Welcome to the official website for Missouri Leadership Seminar!
MLS 2016, the 31st Missouri Leadership Seminar, will take place June 10-12 at the University of Central Missouri!
- To nominate a student, please visit our Schools page.
What is Missouri Leadership Seminar?
Our mission is to empower young adults to expand their minds and be truer to themselves so they can develop into leaders who change lives and make a positive difference in their local communities and the world.
Missouri Leadership Seminar is an unforgettable weekend experience that immerses a select group of high school sophomores in an environment that brings out the leader inside. Student ambassadors are exposed to panels of professional speakers on many of today’s most pressing issues, are encouraged to express their unique opinions in a supportive environment, and learn to lead through team building activities. The MLS experience is free of charge to those ambassador’s selected to attend.
“My time at MLS has been one of the best experiences in my life. I opened up in ways that I didn’t think possible and met some amazing people. I feel like I really honed some leadership skills that have helped me back at school, as well as learning a lot that will help me in my future life. I also learned a lot about myself in the process. I am so thankful for this awesome time and can’t wait to contribute more” – Andy Noekler, Ambassador 2006
“I wanted to let you know that our daughter left that seminar with such enthusiasm and positivism and I can’t thank Missouri Leadership enough. Sometimes kids need just a little motivation and confidence to know that they can make a difference. Our daughter struggles with that confidence daily, but I truly believe after this seminar, she feels she can conquer the world. She has made some friends that will hopefully last a lifetime.” – Parent, 2013 Seminar
What happens at MLS?
Team building Activities and Leadership Opportunities
There are many team building and group activities at MLS. From games and fun challenges to group discussions and projects, team building activities at seminar allow students to interact with other ambassadors and express opinions in a small group setting.
Students have ample opportunity to lead at seminar. By expressing opinions in facilitated discussions, volunteering to lead group challenges, or introducing activities to the seminar as a whole, students have the opportunity to grow leadership skills as they feel comfortable.
Each year the MLS Board of Directors plans out several panels for seminar on current topics. Professional’s with varying points of view are invited to come speak to the ambassadors on the panel topic. During small group break-outs, Ambassador’s get the opportunity to interact with each panelist and ask questions.
- Dinner With A Pro
During “Dinner With A Pro” Ambassadors are invited to eat dinner with professionals from a wide range of occupations. Ambassadors have the opportunity to learn about the Pro’s field of work and ask the Pro questions in a small group setting. Ambassadors rotate several times so they can meet and converse with several different professionals during the course of the catered dinner. Some of the careers covered in previous years include:
- FBI Agent
- Personal Trainer
- Insurance Agent
- Basketball Coach
- Marketing Professional
A charity event is always part of MLS. Last year ambassadors worked in groups to make and donate blankets to the local veteran’s home. MLS also raised over $3,000 during seminar that was donated to the relief efforts in Joplin, Mo.
Every junior staff member who returns to seminar has completed 100 hours of community service. MLS continues to encourage ambassadors and alumni to volunteer throughout the year. Besides requiring 100 hours of community service, MLS also sets up year-long volunteering activities. Some of the things we have done recently include:
- i-ROK Foundation
- Missouri Veterans Home:
- Joplin Relief Trip: A group of 11 MLS alumni recently traveled down to Joplin, Mo to help in the continuing relief efforts. The MLS volunteers spent a day helping the Joplin Family Worship Center organizing donated items for distribution, and spent another day helping a local hay-farmer clear his hay-field of debris so it could be harvested next fall.
- The Optimists: MLS has a close bond with Optimist Clubs. Many of our staff members are Optimist Club members, and much of MLS’s funding comes from charitable donations from the Optimists. MLS alumni have several opportunities throughout the year to volunteer at Optimist Club Functions, including helping raise funds for other Optimist Events outside of MLS.
- St. Louis Food Bank A group of 10 MLS alumni recently volunteered their Saturday morning at the St. Louis Food Bank where they helped sort frozen food items.