LEAD Conference Held Virtually

Isabella Makino

     On February 26 and 27, the National Leadership Conference, or the LEAD (Leadership, Experience, and Development) Conference was held virtually. This nation-wide conference included general sessions, keynote speakers, presentations, workshops, and a closing session. The Associated Students of Mililani High School (ASMHS) attended as well as MHS’s National Honor Society (NHS), which took part in the conference for the first time.

     “I am excited for more student leaders to have opportunities for idea sharing and peer networking,” said MHS student activities coordinator and ASMHS advisor Janet Ward-Riehle.  “They will get to learn new ideas to bring back to our school. They will build confidence and be inspired to continue making a difference and leaving their legacy at MHS.”

     The LEAD Conference was previously three days and two nights, but it was modified this year to only two days. ASMHS attended LEAD in February of 2015, 2018, and 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. Previously, only about four or five students from MHS could attend, but this year, more people were able to participate because it was held virtually. Twelve students from both ASMHS  and NHS participated. Angelina Dulay, ASMHS Student Body President, and Kayla Muh, NHS President, returned to LEAD as presenters.

     “I was able to present my session last year at the conference in Chicago with the other student body officers that also came,” said NHS President Senior Kayla Muh. “And I think it’s been really cool getting to show what I’m passionate about and being able to share that with the other student leaders.”

     Muh’s presentation, “Why Mindset Matters!” focused on the importance of keeping a positive mindset. Sessions were also recorded so that those who were unable to attend it live could rewatch it later.

     “I am very proud of Angelina and Kayla for being national presenters at LEAD,” said Ward-Riehle. “Both of these students represent MHS with spirit, pride and hearts of gold. Their topics are so important for others to be inspired from. I know they will do a tremendous job. As ASMHS Student Body President and NHS President, I know their legacy and ripple effects will impact so many students across the globe.”

     The conference focused on topics such as leadership development, student voice, civic engagement, service, and other activities. Students from around the country worked to improve their school culture and community. 

     Additionally, the LEAD Conference trained ASMHS on the Raising Student Voice and Participation (RSVP) program. It was started through Advisories at school to give students more opportunities to voice their thoughts.

     “I’m just looking forward to the lessons, like the opportunities, so I can better myself and redefine myself as a person,” said ASMHS Treasurer Senior Christopher Benson. “I think growth is one of the biggest parts as like a person growing up, so whatever they can teach me, I can learn. I’m here for it.”

     LEAD is an annual event. MHS will continue to participate in it, but not annually due to funding.