Open Wed-Mon, 10 AM - 5 PM | The last Friday of every month is FREE!

Student Leadership Day for 9th-11th Graders

Below is information about our 2022 9th-11th Grade Student Leadership Day.

Our intensive Student Leadership Day programming engages students in 9th-11th grades with captivating, world-class Upstander speakers, interactive programs, and the opportunity to create an action plan to take back to their school. Student Leadership Day inspires the change-makers to build leadership skills, explore their roles as citizens, and develop a deeper understanding of the Holocaust, genocide, and other human rights issues. Students return to their communities with the tools and drive to promote acceptance and understanding.

We invite you to nominate up to ten of your 9th – 11th grade students to participate in this powerful day. The goal of Student Leadership Day is to increase awareness about the Holocaust, genocide, and human rights, and to help participants think about lessons we can learn from the past. Participating students will develop and carry out an action plan to address a social justice issue in their school, community, or the wider world. This year’s program will particularly highlight the Museum’s special exhibition Ghost Army: The Combat Con Artists of WWII. Please note, we are offering the program in two formats: virtual (on Zoom) and onsite at the Museum.

Dates & Times

Choose from two dates and formats:


Tuesday, December 6, 11:30am – 3:00pm CT

ONSITE PROGRAM at Illinois Holocaust Museum, 9603 Woods Drive, Skokie IL 60077 (ONSITE IS FULL)

Wednesday, December 7, 9:00am – 2:30pm CT

Keynote Speaker

Rick Beyer and Caleb Sinnwell

Rick Beyer wrote and produced the PBS documentary The Ghost Army about the top-secret WWII deception unit that used inflatable tanks, sound effects and illusion to fool the Germans. Beyer also co-authored The Ghost Army of World War II with Elizabeth Sayles and is president of the Ghost Army Legacy Project, a non-profit that seeks to honor and remember these soldiers. He led the successful campaign to have the unit awarded a Congressional Gold Medal and consulted on the Ghost Army exhibit now on display at the Illinois Holocaust Museum.

Caleb Sinnwell is a 15-year-old sophomore at Nashua-Plainfield High School in Nashua, Iowa, with a passion for hogs, history, and helping veterans. Caleb’s award-winning 2021 National History Day project on the Ghost Army inspired him to take action. After meeting and interviewing Rick Beyer for his Ghost Army project, Caleb joined Beyer in successfully lobbying U.S. Senators to award a Congressional Gold Medal and long overdue recognition to this top-secret deceptive unit. For his scholarship and commitment to the cause, Caleb was awarded a U.S. Army Certificate of Achievement and his project is becoming part of a Library of Congress permanent exhibit opening in the summer of 2024. In his spare time, Caleb is a frequent volunteer for the local VFW, as well as a volunteer and speaker for numerous local organizations and regional events including Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Vietnam Moving Wall ceremonies, and the Purple Heart Tour.

How to Nominate a Student

Deadline: Tuesday, November 15, 2022, at 5:00pm CT (We are still accepting nominations for the virtual Student Leadership Day)

Please nominate up to 10 students in grades 9-11 to participate in Student Leadership Day. You should include a clear explanation of why you feel the nominated students should participate in the day. Schools are encouraged to nominate non-traditional student leaders who may particularly benefit from this opportunity.

Please note:

  • A maximum of 10 students per school are permitted. Please consult with your colleagues before submitting your nomination letter.
  • A teacher or administrator must participate in the virtual program along with their students. (Limit 2 teachers/chaperones per school.)

You will be notified of your nomination status via email within 48 hours of the close of the nomination period. Additional details and links will be provided at that time.

Participating schools will be invited to apply for a “seed money” grant to help fund materials needed to carry out their action plan. Application guidelines will be provided to participating schools in early December.

Nomination Guidelines

  • Students in grades 9-11 in accredited schools or homeschools are eligible to participate.
  • Students should have a sincere interest in enhancing their knowledge of the Holocaust, genocide, and/or human rights issues.
  • Students should have shown an interest in leadership at school or in their communities, or have shown an interest in creating social awareness. Schools are particularly encouraged to nominate students who are not yet leaders in their schools, but who have the potential to be. Suggested nomination criteria available by request.
  • Students should be willing to actively participate in discussion and activities, meet new people and become student ambassadors for the Illinois Holocaust Museum in their schools and broader communities.
  • Students must participate in the entire program, until 2:30pm (onsite) or 3:00pm (virtual).
  • A teacher or administrator must participate in the virtual program along with their students. (Limit 2 teachers/chaperones per school.)

Presenting Sponsor of Student Leadership Days:

Education Services are supported with generous grants from: Paul M. Angell Family Foundation; Bank of America, The Bill Bass Foundation; Dr. Scholl Foundation; Full Circle Foundation; Leah Gutman Education Fund; Max and Sunny Howard Memorial Foundation, Niles Township Government; PNC; Regions Bank, Charles & M.R. Shapiro Foundation; State Farm, Steans Family Foundation, Women’s Leadership Committee of the Illinois Holocaust Museum.

Additional endowment support is provided by: The Mayor Richard M. and Maggie C. Daley Education Fund; The Harvey L. Miller Family Foundation Program Endowment Fund; Moselle Mintz Schwartz Education Fund; Barney & Anita Sidler Educational Endowment; Teachers Educational Endowment Fund

Photo credits: Danyel Duncan

Keep In Touch

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. If you continue using our website, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this website and you agree to our Privacy Policy.