Elizabeth's Story

Project LEAD: Campus Team

Project LEAD has given so many Wheaton Academy students opportunities to lead in certain areas they are interested in. It teaches the concept of responsibility, helps build so many relationships, and brings people closer to God. I am so thankful for the opportunity to serve on Project LEAD Campus. It was fun working with the sophomores and international students. I learned a lot about others, myself, and God.

Project LEAD Campus taught me the idea of responsibility and taking action. Before Project LEAD, I was put in some Leadership positions, but everything was already set up for me. I did not have to do any of the behind the scenes work such as planning and making phone calls.

Being on Project LEAD Campus, most of the work was planning all the different events that happen throughout the year. All of us on the team were used to having adults figure out the budgets, catering, and advertising, but now we were put in charge of everything with very little guidance from the teacher leaders. This was definitely a learning experience at first. The team realized that in order for an event to happen, we had to take full charge and do it all ourselves.

By the end of the year, our team knew how to work together and communicate well so that we could help lead our areas to the best ability.

I had a great experience getting to know the international students through Project LEAD Campus. It gave me so many opportunities to get to know people who I probably would not have had the chance to know otherwise. Most of the international students stick together and Project LEAD Campus was given the challenge to build relationships with some of them. We were encouraged to attend Kairos Nights, which were when all the international students got together on Tuesday nights and hung out for a few hours. I loved having that opportunity because it helped the international students have relationships with some Americans so they could get involved with what was going on outside of the international program at Wheaton Academy. I was also so thankful for the relationships I built through attending these nights.

Project LEAD Campus also planned events for sophomores. The most successful event of the year was the Sophomore Leadership Academy (SLAc), where we took the sophomore class to a Willow Creek Community Church service and then went out to dinner afterwards. It was cool spending time with the sophomore class and talking to them about the responsibilities they would have as upperclassmen the next year. Even though this event was planned to build community in the sophomore class, I found myself reaping the benefits of getting to know a lot of the sophomores and seeing how they were going to lead Wheaton Academy for the next two years.

I am not only thankful for the relationships built with the sophomores and international students, but also my teachers, teammates, and other Project LEAD teams. For each event we held, there was a lot of behind the scenes work done and it was a great experience getting to work with classmates and teachers on planning it all. I made some of my best friends through Project LEAD. It is a cool opportunity getting to work on planning events for the student body with your classmates. It creates a special bond in the teams.

Lastly, Project LEAD brought our team a lot closer to God. There were many times when we were not sure if we were going to be able to pull off an event. It took a lot of faith and prayer for us to trust God’s plan and have Him bring the people He wanted to attend each event.

Sometimes, our team would be disappointed when only a few people showed up, but we later realized that God brought these few people to this event so that we could build closer and more personal relationships with them. I have learned that God has everything worked out already. Everything happens for a reason and it is up to me to trust His perfect plan.

Overall, I am so grateful for the opportunities and experiences Project LEAD provided for me. It challenged me greatly in building strong relationships and taking full responsibility. I cannot wait to see what God has planned for the future of Project LEAD.

Elizabeth, Class of 2015

I met with my team for the first time at the end of junior year, and we began planning things as soon as we came back from summer break. But after the year began, I realized I had made some mistakes in the way I viewed Leadership. First of all, I thought that people would automatically follow me because I was now on Project LEAD. But this could not be farther from the truth! I think that it’s really easy to get caught up in the title of Leadership. But if you are not living your life (or seeking to live your life) in a way that glorifies and points to Christ, you should rethink why you want to be in a Leadership role. Living your life in a way that pulls people to Christ is what will draw people to you and they will want to hear why you’re living your life the way you are. The second mistake I made was thinking that God couldn’t or didn’t want to use me. Again, not true! I was pointed to the story of Moses in the Bible. Moses was reluctant, but God used him to deliver his people from Egypt!

Project LEAD takes a lot of time, commitment, and hard work. And many times, this goes without recognition (which by the way is totally okay). But it is so worth it. I have grown closer to Christ, closer to people on my team, and closer to international students during my time on PLXC. We have gotten to do some really fun things. Some of these have gone well, and others not so much. I have gotten to meet some really neat people. And I have gotten to jump into Leadership and what that is.

If you want to learn more about being a God-centered, humble, selfless leader, Project LEAD is for you! I am so excited to see what this coming year’s project LEAD does, and how you all bring WA closer towards Christ!

Eleah, Class of 2016