ILEAD Youth Summit December 2021

Event Banner

10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Saturday, December 11th

We're back!

We’re going virtual again this winter to make our personal and collective future better.

Burnt out on the virtual world? Us too. Our event provides a statewide community of teens to connect and learn together than only a virtual plaform can provide!

Join high schoolers from around the state of Oregon for this one-day teen summit. Download flyer, watch the video, read the workshop information below and register.

Register for the summit

​Top 10 things you need to know

  1. ILEAD is FREE.
  2. Open to any high school-aged youth living in Oregon.
  3. Registration runs through Saturday, December 11th during the event.
  4. Free long-sleeve t-shirt and other swag is mailed to you before and after the summit.
  5. First 25 to register receive a post-summit “Cozy Winter Vibes” packet mailed to your door.
  6. Runs 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. but you can come and go as you life.
  7. ILEAD is nothing like school and distance learning. (No offense to school and distance learning.)
  8. Opening and Closing sessions plus our Rock-Paper-Scissors Finals are on the Main Stage on Zoom.
  9. We're using Discord for the online virtual platform. That’s where our Workshops and Activities happen including lunchtime yoga.
  10. All-day Main Stage LIVE LOUNGE with friendly competitions, polling, music, raffle prizes, Bigfoot and just downtime where you can hang out if you want.

Workshops and activities

No matter the event theme, topics focus every year on:

  • Effective  communication
  • Personal and leadership development
  • Prevention, awareness and teen advocacy
  • Goal setting

Small groups led by our Youth Committee members. 

Our annual Rock-Paper-Scissors Tournament returns with the winner receiving a wild prize!

Youth Committee member Brenda Mejia Garcia shares about ILEAD with Veronica Vasquez on Elemento Latino.

ILEAD is nothing like school or distance learning.

Hard to explain the energy of the dj playing, with an emcee telling dad jokes, and teens from all over talking it up in the chatbox but that’s what the Main Stage (aka LIVE Lounge) vibes like.

Registration runs through the day of event! There’s still time to join us!

Hear from 5 of our Youth Committee members as they share details about ILEAD with Ray White on On The Mic.

Check out our media release and hear from McKay High School senior Adriana Cavazos about ILEAD.

Our long-sleeve game is strong - Free event shirts

LIve DJ Always on the main stage

Keynote Speaker - Opening session - Dr. John 'Push' Gaines - Push through adversity


Winter 2021 Workshop Categories:




Choose your own adventure this December!

​60-minute workshops

Burnout: How to Thrive When Your Exhausted

Presented by Leah Burkhart, Salem Health Hospital -Community Health Education Center

When people talk about burnout, it's often linked with work. But with the pandemic, it's become increasingly clear that burnout can happen in multiple areas of our lives. It's not just work that burns us out. Sometimes, it's life more broadly. In this discussion, we will dissect the definition of burnout. We will discuss how burnout evolves. Finally, we will talk about strategies and skills that help us navigate our lives even while we are stuck in the "I just can't even" mindset.

Improving Leadership Skills thru Laughter & Play

Presented by Leigh Anne Jasheway, The Accidental Comic

Studies show that effective leaders build strong teams, communicate effectively, move through failure easily, and laugh at themselves when the chips are down. Whether you're a CEO, the director of a non-profit, an activist, or a student leader trying to change the world, you can learn to be a better and more relaxed leader with exercises and games chosen specifically to strengthen the skills you need to create an environment of respect, creativity, and joy.

Youth Panel: How to use your voice and life experience in the adult world to help create change

Moderator Ray White will pass the mic to teen panelists from the Salem Keizer School District Youth Advisory, Mid-Willamette Valley Homeless Alliance's Youth & Young Adult Subcommittee, and the City of Tigard's Youth City Councilor.

Teen panelists share their experiences serving on "adult world" committees or developing effective awareness campaigns for their schools and community.  Learn how they've been effective in giving voice to issues often overlooked by adults, how they've pushed past feelings that would prevent them from speaking out, and tips to step up and lead on issues that matter to you.

