initially learned about the program through an email she received in the spring, but her interest was further piqued when she visited Brookfield Zoo in the summer. While there, she ran into a King Conservation Scholar who spoke with her about the conference. After researching online and finding that free transportation was provided for larger groups, Wilson and Principal Michalak utilized Skyward communication to gauge student interest. Students registered and paid $10.00, which covered lunch for all three days of the conference.

“We had freshman through seniors attend. For it being so diverse in age, it was such a cohesive group. Between the age gap and not knowing each other very well, they were all so kind to each other and jumped in to help each other out. It just amazes me so much,” says Wilson.

Students spent time at the Illinois Institute of Technology on Wednesday and Thursday. Upon their arrival, participants were given a campus map and a schedule of conferences and presentations to attend. Students chose the events that sounded most interesting to them, and navigated their way throughout the conference.

Outside of presentations, students were able to meet college representatives, as well as staff from the Field Museum and the Shedd Aquarium. The conference also allowed students to see what types of jobs, internships, and scholarships were available. Students ended the conference at Brookfield Zoo on Friday, and received free t-shirts and free Brookfield Zoo tickets for their attendance.