The Jeter's Leaders Leadership Conference is composed of workshops that the Jeter's Leaders create based on topics they feel are affecting teens today. Bi-annually, the leaders from New York and Kalamazoo host the conference for other youth leadership programs throughout the United States to inspire social change.
Youth leadership programs from across the country joined former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and his Turn 2 Foundation at the University of Illinois at Chicago for the 2016 Jeter's Leaders Leadership Conference presented by Goldman Sachs. Organized and hosted by high school students from the Jeter's Leaders program, the conference kicked off on Monday, August 8, and featured workshops, team-building activities and service work intended to educate, motivate and entertain participants as they continue through high school and prepare to enter college.
"The Jeter's Leaders Leadership Conference brings together some of the brightest students from across the country, empowering them to reach their full potential and make positive change in their communities and beyond. The leadership and maturity these young people have demonstrated, and the hard work they have put into making this a success, are inspiring," said Derek Jeter. "This year's Conference is particularly special to me, as it is part of the Turn 2 Foundation's 20th anniversary. And as we celebrate this milestone and look ahead to the next 20 years, I know these students will build upon our legacy well into the future."
On Tuesday, August 9, Derek Jeter and the New York and Kalamazoo Jeter's Leaders kicked off the service project, in partnership with Goldman Sachs Community Teamworks. As part of The Pack Shack's Feed the Funnel Party, Jeter joined more than 300 youth participants in packaging thousands of nutritious meals for individuals in need. After achieving their ambitious goal of packaging more than 170,000 meals, all food was delivered to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.
"I would like to thank Derek Jeter for bringing the Turn 2 Foundation to Chicago and providing our youth with essential opportunities to develop leadership skills and good habits by serving and impacting their communities," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "We always say that an investment in our youth is an investment in our city's future, and by making meaningful experiences like these available to Chicago's youth we will help them realize their full potential and prepare to become leaders of tomorrow."
The workshops focused on topics the Jeter's Leaders identified as most critical to young people today, including bullying, cultural diversity, drug and alcohol awareness, healthy lifestyles, food and movement, and personal and professional development. Youth participants -- including approximately 100 high school students from Chicago, and 200 high school students from across the country -- also had the opportunity to experience college life by being on campus and eating in the University's dining hall.
"We are honored with our association with the Jeter Leaders Program. Our relationship dates back over a decade and we have proudly watched these kids complete the program and go on to college with the leadership skills necessary to succeed. We are now excited to have welcomed four Jeters Leaders alumni to Goldman Sachs. Our partnership with Turn 2 is shared with our clients, our firm's leadership and our people," said Chris Keogh, region head of Private Wealth Management for Goldman Sachs.
This year's conference marked the third time that Turn 2 Foundation convened youth in Chicago for this annual event. The conference returned this year after receiving a strong turnout by Chicago's youth in recent years. The success of the program is attributed to its leadership workshops, which provide youth an opportunity to learn more about areas of interest, and the community service aspect, which allows them to give back to their community.
Jeter's Leaders program is an intensive, four-year leadership development initiative for high school students who are role models in their communities. Jeter's Leaders is the signature program of the Turn 2 Foundation, which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary. Turn 2 was established by Derek Jeter in 1996 to motivate young people to turn away from drugs and alcohol and "turn to" healthy lifestyles. For the past 11 years, 100 percent of Jeter's Leaders have gone to college after graduating high school.
"The Jeter's Leaders Leadership Conference is a testament to the potential of young people, and we are grateful to Goldman Sachs for helping provide them with this platform," said Sharlee Jeter, president of the Turn 2 Foundation. "Our Jeter's Leaders are exceptional students who exemplify what it means to be a true leader in their communities and beyond, and we are incredibly proud of their tremendous efforts this week."