Bridge the Divide: We’re In This Together

ILEAD Youth Leadership Summit wants teens to 'listen to understand'

The 9th annual ILEAD Youth Leadership Summit is set for Saturday, November 4, 2017.  This free, 1-day event will be held at the Oregon 4H Center, and is open to all high school-aged students living in Marion and Polk Counties.

The summit will empower and equip teens to learn the skill of listening to understand through guest speakers, workshop breakout sessions, videos, and interactive games.

"We build stronger families, schools, and neighborhoods when we truly listen to understand others with differing opinions and perspectives," said summit coordinator, and City of Salem Youth Development Coordinator Laurie Shaw Casarez. "ILEAD believes teens can learn, practice and apply this necessary skill in real life and help improve our communities alongside adults."

Registration ends October 27. Application forms are posted on the event website and at many local high schools. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and includes fun activities, meals, and a event t-shirt for all teen participants. Free Bus transportation will be provided at ten local high schools.

ILEAD is produced each year by a youth committee, college student event staff, and a planning committee made up of local youth development, prevention, and workforce readiness professionals including: the City of Salem, Marion County Health, Polk County Family and Community Outreach, Salem Area Chamber of Commerce, and Family YMCA of Marion and Polk Counties.

To register for student interviews, email Laurie Shaw Casarez, Youth Development Coordinator. For more information on the summit go to  or​

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Laurie Shaw CasarezYouth Development and Prevention CoordinatorCommunity Development Department
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