Annual Student Leadership Conference

2016 – 2017

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Emmet Street Holiday Inn, Charlottesville







Teams of High School Students from Grades 9 – 12 and Faculty Advisors



The VSUP Student Leadership Conference is provided each year as a benefit of membership in The Virginia School-University Partnership.  The conference is free to participants from VSUP member high schools. (Click here for a list of VSUP Members.)
This year’s VSUP Student Leadership Conference will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 10, 2016, at The Holiday Inn (1901 Emmet Street) in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The theme of this year’s conference is “Dare to Dream.” The goal of the conference is to inspire participants to have the strength, courage, persistence, and belief required to turn their dreams into reality.  Participating in the conference will help students develop the skills and knowledge they need to serve as effective leaders of their schools and communities.



rohanonstage342The Student Leadership Conference will begin with a ninety-minute Keynote Presentation, “Dare to Dream,” which will feature a nationally recognized motivational speaker, Rohan Murphy.  The goal of the Keynote Address is to make students feel empowered to pursue their personal ambitions and to have a positive impact on the world around them.  Rohan Murphy will tell his life story of growing up with a physical challenge as a way to show students that they too can overcome obstacles and accomplish amazing things.  The adversity that Rohan has endured and triumphed over will inspire students to believe that anything is possible and motivate them to develop the life skills necessary to achieve their dreams.  Rohan’s determination, work-ethic, and belief in himself have enabled him to pursue dreams that seemed unattainable and defy the odds with his remarkable accomplishments.  He will encourage students to be actively involved in their schools and communities and to take control of their own lives so that they too can meet the challenges that life brings and accomplish their deepest desires.  Rohan’s passion, drive, courage, humor, and humility will touch participants and inspire them to believe in themselves and in their own power to achieve their dreams.



After the Keynote Presentation, all students will be assigned to small groups of approximately 25 students from different high schools to discuss topics of importance at their high schools.  These informal small group discussions will be led by seniors who have volunteered to take on this role and who participated in a training session for their role as facilitators before the conference.
These small group discussions will give all participants the chance to learn more about each other as well as learn more about the over forty different high schools from across the state of Virginia which will be represented at the conference. The hope is that these small group discussions will help students grow as leaders by giving them the opportunity to share their experiences and collaborate with other students in coming up with creative solutions to problems that their schools and communities might be facing.



During the conference here will be a sixty minute large-group assembly during which the schools which have been chosen to do so will make a formal presentation about some program, activity, or event at their school that they are particularly proud of and that they feel students from other high schools would like to learn more about.  One goal of this “Share Fair” is to give students the chance to develop and demonstrate their personal skills as leaders by planning and delivering a five minute presentation for an audience of approximately 200 participants.  The other goal of the Share Fair is to allow schools to share “success stories” about programs, activities, and events that are working well in their schools so that all participants have the opportunity to hear from their peers about ideas which might help them to address issues that they are dealing with in their schools and communities.



Rohan Murphy, a nationally recognized presenter who has spoken in over 40 states, shares with audiences his life story – a gripping tale of adversity overcome by determination – and his deep commitment to living life with a purpose.  Rohan has spent his whole life motivating people by his actions, and he is now dedicating himelf to motivating the youth of America with his words.
kids-huddle-rohan336Rohan Murphy, who lost his legs at an early age, took up wrestling during his freshman year of high school and went on to wrestle at Penn State University. Rohan is also an accomplished international powerlifter, representing the USA in competitions all over the world.  Articles about Rohan have appeared in Sports Illustrated and many other publications, and Rohan was even featured on ABC news and in his very own Nike commercial.
Being born with deformed legs was a crushing blow to Rohan and his family.  His rare birth defect forced doctors to amputate both of his legs when he was only four years old.  Doctors told the Murphy family that Rohan would never be able to take care of himself and would require 24 hour care each day of his life.  It’s now safe to say that Rohan proved them wrong!
With his life story and speech, Rohan reaches out to young people and inspires them to believe that anything is possible if they commit their minds and hearts to accomplishing their dreams.  Rohan’s message, which focuses on priceless life skills such as dedication and discipline, is one that every student needs to hear.  His Keynote Address at the VSUP Student Leadership Conference will inspire participants to believe that they too can overcome whatever challenges life brings and achieve their dreams.
Learn more about Rohan Murphy.



Information about this year’s Annual Student Leadership Conference will be sent to Steering Committee Representatives from each VSUP division in early September.
As a benefit of membership in VSUP, there is NO CHARGE for participation in the Student Leadership Conference.
However, registered high schools are required to give NOTICE of CANCELLATION by Thursday, November 3, 2016, if they are not able to attend.
Registered high schools which do NOT give notice of cancellation at least one week in advance will be charged $200.
Teams of up to five students (grades 9-12) and a Faculty Advisor from each VSUP member high school can be registered using the online registration form.
Please NOTE: Schools which choose to take on the extra responsibility of preparing a proposal for a five minute presentation during the Share Fair Assembly at the conference will be given the option of registering TWO additional student participants who will be in charge of the presentation (for a total of up to SEVEN students on their SLC team).
The REGISTRATION DEADLINE is Friday, October 14, 2016.
After the October 14 deadline for registering teams of participants, if any of the 400 available spaces for participants are not filled, Faculty Advisors from participating high schools will be notified that we will be able to accommodate a few more students at the conference.  Additional registrations from students wishing to serve as Senior Facilitators will be given first priority.





If you have questions or concerns, or would like more information about this year’s VSUP Student Leadership Conference, please contact Liza Scallet (