Sophomore Lidiya Schneider Selected for Wisconsin Leadership Seminar


Frannie Wied, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

“I want to improve my leadership skills and bring them back to the Notre Dame community,” said sophomore Lidiya Schneider on her nomination for the Wisconsin Leadership Seminar, the only student to receive this exclusive nomination. 

This is the first time in school history that Notre Dame has participated in the Wisconsin Leadership Seminar, or the WILS, as NDA was encouraged by other schools to participate. 

A nomination committee composed of teachers, counselors and administrators at NDA was tasked with recommending one student. When deciding what sophomores to nominate, Schneider was recommended by all members.

The WILS is a 501c3 nonprofit volunteer organization that recognizes exceptional high school sophomore leaders all throughout Wisconsin and provides them with the tools to develop their leadership potential. NDA is one of over 80 schools participating. 

The WILS fulfills its mission through a three-day leadership seminar at no cost to students or their schools. They encourage students to grow in their leadership skills through four pillars: responsibility, service, inclusiveness and decision-making. 

Schneider was shocked to be nominated and originally thought that the email was a fluke or another monthly college-prep email.       

“At first, I thought the email from Ms. Bain was one of the monthly college prep emails. Then I saw that it was only addressed to me, and I got really excited,” said Schneider. 

Anyone who knows Schneider knows that she is an obvious choice for a nomination like this and a natural leader in her day-to-day life. Besides maintaining straight A’s and a GPA greater than 4.0, she is involved in many extracurriculars. 

She is in her second year as a member of the dance team, which is a year-round sport, and a team that recently competed at state. She is also one of the editors-in-chief of the NDA Yearbook. 

Schneider is looking forward to attending the seminar and representing NDA. She hopes that the experience will help her understand what it means to be a better leader, and then be able to implement these skills back at NDA. 

“I want to improve my leadership skills and bring them back to the Notre Dame community,” the sophomore said. 

Mrs. Bain emphasizes how this leadership seminar is different from other pre-college or leadership programs that are offered. She did research to ensure that this program stood out from the rest and was worthwhile for students. She explained how colleges and universities don’t favor applicants who can pay for a program because they need to “even the playing field when reviewing applications.”

“I’m always cautious about these ‘leadership programs’ because many are just money makers that don’t necessarily provide college admission benefits,” said Bain.  

Besides the knowledge and new skills she will gain, Schneider is looking forward to meeting other like-minded people from all over the state. 

“I’m excited to meet people from all around Wisconsin and work together to better our leadership skills in our schools, communities and beyond.”