Operation Snowball is an intensive weekend retreat planned and led by teens, for teens. Snowball is a safe space for everyone to express themselves, share their life experiences with others, and have a great time while doing so! This year, Snowball will look different, but will be no less impactful than previous years. YOU define Snowball 2021!
Supported by Response for Teens staff, teens train to lead this innovative program of discussions, team-building activities, and interactive workshops centered around essential topics like diversity, positive decision making, healthy relationships, social justice, and more.
Snowball Teen Leaders get a chance to hone their leadership and peer education skills in a relaxed, supportive setting. Participants get to meet other teens from all over the Chicago area and engage in honest, inspiring conversations and activities led by their peers. It’s a safe space for everyone to express themselves, share their life experiences with others, and have a great time while doing so. If you are interested in being a snowball teen leader, apply by September 21.
Register for Operation Snowball
Generous support for this program is provided by the Barbara and Frank Lieber Family Charitable Trust, the Highland Park Community Foundation, and the Trillium Foundation.
Operation Snowball Testimonials
Read what some of our Snowball alumni have to say about the program:
“I was both excited and nervous after hearing that I would become a leader. I didn’t know what challenges I would have to face or the people I would be collaborating with. I soon realized that I always looked forward to meeting every Wednesday and seeing the people that always brightened my day. Through all the stressful nights and fun activities, I loved being a leader and the bond I shared amongst my peers.”
--Soleil, 10th grade, Snowball participant and leader
“Being a Snowball leader was such an amazing experience for me. When I came as a participant, I had such an amazing time and learned so much about myself and I got to meet so many amazing people. It wasn’t until I became a leader that I really got to see the effects of Snowball on other people too. So many of the other leaders were also so touched by their experiences at Snowball and working together with them was really special. I know that if the weekend had gone on it would have made a huge difference in a lot of people’s lives.”
--Izzi, 11th grade, Snowball participant and leader
“Being a leader for me meant a chance to show people that I can do better and more broader things in life. Not only that it gave me a chance to meet some of my closest friends to this day. Over the summer I have kept in contact with everyone in Snowball whether it be texting them or snapping them I have always been there and for the meeting I haven’t missed one yet this summer. Before I even knew about Snowball and being a leader, I was not the best person to be around but after being a participant and then leader I saw things from a new perspective as a whole and that actually helps me to this day with work and deadlines. With Snowball I know that I can trust and believe that they will be there for me no matter what is happening and that I have grown to be someone better than who I was.”
--Mordecai, 10th grade, Snowball participant and leader
“For me, being a leader at Snowball has allowed me to really open up. And it’s the kind of thing you hear about from past leaders and roll yours eyes at because it’s so cliché. The thing is though, it’s true. Before Snowball, I was really struggling to be confident and feel comfortable in my own skin. But the whole experience has taught me how to turn my weaknesses into strengths, and that has gone a long way in helping me learn how to embrace myself in all that I am.”
--Jackie, 11th grade, Snowball participant and leader