Students developed leadership skills and addressed issues such as mental health, social injustice, homelessness and hunger.
NEWARK, Del., June 10, 2021 – Today, 46 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 1.8 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.
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.
“Despite being forced to attend school virtually due to the pandemic, students rose above the challenges and applied the leadership skills learned through the Lead4Change program to work as a team and address real needs in their communities” said David Novak. “We hope this experience sparks a passion in students and helps them see their ability to positively impact their community even during challenging times.”
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:
- Eisenhower High School, Ike Ignition Team, Eisenhower, OK – The team focused on the mental health of students and teachers at Eisenhower HS. Implementing a variety of “COVID appropriate” ideas to improve mental health created connection and appreciation during a difficult year. Freshmen received appreciation and inspiration videos. Teachers were encouraged to share their funny stories and examples of kindness to open conversations with students and come together, even when working remotely. Teachers were also treated to meals, secured through the team’s donation campaign. Improving student and teacher mental health through intentional acts of appreciation and creating a sense of belonging made a difficult year better for all.
- Menchville High School, Fare Share Team, Newport News, VA – Students led “Take a Stand” Student activism campaign to allow students of all ages to advocate for something they believe in. A competition to view and judge advocacy videos and a food drive to address hunger issues were the cornerstones of the project. Menchville students involved all the schools in their district to give a voice to important issues across their area. The district-wide food drive raised $4000 and 2900 donated food items. The food drive theme was “We Are Not” – a effort to dispel common stereotypes in favor of getting to know people through awareness and understanding.
A Special Award and $2,000 grant for Leading and Serving in Bold Ways was made to:
- Moody Middle School’s 6 Lead4Change Teams, Henrico, Virginia – Moody Middle School’s Gifted teachers led virtual learning and service project work to help students address many key issues in their community. Teams worked on mental health issues in teens, homelessness, human trafficking awareness, food insecurity, and support for children suffering life threatening diseases. Teachers Lisa Chandler and Brian Coffey led students through the lessons to inspire action through team and individual efforts. Most notable is the way teachers work to engage students to make a change in the issues they are facing themselves, bringing passion, purpose and real change through service leadership.
The four grand prize recipient teams from non-certified schools are:
- Blazin’ Bulldogs, Georgetown High School FBLA, Georgetown, SC – The FBLA students worked to address the issues of neglected mothers and babies due to teen pregnancies and homelessness in their community. By creating awareness and connection to resources, and gathering donated supplies, the team was able to bring attention and provide assistance to an often overlooked but critical situation in their area.
- Howells Dodge FCCLA, Howell’s Dodge Consolidated High School, Howells, NE – The issue addressed in this project is Childhood Literacy. Students worked to help children develop a love for books and reading. Reading vital for children and helps prepare them to be life-long learners. The team worked to provide an age-appropriate book to every student in Nursery School through First Grade. Seeing the faces of students as they received a book to take home and keep was a project highlight!
- Keeping Up With Kindness, Odessa High School Student Council, Odessa, MO – The purpose of this project was to bring awareness to discrimination and start critical conversations around sexism, racism, and ableism in our school and community through our collaborative artwork, corresponding video, and social media campaign. Students also made a video for patients at Children’s Mercy Hospital and hosted a corresponding donation drive collecting over 200 items.
- Cedar Busters, Southcrest High School, Lubbock, TX – Cedar Busters was formed to study the effectiveness of salt cedar eradication in Garza County, Texas because this invasive species has become a threat to the water availability in our region of the Southwest U.S. The team has three members who have family ranches in the area so water conservation efforts were important to the team. Students’ work was featured by the US Fish and Wildlife Services to help other areas. Students said, “It is OUR generation that is now responsible for the protection of the environment. As citizen scientists, we will continue to find ways to make a difference and encourage others to do the same.”
The Lead4Change Student Leadership Program is also awarding $500 charitable grants based on the outstanding works of the following teams:
- Bruins4Change, Forest Park High School FCCLA, Woodbridge, VA
- WeSHORECare, Jersey Shore Senior High School FBLA, Jersey Shore, PA
- Humane Society, Logan-Hocking High School FCCLA, Logan, OH
- Penelope’s Princesses, St. Paul’s Episcopal School, Mobile AL
- Study Buddy, Stockbridge High School FCCLA, Stockbridge, GA
- The Innovators of Tomorrow parent-led team from Don Juan Avila Middle School, Aliso Viejo, CA
- Foreign Trio, Al-Furquan Academy, Jacksonville, FL
- AHS Mental Health Associates, Alhambra High School FBLA, Alhambra, CA
- AWHS/Penta FCCLA, Anthony Wayne High School, Whitehouse, OH
- Clean 4 Change, Assumption High School, Louisville, KY
- Louisville Lifters, Barrett Traditional Middle School, Louisville, KY
- Knowledge BANCK for Homelessness, Brighton School, Mountlake Terrace, WA
- CHP House Leadership, Cedar Hill Prep, Franklin Township, NJ
- Backstreet Girls, Easton Area High School FBLA, Easton, PA
- Push to Care, Farmwell Station Middle School, Ashburn, VA
- The Super Lunch Squad, Garden Plain Elementary, Garden Plain, KS
- Gracious Gardeners, Gary High School FCCLA, Gary City, TX
- You.Come.First., Gwynedd Mercy Academy, Gwynedd Valley, PA
- HBMS Toppers, High Bridge Middle School, High Bridge, NJ
- Helping Hands, I Prep Academy, Miami, FL
- Fire Foxes, ICP-Teams, Wilmington, NC
- Champion Changers & Rags to Riches teams, John L Ramsey Middle School, Louisville, KY
- Builders of a Brighter Future, John Mall High School FBLA, Walsenburg, CO
- South Side Safety Squad, Johnson Jr, High School FBLA, Cheyenne, WY
- Courageous Cougars, Noe Middle School, Louisville, KY
- Diapers 4 Change, Our Lady of Lourdes Academy FBLA, Miami, FL
- Modern Movement, Pembroke Pines Middle School West Campus, Pembroke Pines, FL
- Tips 4 Sixths and Up, Up & Away Kites 4 Care teams, Plantation Middle School, Plantation, FL
- S.P.A.S. – Shirts, Pants and Shoes, Randolph-Macon Academy, Front Royal, VA
- Youth Against Injustice, Rosie Sorrells ESSM at Townview FCCLA, Dallas, TX
- Odyssey Spotlight Association, Summit Academy Secondary, Youngstown, OH
- Senior Rebels Helping Hands, Travis Early College High School, Austin, TX
“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!”
Complete rules and details on the Lead4Change Challenge are available at http://www.lead4change.org/ To watch the action, get involved and learn more, follow Lead4Change:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Lead4Changeorg/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lead4Changeorg
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lead4changeorg/
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.fillprograms.org.
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.
G&S for Lead4Change