Develop leadership skills, help others this fall

Students volunteer to clean up parks surrounding UIC during the annual Weeks of Welcome Service project Aug. 21. Photo: Kenneth Rhem
Students volunteer to clean up parks surrounding UIC during the annual Weeks of Welcome service project Aug. 21. Photo: Kenneth Rhem

Students can learn about leadership, help others and feel more connected to UIC by taking part in Student Leadership and Civic Engagement’s fall programs.

Ignite is a six-week program that meets once a week on Tuesdays starting Sept. 22 for first- and second-year students to navigate leadership, values and identity on and off campus.

“We help students create an individual leadership plan, a step-by-step plan that we connect the things they are interested in or the values they have to turn into opportunities on campus,” said Spencer Long, director of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement.

Each meeting is broken down into core topics ranging from leadership to figuring out social identity. The program also includes juniors and seniors who talk about and answer questions about their experiences. Apply here by Sept. 9.

The 2020 Fall Leadership Conference takes place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 17. The program is split into two tracks: Flashpoint (group leadership) and Forge (personal leadership).

Flashpoint is a program for students in leadership positions that focuses on developing skills surrounding being a leader. Activities include: handling controversy in a student organization, collaborating with others and developing other leaders.

“Flashpoint focuses more on the mission, vision and values of the organization and how as a leader you help the organization stay true to those values, and how you help develop and keep the organization moving forward,” Long said.

Forge is for developing leadership and resiliency skills partnered with the UIC Army ROTC program. Forge focuses on managing stress, developing tools to be a resilient leader and creating a personal creed. Apply here by Oct. 7.

“The creed is a good grounding point that they can go back to and remind themselves: what is it that they are trying to achieve, what is it that they want to be as a leader so when they are not sure where to go, this creed is almost like a compass,” Long said.

Student Leadership and Civic Engagement also recently hosted the 5th annual Weeks of Welcome service project Aug. 21, where students cleaned up Chicago parks surrounding UIC.

Other opportunities include:

Make Mondays Matter, an on-campus opportunity for students to give their time weekly, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Mondays starting Oct. 5, 302 SCE. “It’s an opportunity that students can do here — they make cards for the hospital, make fleece tie blankets, or pack lunches together for the homeless,” Long said.

GIVE, an off-campus volunteer program that works with and helps various Chicago communities monthly, starting Sept. 11 with a neighborhood clean-up. Apply by Sept. 9.

Depending on safety recommendations, fall programs could change to virtual events. Registered students will be contacted if event details change.

For more information, contact Student Leadership and Civic Engagement at

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