Our Take the Lead retreat at William Blair was a huge success. Friday morning, the city was buzzing in anticipation of the Cubs World Series parade. That did not stop 160 of our finest Team Captains from having a great experience at the William Blair Headquarters in downtown Chicago, even though classes were not in session. The themes for this special retreat were time management and self-control, important themes that will help Team Captains ready as they continue their academic career.
The day started off with an amazing egg burrito breakfast, the fuel Team Captains needed to get their brains jumping. Throughout the retreat, volunteers took Captains on three different tours. They toured the gym/cafeteria, the concept space/snack room and the trade floor. The trade floor seemed to be everyone’s highlight of the entire day. I heard quotes from “Oh my god how does he focus with five computer screens in front of him.” to “One day I want to be a Trader.”
We were also very lucky to have the Veterans Affinity Network (VAN) lead a physical/mental activity with the kids. The VAN started off doing pushups, jumping jacks and flutter kicks then quickly went into a memory game. Random objects were shown on the projector screen then taken away. Captains had to list what they saw on the screen in a short period of time. The point of this exercise was to show that even when your mind is tired (after physical activity in this example) you must always focus on the task at hand. The final activity that we had was “Completed Thought.” Captains were given 10 unfinished sentences in which they had to complete. Sentences related back to our themes of time management and self-control. It was so interesting to see how similar/different our captains viewed certain topics.
The day finished up with a great lunch and debrief. During this final portion, we were able to put the Cubs parade up on the big projector screen. Whether the kids were Cubs fans or not, it definitely gave them the perspective of setting and achieving their goals. Of course, we could not have a retreat without our raffle giveaway. Jariyae from Morton and Kahari from Reavis took home the prize of a $50 gift certificate. These captains showed everyone from their coaches and teachers to the younger WTP team what being a captain is all about. Being dedicated school and community leaders each day earned them the win.
Urban Initiatives is so thankful of William Blair and their Volunteers for all the work that they put in to making this retreat possible for our Team Captains. We hope that this opened up doors for our Captains in the future. One student raised her hand and said “I can’t see myself working at William Blair because I want to be a doctor.” Laura from WB responded, “That’s okay because she has a clear view of her future. If William Blair got our captains thinking about their future, then our job was successful!”