Lead4Change Celebrates Student Teams Demonstrating Leadership through Community Service
Students learned and practiced leadership skills while addressing issues in their schools and communities.
Broadlands, VA, June 14, 2022 – Today, 42 middle school and high school teams have been selected as winners of the Lead4Change Challenge. The Lead4Change Student Leadership Program teaches students leadership lessons which include skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, communication and collaboration. Students work to develop a service project that addresses a need in their community using these skills. The top six teams each earned a $10,000 grant for a nonprofit of their choice.
Lead4Change is the nation’s fastest growing privately funded student leadership program. More than two million students across all 50 states have had the opportunity to grow as leaders through Lead4Change’s free curriculum. The lessons align to educational standards, including Literacy, Social Emotional Learning and Project-Based Learning.
In a recent survey of parents, Lead4Change learned that 95% believe leadership is an important skill for their child. Specifically, parents said it important to make sure that their child is learning leadership skills in their classrooms and afterschool clubs, with 56% of respondents classifying it as “very important” and another 39% choosing “somewhat important.”
The Lead4Change program is inspired by Founder & CEO of David Novak Leadership, Co-Founder, retired Chairman and CEO of Yum! Brands and leadership expert, David Novak, and developed by the Foundation for Impact on Literacy and Learning and the Lift a Life Novak Family Foundation.
“I believe that we all learn by doing and the Lead4Change program teaches students leadership skills to think and act like leaders” said David Novak. “The Lead4Change Challenge results reveal what can happen when student teams are given the opportunity to practice leadership skills for the good of the community. It is amazing what can be accomplished when we learn to lead together.”
Grant awards are made to winners among Lead4Change Certified Schools, recognizing multi-year participation in the program, and non-certified schools participating for their first or second year.
The two grand prize recipient teams from Certified Schools are:
Adopt-A-Paw team, Moody Middle School, Henrico, VA – As returning participants, Moody’s gifted program utilized 8th graders who had been through Lead4Change to mentor 6th grade students new to the program. Working together students raised over $9,000 for their local SPCA. Teacher Lisa Chandler observed “Helping my 8th graders take on leadership responsibilities to support and guide their 6th grade peers was personally rewarding, as this life skill is something that they will be able to use beyond my classroom. This experience also allowed my students to interact with one another and with their community; something that COVID has stolen from them these past two years.”
WeSHORECare team, Jersey Shore Senior High School, Jersey Shore, PA – This team of students met the challenge of food insecurity head on with efforts including a ‘Stuff the Bus’ food donation drive and healthy food collection to raise the quality of food available at their food bank. Adviser Dolly Oden shares “As the adult leader, the most valuable lesson that I have learned is to trust the process–The students with the help of the Lead4Change lessons will do the rest!”
The four grand prize recipient teams from non-certified schools are:
Downey FBLA team, Thomas Downey High School, Modesto, CA – From lesson 2, this team discovered that homelessness and poverty led to many other issues in their community. Having a team member who had experienced homelessness, they heard firsthand about her life. They turned knowledge into action with their project focused on advocacy, awareness and resources for those in need. Teacher Tera Coleman wrote “To witness students transform and step into leadership roles has been extremely rewarding. Watching my students in action inspired me to continue to look for students’ unique gifts and help empower and connect them to meaningful work.”
Kitchens For Change team, Turlock High School, Turlock, CA – The issue addressed in this project is combating food insecurity brought about through world calamities within our local communities. Specifically, the team formed a non-profit to feed Afghan refugees who have resettled in their community. They used the Lead4Change lessons to form a charity, shape their project focus, start a food kitchen and learn to cook the Afghan meals known to the recently resettled immigrants.
The Calming Corner team, Hamilton High School FCCLA, Chandler, AZ – A team of students work to design and build a room for elementary students to have a safe place for mindfulness, sensory play and long lasting self-regulation behavior. Teacher Kristine McGettigan says “Leaders are built through self awareness, and leadership is a process. Thank you, Lead4Change for empowering my students and for believing in the power of youth when they are shown how to believe in themselves.”
Strive team, Education Elsewhere homeschool students, Lebanon, NJ – Students worked together to address the needs of those experiencing homelessness and food insecurity in their community. Collaborating through each lesson, the students exceeded their big goal! Sponsor Michelle Marlow noted “I only had to implement the structure from Lead4Change. The students would create something important and valuable to them. They had the autonomy to build a project to serve others. Their ownership of the project propelled them through challenging obstacles and problems.”
This year, two Special Award recipients were named. Each team receives a $1000 for the public organization/charity of their choice.
“All In” Award for six teams from Gwynedd Mercy Academy, Lower Gwynedd Valley, PA – Gwynedd students enrolled in this elective class adopted the school’s focus on the environment. Using the Lead4Change lessons they implemented six different projects based on students’ interests. Students developed their leadership skills and were excited to find that their community really wanted to help and be a part of their efforts.
