“Hope might not be a strategy for improvement, but hope is absolutely necessary in leading through crisis.” – Jill M. Siler

Leading through crisis is something we are all doing right now, be it with MYLead, with school, work, family, or friends. A lot of change is happening, quickly, and most of us are scrambling to understand what it means.
The MYLead Corporate Board met recently to try to better understand how COVID-19 affects all of us. While weighing recommendations from the CDC & MSU and looking at the data in world-wide trends, we have made the difficult decision to cancel both of the 2020 conferences. Please know this was not an easy decision; at the end of the day, the safety of our students and staff is paramount. We cannot, in good conscience, host a conference if there is any risk of the health and safety of MYLeaders.
Where does that lead us? Ideally, with hope. Having such a vast MYLead community means we all have a lot of people to lean on. I urge you to reach out to people within your MYLead network; from a responsible social distance, we can provide a support system with thousands of people throughout the state.
So what is the plan going forward?
We have decided to form a virtual liaison team that will be led by one of our co-chairs, Nolan, with the specific intent to engage our MYLead community and provide virtual connections through the summer months.  Participation in those events will be open to all MYLead alum, as well as Young Leaders that were signed up for conferences this year.




May Conference Dates: TBA
June Conference Dates: TBA
Where: Michigan State University
Arrival/Drop Off: Friday from 8:00-8:30am with the option of early arrival on Thursday evening between 7:00-9:30pm (for a nominal $40.00 overnight fee).
Optional parent program: Sunday at 10:20am.
Departure/Pick Up: Sunday at 1:00pm


MYLead conferences are three-day events, hosted on the campus of Michigan State University. The program begins on Friday morning and ends Sunday afternoon, with the option of an early arrival on Thursday evening. The MYLead program includes motivational speakers, interactive workshops, leadership building, debates, team-building, and other activities. Over 500 young leaders are expected to attend from across the state.

At the conference, most activities are experienced in a home group of about ten participants plus MYLead volunteers. This small group provides a personalized, thought-provoking, and memorable home base for the weekend. Group Facilitators (GF’s) are selected for their upbeat and positive personalities, receive specialized training, and undergo extensive background checks to ensure a safe and open experience. For their benefit and safety, participants are required to stay on campus the entire duration of the conference (no exceptions, period).

Students: The MYLead experience is not just another boring leadership conference. High-energy, inspiring role models, personalized attention, interactive leadership building, and incredible peers across the state combine to make this an unforgettable experience. For convenience in fitting the conference into your busy schedule, there are two conference weekends to choose from. While choosing your preferred conference during registration, please keep in mind sports schedules and final exam schedules specific to your school.

Have more questions about MYLead? See our most frequently asked questions below, call us at (888) 269-4075 or email


When and where will the conference be held? Check-in is Friday morning from 8:00-8:30am. Details and directions can be found by looking at the MSU map. The conference will conclude on Sunday, with checkout from 1:00-1:30pm. Thursday evening check-in is available for a nominal overnight fee of $40, payable upon arrival.

What kind of program is planned? Dynamic leaders from the fields of business, education, government, and other professions will address numerous aspects of our changing world and the opportunities leaders face. The program is designed to develop awareness of present and future issues by involving you in discussions, interactive experiences, and informal debate; it will not promote a specific political party, business, religion, or way of thinking. You will have the opportunity to ask questions throughout the weekend and share your opinions. The program includes stupendous speakers, entertainment, and a special closing ceremony that your parents are invited to attend on Sunday.

What if transportation to or from MSU for the conference is an issue? We can help! Please contact MYLead at or (888) 269-4075. We can help arrange car pooling with another MYLead participant or find other options.

What if I have a special performance talent I’d like to share? Saturday evening activities will include a talent show. If you have a special talent, we hope you’ll be a part of this talent show. If you are interested, please be sure to indicate this on your supplemental registration form.

