“I grew up with the program,” says Operation Snowball graduate Brianna. As her aunt had been heavily involved with Snowball, she said it was an easy decision to attend when she was finally old enough. In the fall of 2002, she experienced the first of many Snowball retreats that would help shape who she is today. Operation Snowball is one of 360 Youth Services’ longest running and most beloved programs. The leadership development retreat focuses on helping teens learn communication skills, how to make healthy choices, ways to navigate life’s many challenges, and celebrate each other along the way.
Brianna described herself as very shy and quiet in those early years. Going through the program helped her become more comfortable in new settings and learn valuable leadership skills. She appreciated the chance to be with teens from other schools. Now 27 and as a volunteer in the program, she thinks the kids of today have more challenges than when she was in high school. The digital age has resulted in a great many new issues. As she said, “Everything is so instant.” Teens hoping to equip themselves for these challenges and many others through the Snowball program, can find details and registration information at www.360youthservices.org.
As for Brianna, she is a graduate of Illinois State University, a Chicago area sports fan, and she is using the leadership skills she learned at Snowball as the Events Manager at the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce.
And that’s where Brianna is now.