“Leaders Keep Leading” Award for FCCLA Waymakers team of the National Executive Council students, FCCLA, Herndon, VA – Working as a virtual team, these 10 student leaders collaborated the focus of sustainability practices in their community. Volunteer efforts and community awareness around recycling, sustainable gardening and composting allowed students to demonstrate sustainable habits and teach others. Team sponsor Karen Patti said “The Waymakers learned the importance of establishing a culture of teamwork by understanding that no one person can do everything and that every member of the team brings something unique to the table.”
The Lead4Change Student Leadership Program is also awarding $500 charitable grants based on the outstanding works of the following teams:
• FP for Change, Forest Park High School FCCLA, Woodbridge, VA
• Odessa High School FBLA team, Odessa, WA
• Lebanon Technology and Career Center FBLA team, Lebanon, MO
• Bushland Difference Makers Red team, Bushland High School, Amarillo, TX
• Project G-Pit, Randolph Macon Academy, Front Royal, VA
• RedHawk Rangers team, Seneca High School, Louisville, KY
• Food for Change team, We-Sense Inc, Chapel Hill, NC
• Coral Reef FBLA team, Coral Reef High School, Miami, FL
• Future Formers (parent led team), students of Aliso Niguel High School, Aliso Viejo, CA
• CHP Refugee Donation Drive team, Cedar Hill Prep, Somerset, NJ
• Extra Bit of Love and Clear the Stress teams, Our Lady of Lourdes Academy, Miami, FL
• Strength in Differences team, Easton Area High School, Easton, PA
• GHS FBLA team, Grants High School, Grants, NM
• Good Deed Grocery team, International Prep High School, Buffalo, NY
• Team Green Thumb FBLA team, Los Olas High School, Rancho Cucamonga, CA
• Bow to Meow FCCLA team, West Springfield High School, Springfield, VA
• Howells-Dodge FCCLA team, Howells-Dodge Consolidated School, Howells, NE
• The Phoenix Phenoms team, Phoenix School of Discovery, Louisville, KY
• Warrior Influencers team, Montoursville Area High School, Montoursville, PA
• Paws4Change FBLA team, Parkside High School, Salisbury, MD
• Students Minds Matter team, SADD, Washington, DC
• Generational Connect team, Chilton High School FBLA, Chilton, WI
• The African American Engineer Club, Ramsey Middle School, Louisville, KY
• Love in Sight team, Marysville High School DECA, Bellefontaine, OH
• Patriot Bond Sports 1:1 team, Plantation Middle School, Plantation, FL
• ASAP and Vision Board teams, Blessed Sacrament School, Amelia Court House, VA
• Cheerful Minds team, Salem High School, Canton, MI
• eLink Leadership Team, Andover eCademy, Andover, KS
• Future Homeless Helpers team, Palm Beach Gardens Community High School FBLA, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
• Help for Haiti, City of Pembroke Pines Middle School West, Pembroke Pines, FL
• Not All Superheroes Wear Capes team, Attucks Middle School, Hollywood, FL
• Help2Hope team, Assumption High School, Louisville, KY
Complete rules and details on the Lead4Change Challenge are available at http://www.lead4change.org/
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“The strength, resilience and purpose shown by students participating in Lead4Change this year was stunning!” said Diane Barrett, Executive Director, The Foundation for Impact on Literacy and Learning.
“Participants learned skills needed to lead while navigating overwhelming changes in their lives due to the pandemic. Collaboration, goal setting, social and emotional learning was evidenced by their good work in Lead4Change Challenge projects. Thank you, educators and students!”
The Lead4Change Student Leadership Program was created by the Foundation for Impact on Literacy and Learning and the Lift a Life Novak Family Foundation to encourage middle and high school students to hone leadership skills by completing a service project around a community need involving a public nonprofit.
About Foundation for Impact on Literacy and Learning
The Foundation for Impact on Literacy and Learning was established in 2003 as a public charity. The Foundation supports and builds alliances that enhance innovative, instructional programs and community outreach by providing the resources to promote new opportunities and participation. The foundation welcomes participation in efforts to engage, enlighten and inspire today’s students and educators by opening their classrooms to the real world. Find out more at www.fill.foundation
About Lift a Life Foundation
The Lift a Life Novak Family Foundation was established in 1999 by David and Wendy Novak. The mission of the Lift a Life Novak Family Foundation is to lead the way with innovative programs that help people in need and develop future leaders. The Foundation focuses on creative partnerships that make a lasting impact in the primary areas of hunger relief, early childhood education, juvenile diabetes, military family support and leadership development. Since Lift a Life Novak Family Foundation began, it has helped thousands of people in need through grants and programming support. For more information on Lift a Life Novak Family Foundation, go to www.liftalifefoundation.org.
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