About SSI LEAD
Learn to LEAD!
The way to LEARN is to DO!
LEAD is rooted in the idea that the best way to learn something is to do it under the guidance of professional coaches. The LEAD experience launches students into action as they utilize critical thinking, teamwork, strategic planning and public speaking in an engaging, competitive environment.
Breaking the Curse of Low Expectations
In an article about marketing to young people, Justin Layfield wrote, “Don’t expect students to do too much.” This often reflects society's low expectation for young people. One teacher in Michigan felt that his students would have trouble handling the rigorous requirements of the program. However, after seeing his students challenged through LEAD, he saw them rise to a whole new level, and said, “One thing is certain. We are not demanding enough from these students!”
The LEAD experience drives students to engage at a level far higher than our culture thinks they are capable – and students LOVE it!
Teenagers Need and WANT to be Challenged
It is amazing to see the consistent response of teenagers when they are presented with a vision bigger than themselves and are challenged to step outside of their comfort zone. Any reluctance is usually followed by an incredible sense of exhilaration after accomplishing much more than they ever thought they could.
LEAD has three tracks for students to choose from:
Highschool students 13-19 years of age
Entering 9th grade or have just completed 12th grade
In the House Track, first-time students are sworn-in as members of the House of Representatives. Designed to challenge students to understand and apply biblical principles to current issues, the House Track gives students the chance to wrestle through current issues in a safe environment. Students learn the responsibilities of citizenship and engage in activities that build the skills of critical thinking, teamwork, and public speaking.
LEAD Alumni who are entering 10th grade or have just completed 12th grade
This advanced track takes the challenge a step farther by allowing students to amend their bills, both in committee and during the mock legislative session. The amendment process is challenging and involves plenty of strategy. Teamwork, critical thinking and debate skills are developed even more as students learn to work from all sides of an issue.
Third Year Alumni or Alumni Upperclassmen
Submit the Media Application after completing initial registration (online or mail-in). This application will be emailed to students who select the Media Track in their registration.
In the Media Track, students role-play as journalists and TV reporters, covering all the highlights of LEAD. Media students learn to conduct interviews with VIP’s, such as MN Representatives and MN Senators. Their work is printed in a daily newspaper and aired in 2-3 broadcasts during the week.
Cultivate the desire in teenagers to discover God’s design, purpose, calling and destiny for their lives.
Help young people develop a comprehensive biblical worldview in order to apply God’s eternal truths to every area of life.
Impart knowledge as relevant for our everyday world and not just confined to personal spiritual matters.
Inspire teenagers to be godly leaders in their generation.
LEAD was first developed as Student Statesmanship Institute (SSI), in the mid-90s by James Muffett and other Michigan team members whose vision was to train the next generation in statesmanship, citizenship, and biblical worldview so that students could be equipped to apply biblical principles to the world in which they live.
Culture in Minnesota has increasingly deviated from biblical principles. The Minnesota Family Institute believes that a key element in restoring a culture’s society is raising up Christians who are equipped with godly character to be leaders in their families, schools, and professions.
When Tom Prichard of Minnesota Family Council went to Michigan in 2013, he saw LEAD in action and was struck by the unique and dynamic experience it offered students. Upon returning, he felt the Minnesota Family Council needed to bring the program to Minnesota.
LEAD is a catalyst that engages students to shift their focus toward serving God in every area of their lives!
LEAD Faith Principles
The Bible is the inspired, infallible and authoritative Word of God.
There is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God and the Savior of all humanity, was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless life culminating in His vicarious and atoning death through His blood, bodily resurrection, and His ascension to the right hand of the Father. He will come a second time at the end of this age.
Regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential for salvation, which is by grace, through repentance and faith in what Jesus did on the cross.
It is the present ministry of the indwelling Holy Spirit that enables the Christian to live a godly life.
There will be a resurrection of both the saved and the lost; those that are saved unto the resurrection of life, and those that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
There is a spiritual unity of all true believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Formerly MN Student Statesmanship Institute, LEAD is a week-long summer program that prepares teens to embrace their role as Christian disciples and leaders through stretching and fun-filled, real-world experiences!
During the week, students receive biblical worldview teaching, and are surrounded by Christian leaders and mentors who invest in students academically and spiritually. The real-world experience and dynamic, faith-filled environment combine to build Christian character, instill purpose, and develop relevant life-skills in teenagers.
Christiana Nuñez - Program Director
Originally from the Great Lakes state, as the middle child of 13, Christiana has been politically active since she could walk and talk at the same time. She has been actively involved with SSI Michigan since 2010, as an ADC and Chaperone, and later becoming the Program Director until 2015. She’s always been passionate about youth and spent time as an English teacher in Taiwan, as well as serving in the remote parts of Alaska. As a licensed cosmetologist she’s enjoyed opportunities to interact with people from all walks of life. She enjoys traveling with her siblings and often times finds herself in dangerous situations not of her own making. She’s a sports fanatic and a loves all manner of competitive cooking shows.
Amanda Hage - Administrative Assistant
Before becoming the administrative assistant, Amanda volunteered for the first three years of SSI, first as an Aide-de-Camp and then as the Media Coordinator. A published author of historical fiction, her interests vary widely from art to science. She is an avid swimmer and loves all things active and out of doors. When Amanda is not at the office or working on her latest novel, she can usually be found chumming with her siblings.