Is attendance really required for the full weekend? YES. There are no exceptions to this rule. It is our policy that once you arrive on campus, you must remain the entire time. The benefits of the conference experience are based on being present at all times. Each session will build upon other segments throughout the weekend. As has been our previous experience, students often have conflicts with other activities at their school, such as track meets or music performances. Individuals who have chosen this conference over those other activities often comment how incredibly glad they are that they chose to participate in this unique experience. If you have such a conflict, you may select to attend the conference in a different month. If you have conflicts on both weekends, we encourage you to talk with a person who attended MYLead last year from your school to assist you in making an informed decision. If you are not sure who attended last year, you are welcome to contact the MYLead recruitment team at or (888) 269-4075.

What if I am unable to attend the conference? If circumstances arise that prevent you from attending the conference, we would like to give another student the opportunity to attend. Please contact us at or (888) 269-4075.

What are the accommodations like? The conference will be held on the campus of MSU. Participants will be assigned to dorm rooms in facilities reserved for MYLead. In the dormitories, you will have at least one roommate, with bathrooms just down the hall. Everyone will receive nutritional breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. If participants have any food allergies, ensure they are indicated on registration forms and the MSU Dining staff will be more than willing to make accomadations during the conferences.The MYLead program will take place in MSU classroom and conference facilities, conveniently located within the dormitory building and in nearby buildings. Attendance is mandatory at all activities, including meals.

Why limit MYLead participation to sophomores? The MYLead experience is offered to high-school sophomores because of the critical juncture you are at in defining your view of the world and the role you will play in it. At this point, young leaders are usually very open to new ideas and information. Participants also have the benefit of two remaining years of high school to apply and further develop the leadership skills and knowledge gained through the MYLead experience.

Why only a select number of sophomores per high school? Part of the MYLead experience is maximizing exposure to new ideas, and developing leadership potential and critical thinking skills in a totally fresh learning environment, away from familiar surroundings, routine experiences, and established peer groups and peer pressures. Bringing together a limited number of sophomores per school brings individuals, not social groupings, to the conference.

If necessary, how can I be contacted during the conference? In case of emergencies, parents can contact MYLead conference leadership at (888) 269-4075. Due to their disruptive nature, the use of cell phones and personal electronic devices are only permitted during limited times of the day.

What should I wear at the conference? On Friday, we ask that participants wear clothing that displays your school’s name and/or colors. You will be provided at MYLead shirt to wear on Saturday. On Sunday, you should dress like a leader.  We advise wearing comfortable walking shoes as we will be walking to and from activities all weekend.

What should I bring?  Clothing as described above, toiletries (shampoo, toothbrush, etc), phone charger, flip-flop shoes for community showers, and a fan for your room (no air conditioning).  Linens are provided, but you may bring your own.  Most importantly: Bring enthusiasm, excitement, and an open mind!

Should I bring money to the conference? The cost of meals and lodging is covered through the registration fee for the conference. For information regarding the registration fee for the conference, please contact whomever nominated the participant. They can confirm whether the registration cost has been already covered or is the student’s responsibility. It is not necessary to bring money to the conference. However, MYLead merchandise — including sweatshirts, t-shirts, and more — will be available for sale after the closing ceremonies with parents.

Is there any additional cost for the parent program?  All parents, guardians and family members are invited to attend this program, without cost, to learn more about MYLead and what the participants did throughout the weekend. The program starts on Sunday at 10:20 a.m.  Location and parking details can be found on the map link at the top of this page.

What are dorms like? Will males and females be separated?  MSU has many very large dorms, staffed 24×7 by MSU staff trained specifically to provide for the needs of youth organizations such as MYLead. Regarding sleeping arrangements, males and females are in entirely separate areas. Separation of genders within dorm areas is strictly enforced. Each individual room generally contains two people, while a small number of especially large rooms may contain three or four. Bathroom facilities are a short walk down the hallway. Each dorm area is staffed to maintain a ratio of roughly 12 minors per adult. More information about Michigan State University’s Code of Conduct for conference visitors.

What options are available for parents to stay for the weekend?  If parents would like to spend the weekend in the area, we recommend one of two nearby hotels: Candlewood Suites or the East Lansing Marriott.  Conference participants will all be housed in dormitories on the MSU campus.