Stories, Advice, and Good Conversation With A City Leader

Presented by Eduardo Ramos, City of Tigard

Does it ever get easier? Join Eduardo Ramos in an honest conversation about his journey growing up as a Latino, son of farmworkers and first-generation student. Then, working in public service. Together, we'll explore how to overcome challenges, prepare for opportunities and advocate for yourself and the community. Plus, what it's like to overcome self-doubt and past experiences. It's our moment!

Special Note: Find something in your home that just makes sense (i.e. decoration, poster, picture, the way something is organized). Get creative!  Have it ready for the workshop.

Creating a resume that stands out (Cancelled)

An interactive workshop where you create or improve on your own resume in real time.  What do employers look for when hiring?  How do I describe my work and volunteer experiences?  Participants will have a chance to ask questions and learn about resources too.

90-minute workshops

How to Overcome Fear of Failure & Social Anxiety: Transitioning back into the world

Presented by Licensed Counselor Sonny Saltalamachia (aka our ILEAD Emcee with a ton of new "Dad" jokes ready) with HYB Counseling LLC

Join this workshop to engage in a conversation around social anxiety. And if that's not awkward enough for ya, we'll also discuss the fear of failure :). You'll walk away with practical skills to assist you each day. And, hopefully, be encouraged that you are worthy of good things in your life.

Don't Get Mad Get Funny: Using Humor to Manage Stress

Presented by Leigh Anne Jasheway, The Accidental Comic

A hilarious look at how laughing at stress at school and at home can save your life and your sanity, with a focus on the physiological and emotional benefits of humor and practical steps for finding the funny in the smaller stuff so you have the energy to handle the big things.

What's Your Leadership Personality vs Others?

Presented by Leah Burkhart, Salem Health Hospital -Community Health Education Center.

When you hear the word "leader"...what comes to mind? For many of us (at least in the US) we think of a wildly energetic, extroverted powerhouse. We think of people who are seemingly indestructible and unflappable. But what if I told you that leadership isn't always loud and flashy? Sometimes leadership sounds like silence and looks like solitude. Sometimes leadership sounds like a cheer at a stadium. The key to good leadership isn't about conforming to a one-size-fits-all model. It's about being able to identify your specific leadership style, magnifying your strengths and getting support for areas you might otherwise be weak in. Come find out what your leadership style is.

College Readiness Panel

Moderator Ray White will pass the mic to panelists representing University of Oregon, Oregon State University, and University of Portland.  Mr. Ronnie Brooks from McKay High School's College and Career Coach will provide a college application walk-thru too.

Hear from college reps on resources, supports, and programs that help you stay in college after you get there. Walk thru the college application form too, with special focus on the essay.  This workshop will lessen the intimidation factor of higher ed and help you feel more equipped to apply and attend.

ILEAD is proud to welcome our Opening Session Keynote Speaker, Dr. John Gaines

 Dr. John “Push” Gaines is a former at-risk kid turned mentorship advocate. His message is all about pushing through adversity and defying the odds.

John’s childhood was one of extreme adversity. Growing up surrounded by drugs and violence, facing personal struggles, and being bullied for his differences, he had every reason to give up, but he pushed through. Now, as a professional speaker and author, John strives to help & teach people to overcome and to rise.
John earned his nickname “PUSH” because he believes in the power of perseverance and teaches others to keep pushing through life’s obstacles to become the best version of themselves.

At East Central University, Push was named “Outstanding Student in Business” and as captain led his football team to win the championship. Later he received his Master’s degree in Business Leadership and a Doctorate in Business Administration too. Dr.Gaines has proudly appeared as a guest speaker at universities, corporations, nonprofit events, NBA skill camps, school assemblies, and youth camps across the country.

He demonstrates great dedication, personal achievement, and is a picture of hope for others.

