“If there is any way you can go, go! This experience is phenomenal, and no matter what sacrifices you have to make to get there, get there. This experience is beyond any monetary value.”

“When you find yourself with an opportunity like this, your experience is going to be so much better if you get outside your comfort zone and allow yourself to be vulnerable.  You will get what you put in, and what you get out of an amazing experience like this is absolutely worth getting outside your comfort zone.”

“Thank you for everything! It changed my life.”

Hi there! It’s great to meet you.

We are the Nebraska Leadership Seminar. The ‘Leadership’ in our name is pretty important. Leadership is at the core of what we do. But what does this ‘Leadership’ thing actually mean? The term ‘Leadership’ has been thrown around a lot. I’m sure you’ve heard it defined many times and used in a lot of different ways. Think about it: Student Council members talk about leadership, Football Captains talk about leadership, Navy Seals talk about leadership, even Captain America talks about leadership; lots of people talk about leadership!

This can make things around leadership a little convoluted and cloudy, so at NLS we’ve tried to simplify things. When we talk about Leadership, we want you to be your authentic self.

Leading with your authentic self is to lead with what makes you great. It’s not about fitting a mold, following some directions from a book, or copying someone else. This type of leadership is rooted in your individual strengths, your unique personality, and all the wonderful traits that make you, you. NLS helps you find those strengths and figure out how you can put them to use as one of Nebraska’s young leaders. In a world full of social media lives and airbrushed personalities, leading with your authentic self has a powerful impact on our families, our friendships, and our communities. This is not for the faint of heart, it takes courage and vulnerability to do this, but we believe there is no better way for you to lead.

And what do we do with this authentic leadership? We put it to use building what we call ‘communities of purpose.’ We believe that communities and having a place to belong is really important. I’m sure you can think of a time when you didn’t feel like part of a community. A community where you are known, trusted, and connected to. It’s often that place that empowers you to be your authentic self. We believe that communities can be made from all sorts of people: friends with similar interests, classmates who look out for each other, neighbors who host dinners, citizens who band together, and many more. Communities can be as small as two people or as big as an entire school.

Communities are important. And there are lots of reasons why we believe that communities are important. That reason is a little different for each person involved in NLS. But we all agree on one thing – the world needs community right now. Look around your school, think about the people you know, or just check the nightly news – we are aching for a place to belong. Instagram and iPhones have made us seem more ‘connected’ than ever before – but made us feel less community than ever before. We need leaders to build community.

Not only do we think community is vital, but we take them beyond just a community of belonging – we want to create communities of purpose. A community of purpose is a community that is set on accomplishing something of importance, way beyond what one person could hope to achieve. The ‘something’ can be any mission or worthwhile cause: curbing underage drinking, serving an underprivileged group, raising money, making people smile; anything worth putting a community of people towards.

So NLS’s big vision is for you to become a community builder. What type of community will you build? What purpose will you serve?

So we think that leading with your authentic self is the best way to lead. And the best place to put that leadership to use, is a community of purpose. If you agree with us (or you are willing to at least give it a try) we hope that you’ll join us. We’d love the authentic you as part of our NLS community.

You’ve never experienced anything like the Nebraska Leadership Seminar before.

Approximately 150 high school sophomore students from across the state come together on a Nebraska college campus for four-days to be challenged, empowered, and inspired.

Founded in 1978, Nebraska Leadership Seminar, Inc. (NLS) is a nonprofit organization focused upon helping you recognize your leadership strengths through our partnership with the Gallup Organization. We will challenge, empower and inspire you to become the leaders Nebraska needs. The 2019 Seminar will be held June 13-16 at Southeast Community College campus in Milford, NE.

What makes NLS different?

  • NLS, from the Corporate Board, Alumni Association and Seminar staff, is composed entirely of volunteers. The dedication and passion of these individuals provides future Nebraska leaders with knowledge of themselves, their strengths and what they can do to impact their communities.
  • Students get a true on-campus experience as they live in the dorms of a higher education institution.
  • NLS’s curriculum is based on the discovery, development, and application of a student’s leadership skills, making them more self-assured and confident in their leadership abilities.
  • NLS supports your students even after the seminar is over by offering reunions to hone in on their developing skills and further promote the networking established during the seminar.
  • Students who have had the honor of participating in this once-in-a-lifetime experience have demonstrated a heightened interest in leading school organizations and are more involved in their community, inspiring them to make a difference.
Download the forms for seminar:
(Or you can register online; we’ll email the forms to you!)


Want to Go?

Talk to your guidance counselor about representing your school at NLS. If your counselor doesn’t have any information, contact Allison Sperry at She’ll make sure your guidance counselor gets the info they need to get you registered.