Overcoming Obstacles

There are many challenges your chapter will face. Each year may be different. The SLS Chapter Handbook is a great resource to get the answers to many challenges and to spark new ides. For your copy of the SLS Handbook contact SLS. In the meantime, the Overcoming Chapter Obstacles is a great document. Students all over Michigan created this document to help other chapters who struggle with the same obstacles.

Time Management:
How can your group keep or move the mission of your group to the top of all members“

  • Requires Personal Responsibility
  • Conflicting with other groups/organization
  • Provide incentives
  • Make it fun
  • Have food
  • Add personal touches
  • Eliminate things that are not important
  • Prioritize
  • Situations need to show results
  • Focus on new things

Advertising Activities:
How best can we advertise to get the group more popular and increase membership

  • Partner with Community Mental Health, Health Department and resources to give support to schools.
  • Partner with churches for support
  • Through involvement of community events (parade, drives, etc.)
  • Handouts, ads and word of mouth.
  • Have activities that talk about “real issues”.
  • Work with local liquor stores and make sure they are asking for identification.
  • Ask other organizations to partner with you

Lack of Meeting:
What is your chapter’s biggest reason for lack of meeting attendance?

  • Boring
  • No personal connection between members
  • Involved in too many activities
  • Doesn’t feel a sense of belonging
  • Lack of passion, lack of enthusiasm
  • Embarrassed that others may think they are “not cool”
  • Lack of communication
  • Transportation issues
  • Lack of financial and parental supports
  • Scheduling conflicts
  • Misunderstanding of chapter mission/vision/goals

Membership Recruitment:
What attracts members?
What can chapters do to engage members in the program?

  • Fulfillment of helping people
  • Recognition, Authority, Respect
  • Parties, Food, Fun
  • Advisor and administration support
  • Skill development such as public speaking
  • Opportunities away from school
  • Leadership Skills
  • Tell people they are valuable and worthy
  • Friendliness attracts people
  • Get people involved by any means necessary (be creative)
  • Make sure members feel accepted
  • Make the meetings enjoyable and productive
  • Send members gifts for their achievements
  • Celebrate birthdays

Whats In It For Me(WIIFM):
When you are in a group/team/club there is always THIS question.

  • Community Service
  • College Application or College Credit
  • Job references/resources
  • Friends
  • Opportunities
  • Life Skills
  • Diversity
  • Field Trips
  • T-shirts
  • Resume building
  • Excitement
  • Cool activities
  • Competitions
  • Giveaways

Limited/Lack of Resources
How can you carry on your groups mission and the ideals/values of “Students Leading Students” with this hurdle?

  • Fundraisers
  • Sponsors/Business Partnerships
  • Grants – Citizens Insurance Grants for SLS Chapters, Rotary Club, Community Foundations, Local Businesses, Free Resources
  • Battle of the Bands – Partner with other schools, Networking, Fundraising, Social Activities
  • United Way
  • Prevention Network Grants
  • Persistence
  • Field Trips
  • Excitement


  • Impacting the school and community
  • Spreading the word, Sharing Information
  • Training others
  • Showing dedication can empower others
  • Make members feel they are important
  • Reach out to younger students
  • Present a positive and organized message
  • We believe we can accomplish anything
  • Use research in your message
  • Chapter needs to have the courage to stand up for what they believe
  • Chapter needs to show everyone that they can make a difference

What gives students commitment to the program?
How do members know that what they are doing makes a difference?

  • Witnessing the change
  • Making a difference in their peers lives
  • Morals and Values
  • Coming to meetings and participating
  • Upholding the mission and values of the chapter and not participating in “destructive behaviors”
  • Learning life lessons
  • Sense of belonging and involvement
  • Students build on commitment upon actual experiences
  • Dedication to helping students make wiser decisions

What to have at Meetings:
What are the three main things to have at every chapter meeting/gathering?

  • Agenda
  • Activities
  • Message
  • Food
  • Personal Connections
  • Awards/Recognition