Learn more about Dr. Gaines.

ILEAD Youth Summit Winter 2021 is just around the corner!

Write it in your planners. Set a reminder on your cell. Download flyer.

Check out our deadlines and burn them into your brain:

  • October 8Registration opens here from our website.
  • October 15—Nominations for ILEAD Impact Awards begins. (check out the Feb 2021 ILEAD Impact Award Recipients)
  • November 10—Nominations for Impact Awards closes.
  • December 7Registration deadline to still receive the Welcome Packet (event t-shirt included) and any specific workshop materials. After this date, our mailer may not get to you until after the event.
  • December 10Registration deadline to attend. Must register no later than 7 pm
  • December 11—The summit is here!

Daily schedule

  • 9:15 am (tentative) How to use the summit’s virtual platform tutorial.

  • 9:45 am Wake Up Pre-Party

  • 10:00 am Opening session and Keynote

  • 11:15 am Break and small groups

  • 12:00 pm Lunch and festivities

  • 12:30 pm Workshop session #1

  • 1:30 pm Main stage activities (Rock-Paper-Scissors Finals)

  • 2:00 pm Workshop session #2

  • 3:30 pm Closing session

  • 4:30 pm  See you in 2022









Registration tips

  • Be sure to include an email address you check often.

  • Your registration confirmation will be emailed to you.

  • Your parent/guardian will be sent an email with a link to a waiver to sign.

Welcome packets will be mailed in November. Email confirmations and reminders will be sent leading up to the event!

Participants are strongly encouraged to use the free event transportation. Neighborhood parking is very limited.

Routes subject to change based on registration.

  • Salem Keizer Schools’ buses will pick up and drop off at many school  campuses.
  • If you ride the bus to the event, you must ride the bus back to the same campus.
  • An ILEAD Bus Chaperone will be on board for roll-call.
  • All students riding the bus will need to have the bus permission section signed on the registration form.

IMPORTANT: The entire registration packet must be completed and signed in order to get on the bus.

Be at school 10 minutes before departure.

Bus Route #1: Sprague-South

  • Sprague 8:30am South Salem 8:50am
  • Sprague 9:35pm South Salem 9:25pm

Bus Route #2: West-McNary-McKay

  • West Salem 7:45a McNary 8:15am McKay 8:45am
  • West Salem 9:30pm McNary 9:50pm McKay 10:00pm

Bus Route #3: Woodburn-Gervais-Mt. Angel-Kennedy (Mt. Angel)

  • Woodburn 7:45am Gervais 8:10am Kennedy 8:30am
  • Woodburn 10:10p Gervais 10:00pm Kennedy 9:45pm

ilead impact award Nominations Accepted October 25 to November 5

The ILead Impact Awards allow us to celebrate the great work being done in our community around youth leadership development, health promotion, and overall wellbeing.

Download the Awards Flyer.

There are two awards: the Youth Impact Award and the Adult Impact Award.

For the Adult Impact Award:

Recognizing an individual, group, program, or organization positively impacting the lives of teenagers in a significant way. We’re seeking those who create or provide supports that improve personal and/or leadership development in teens. The recognized effort should be inspiring, inclusive (for the good of all), fair, safe, and healthy for young people even if a targeted population of teens are the focus.
The award thanks the recipient for investing in the next generation of leaders.

For the Youth Impact Award:

Recognizing a middle or high school teenage leader (or leaders) age 11-18 who significantly impacts the Mid-Willamette Valley and beyond. This award thanks the recipient for their service, leadership, and example they set to teens who work to improve our world.


Nominations will be accepted online from October 15 thru November 10.

The ILead Youth Committee will review the nominees and submit their votes for winners by November 14th.

We will reach out to you if your nominee is a winner. We like surprises, so don't tell your nominee(s)!

