During the organization’s formation in 2013, Morning Star Leadership Foundation and Morning Star Leaders Youth Council were visionary concepts and the creation of the Manuel Family in Salt River, Arizona. Royce Manuel is Akimel Aw-Thum (Pima) and a Member of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Communities, Debbie Nez-Manuel and Megan LaRose are Diné (Navajo) and enrolled members of the Navajo Nation. The formation derived from Megan’s vision of a vital community resource to support tribal youth who lived off-reservation residing in urban areas in search of employment, education, access to health or essential housing reasons and as such may have experienced a disconnect with their home languages and cultural teachings.
Since then, the organization has evolved with a name change in December 2015 to become Morning Star Leaders, Inc. (MSL) with a clearer mission and renewed vision for the future of the organization and its purpose to Arizona tribal communities. MSL is now a certified 501(c)(3) organization established to operate and conduct affairs of a nonprofit Native American Youth Leadership support organization with the intent to empower, educate, and provide direct support to Native American youth through educational, cultural and social development opportunities.