38th Annual SLS High School Conference

March 15-16, 2025

(Pre-Conference March 14, 2025)

Shanty Creek Resort

              Memories of Conference 2024

Congratulations SLS Award Winners 2024

  • Student of the Year:
    Jesse Hartman, Tawas HS
  • Advisor of the Year:
    Stephanie Lichota, Tawas HS
  • Most Improved Chapter: Madison Academy HS
  • SLS “Bear” Award: Tawas HS
  • Volunteer of the Year:
    Kristine Peterson, Marion Jr/Sr HS

Apply to the Student Advisory Board (SAB)

Established in 1986, we train each passionate group of emerging leaders to lead and teach their peers and younger students. They work with our team and member schools to promote youth involvement, networking and stakeholder partnerships. The Student Advisory Board (SAB) develops and leads conferences, assemblies and workshops. These students are dedicated to creating healthy, safe and inclusive schools and communities across Michigan and we are proud to help them do this important work!

Who should attend? All high school student leaders, SLS chapter members, and advisors who want to strengthen their leadership skills with dynamic speakers, interactive workshops, health education and safety programs to challenge and inspire in this 100% student-led conference!



Conference 2024 Speakers and Entertainment

Mr. Peace

Kevin Szawala aka “Mr. Peace” is a National Youth Speaker and Michigan native from Metro Detroit who specializes in bullying prevention, diversity and inclusion, teen mental health and suicide awareness.  He travels the country performing high energy, inspirational and heart-hitting K-12 assemblies, and since 2006 has spoken to over 1,000,000 people in 1,000+ schools in 20 states.  “Mr. Peace” knows that his life mission is to leave a positive impact on others by spreading a passionate message of kindness, love and understanding.  For more information visit:


Marissa Carson, Miss Oakland County 2023


Marissa is a 20-year-old graduate from Oakland Community College with an associate degree in theatre. She plans to expand her education to get a degree in musical theatre and performance where she can use her talents in the industry for Broadway in New York, and performance at Walt Disney World. She has also been a part of the Miss America Opportunity since she was very young, has held 4 titles and now is the current Miss Oakland County. Marissa is also the youth leader and worship leader at her church and continues to use her talent of singing across the state of Michigan! She is also an advocate for volunteering and has created a platform called “The Importance of Volunteering” where she talks to people of all ages about volunteer opportunities, where to find them and how to get involved.

Pastor Benjamin Goss

Benjamin (AKA Benji), served on the SLS State Student Advisory Board (SAB) from 2016-2018; SLS Intern from 2018-2023; SLS Pastor 2023-present. He received his Childrens and Family Ministry Degree from Mt. Vernon Nazarene University in May 2023. He is currently serving as a Family Pastor at Fort Mill Church of the Nazarene in Fort Mill, South Carolina.

Benji will be presenting on how Self-Care is like Gardening for the Soul!
He will help students learn that just like plants need certain conditions to grow and thrive, the same is true for all of us. He will help us discover our personal tools that lie within us that can help us find stability in stressful situations.


Tricia DeVries

Tricia has been involved with SLS programs since 1997. A member of the SLS State Student Advisory Board (SAB) from 2001-2002. In 2002, Tricia and other SAB members hosted the International Collaborative Teen Conference in Detroit. A Graduate of Oakland University with a Bachelor of Science in Human Resources & Development. She currently works for GM as an IT Project Manager and Business Analyst. 

Pickles and Stuff!
Why not me? There are 2 ways to ask that question. I’ve asked it both ways. In this keynote, I will talk about the 2 ways I’ve asked myself “Why not me”, the impact of those different meanings, and how to make good on a promise I made to myself.  

So, what happens when life gives you cucumbers? You make pickles! Some people might say this ruins a perfectly good cucumber, but I say it not only enhances its flavor but also preserves it so it can be enjoyed for like 10 times longer than a cucumber. So, let’s just talk about Pickles and Stuff. 

Name That Tune!

It’s school vs school in this musical competition that will also feature face-offs, dance-offs, and sing-offs!  The friendly Host will play a multitude of popular, fun, and clean music through a kickin’ sound system that everyone will enjoy.  Each table as a group will try to correctly guess the title AND artist of each song and there’s no googling allowed! 

Joel Tacey
Workshop Topics
Calm and Collective (Stress Managment), Mental Health, Break the Chains (Bullying), Drop the Vapes and Kick the Butts (Vaping), Overcoming Limiting Beliefs, Self-Care, Budgeting, Overcoming Procrastination, Marijuana and Driving, and more....
The "Big" Dance
Door Decoration Contest, Awards, Celebrations, Conference Photo, "Happy" and "Perky" SLS Mascots
Group Activities
Team Building Activities, Team Meetings, Action Planning, Student Presentations, Advisor Networking
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Workshops-Conference 2024