Please note: Though we have a Mid-Willamette Valley focus, anyone in Oregon can submit nominations and any Oregonian can be nominated. Since ILead is for youth and driven by youth, preference will be given to nominations submitted by teens. If you’re an adult, find a teen impacted by the nominee’s work and have them submit on your behalf!

For more details on how we present the award, you’ll just have to nominate to find out!  See the February 2021 ILEAD Impact Award Recipients.

Picture of ilead award listing winner and award type.

​Proud event sponsors

Sponsor logos: City of Salem, Marion County Health Department

Collaboration committee

Our hard-working volunteer Committee consists of local professionals in the fields of Youth Development, Adolescent Substance Use Prevention and Intervention, Workforce Readiness,  Service Leadership, and Emergency Response. Thank you for your service to youth!

  • Ann Krier
  • Kyle Buse
  • Brandon Southward
  • Sonny Saltalamachia
  • Jamie Harris
  • Michael Keuler
  • Nathan Tamplen
  • Elisabeth Bentz
  • Diana Dickey
  • Leah Burkhart
  • Ray D. White
  • Laurie Shaw Casarez

Youth committee representatives

  • Brenda Garcia Mejia, Early College HS
  • Jennifer Valdivia, McKay HS
  • Adriana Cavazos, McKay HS
  • Kiele Jarnagin, McNary HS
  • Angel Franco, South Salem HS
  • Evyn Baker, West Salem HS
  • Henry Baker, West Salem HS

Check out past Summit photos

​Summit location

Be ready to use Discord on your personal laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Our Main Stage is on Zoom which means you can use your school-issued laptop.

Instructions, tutorials, and links are emailed to you after you register.

Contact us

Laurie Shaw CasarezYouth Development Education and Outreach Coordinator
Follow us

Oregon 4-H Camp, 5390 4-H Road NW, Salem, OR 97304

YMCA buses will pick up and drop off at many school campuses.

If you ride the bus to the event, you must ride the bus back to the school where you got on.

An ILEAD Bus Chaperone will be on board for roll-call.

All students riding the bus will need to turn in a bus permission form.

Morning route (subject to change)

​Bus number ​Bus stop location ​Departure time
​1 ​Woodburn High School ​7:50 a.m.
​1 ​Gervais High School ​8:15 a.m.
​2 ​Sprague High School ​7:45 a.m.
​2 ​South Salem High School ​8:05 a.m.
​2 ​West Salem High School ​8:30 a.m.
​3 ​North Salem High School ​7:30 a.m.
​3 ​McKay High School ​7:50 a.m.
​3 ​McNary High School ​8:20 a.m.
​Shuttle Dallas High School ​8:20 a.m.

Evening route (subject to change)

​Bus number ​Bus stop location ​Arrival time
​1 ​Woodburn High School 9:40 p.m.
​1 ​Gervais High School 10:00 p.m.
​2 ​Sprague High School 10:05 p.m.
​2 ​South Salem High School 9:45 p.m.
​2 ​West Salem High School 9:20 p.m.
​3 ​North Salem High School 10:10 p.m.
​3 ​McKay High School 9:55 p.m.
​3 ​McNary High School 9:30 p.m.
​Shuttle Dallas High School 9:35 p.m.


Bus stop locations (subject to change)

  • Central High School, 1530 Monmouth St, Independence OR 97351
  • Dallas High School, 1250 SE Holman Ave, Dallas OR 97338
  • Gervais High School, 300 Douglas Ave NE, Gervais OR 97026
  • McKay High School, 2440 Lancaster Dr NE, Salem OR 97305
  • McNary High School, 595 Chemawa Rd N, Keizer, OR 97303
  • North Salem High School, 765 14th St NE, Salem OR 97304
  • South Salem High School, 1910 Church St SE, Salem OR 97302
  • Sprague High School, 2373 Kuebler Blvd, Salem OR 97302
  • West Salem High School 1776 Titan Dr NW, Salem OR 97304
  • Woodburn High School, 1785 N Front St, Woodburn OR 97071