Rolling Out

‘Hamilton’ partners with L!fe Leaders teen program for inaugural Detroit gala

L!fe Leaders Inc., a leadership and career development program that uses business skill training to help teens find their voice, is partnering with the famed musical Hamilton to produce their inaugural gala on March 28, 2019, at the historic Fisher Theatre.

Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Mrs. Lori Maher and Tony Award-winning producer Jeffrey Seller will serve as the honorary hosts.

The gala will feature a performance of the musical and include a strolling dinner with recipes inspired by chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster Harlem. There will also be an exclusive conversation with cast members and a champagne and dessert reception afterward.

Rolling out sat down with L!fe Leaders’ co-founder Amy Nederlander to learn more about the collaboration with Hamilton, the organization and the inaugural gala.

Tell us about L!fe Leaders Inc.

We work with middle and high school students to help them find their voice and use it to articulate goals and paths to achieve them. We do this through a deep dive into the things that our students care about in order to establish those goals. We also use training (marketing, branding, financial acumen, business etiquette, networking, public speaking) and fundamental business skills to build plans to achieve those goals. We’re currently in our third year.

Briefly describe your background.

My career has been in investment banking, producing theater and consulting. All of our programs use theater training skills and exercises as the training for public speaking. It really brings a focus on articulation, body language and storytelling for engaging efficient communication, and it also builds self-confidence.

I’ve also been involved with consulting around entrepreneurship, and that’s what brought me to this wonderful opportunity of being able to develop this program in Detroit with my partner Michaela Murphy. Michaela comes out of theater training, and her background evolved to executive speech writing and coaching.

What prompted you to bring the program to Detroit?

My grandfather started with some theaters in Detroit, the Detroit Opera House and others. As a family, we’ve been with the Fisher Theatre since it opened in the early ’60s.

In the revitalization of Detroit and in meeting with people to really understand how I could bring together relationships and opportunities, I met with Mark Ornstein, CEO of University Prep, and he asked if I could bring one of our boot camps to their students. That’s what started it all in Detroit.

How did the collaboration with Hamilton come about?

As part of its tour, Hamilton is coming to Detroit, so we’re very fortunate of the timing. We reached out and were able to secure a block of tickets for our gala. The producers are very good friends of mine.

This is the first time we’re fundraising for sustainability and rolling out the programs to be accessible to many students. It’s meant to be an intimate evening where those in the room believe in the importance of education, collaboration and empowering achievement. Education has always been very important to Hamilton.

Where can we find more information?

Our website is They can email me directly at [email protected]. Also, they can look for us via Grow Detroit Young Talent’s programming for the summer of 2019 and can attend the career fairs.

I encourage people to reach out directly because we’re growing the program, and to know where there’s interest will really help us design that growth.

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