Go Back

Our Stories

The three-day event that changes everything

The 2019 YE Summit is revving up and heading straight for Detroit, and it’s hauling a full load of opportunity. This summer, hundreds of YE alumni will connect, explore and engage – while gaining the knowledge, confidence and inspiration to transform their mindsets and take control of their futures.  

We caught up with a few alumni who attended last year’s inaugural event to hear how the experience had an impact on their lives. 

“I feel like I am more motivated to continue working toward the goals I have for my life,” says Ryleigh Tucker, a YE Summit attendee and student at Lebanon High School in Lebanon, Missouri. “It motivated me to get out and tell people my story.” 

Hundreds of students like Ryleigh’s gathered to share in the three-day experience on the campus of Wichita State University. YE alumnus, Seth Konkel, wrote the plan. His flourishing event production business, Ilusion Productions, began as Seth’s YE business plan when he was a student at Campus High School in Haysville, Kansas, in 2001. He reflects on one of the best moments from the event: 

“Throughout Summit, we had students break off with business leaders and make connections with professionals that will build their personal network,” Seth said. As an entrepreneur himself, he understands the value of making connections. “YE wants to serve as the connector between bright students and professionals who have gone down the business path.”  

The experience saw some students through their first flight. Others had a chance to win cold, hard cash in a “Shark Tank”-style pitch competition. For most, it was their first time staying in the dorms on a college campus. Sage Couger, a student at Mission Heights Preparatory High School in Casa Grande, Arizona, says the three-day event was a shot of self-esteem. “I had more confidence in myself and what I could do,” she says. It helped Sara Nambo, a student at North High School in Wichita, to feel more engaged in school and life. 

Detroit, a city that knows a thing or two about transformation, offers this year’s attendees a lot of lessons about positive change, community building and the entrepreneurial mindset. Shiane Wondra, an alumna from Meade High School in Meade, Kansas, offers her advice to those who hope to join, “If you put the hard work in, you will get a lot out of it.”