Alumni Council Members' Service Projects

120 outstanding students from across Texas successfully completed membership in the 2023-2024 Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council. Their hometowns are pinned on the map below. The projects they led, and the positive contributions they've made to their schools and communities, are highlighted below.

Leaders in Action!

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Aledo ISD

Freya D., 3rd year member

Project: Valentines with Veterans - Freya recruited two friends to help her put together a Valentine's day craft to do with the seniors living at Harvest of Aledo. Many seniors participated and made a small dog craft inspired by the day of love and compassion. The seniors expressed their gratitude and are excited to see what Freya comes up with next. Freya shared, "This experience helped me improve as a leader because it opened my eyes to the people around me who want to improve other people's lives but just don't know where to start." Sponsor: Naomi Hall, Teacher.

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Allen ISD

Varun H., 3rd year member

Project: Warm Embrace - Varun recruited two friends and his younger brother to coordinate with the Here2Assist organization to procure 30 new sleeping bags and more than 270 pairs of socks. The group distributed the items to the homeless and needy at Hope Restored Missions' March 16, 2024 outreach event in Plano. Varun said, "I realized that if you decide you want to make an impact, however small, taking that first step is the only barrier!" Sponsor: Uma Manjunath, Mother.

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Amarillo ISD

Axel F., 1st year member

Project: Wish and Get – Axel learned about 25 kids from México through his mother's friend. Axel decided to help the kids by sending over 100 gifts of clothes and toys. The gifts were delivered with a meal on El Día De Mago, a Hispanic holiday. Axel said, I finally opened my eyes and realized the impact one person can make” Sponsor: Immer Merary Franco.

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Anna ISD

Mathai P., 1st year member

Project: Socks for Seniors – Mathai and his classmate Adrian collected socks for senior citizens at Meadowbrook Assisted Living. The boys worked with a group called Hands of Hope and collected about fifty pair of socks to make small gift bags with socks, hand lotions, blankets, and sanitary items that are otherwise not readily available to the seniors. The recipients were excited to receive the gift bags and the smiles on the residents' faces made the boys' day. Mathai said, I had several set backs so didn't get to do the project quite the way I wanted to do it, but still collected a few pairs of socks to give to my contact for the project. Lesson learned - have a plan B if the original plan doesn't work out, and don't give up. Also, be more proactive in the beginning of the project. Sponsor: Jennifer Webster.

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Arlington ISD

Addison D., 1st year member

Project: Handcrafted Blankets – Addison and three friends brainstormed project names and a flyer to help request donations needed to make four blankets for Project Linus, an organization that gives blankets to children in need. This project taught Addison how hard it can sometimes be to request donations and help from other people. She hopes the children who receive the blankets enjoy them. Addison said, Success in not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Sponsor: Brian Jackson.

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Birdville ISD

Avery S., 3rd year member

Project: Bears for a Purpose – Avery, with the help of her theatre teacher, her mom, and her theatre department, collected 35 bears. These bears were donated to Cook Children's Medical Center Spiritual Care Department to be given to patients for comfort during their overnight stay in the hospital. Avery said, 'This project helped me improve as a leader, because when a school wide bear drive wasn't approved I had to become more flexible on ways to obtain donations."” Sponsor: Sara Zinck.

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Boling ISD

Alyssa P., 1st year member

Project: Hometown Hygiene Helpers – Emily and Alyssa enlisted the support of three teachers and school leaders to promote their service project. They set up collection boxes in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade classrooms and a local business to receive donations of hygiene products, such as shampoo/conditioner, body wash, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, combs, etc. The donations of over 10 cases of travel toothpaste, and approximately 75 other hygiene items benefited those receiving services at The Crisis Center. The girls felt a sense of peace in knowing they were helping others, because good hygiene leads to better health, confidence, and overall growth. Alyssa said, I had to get my school community together and lead other people. It was nice to work my sponsor and school principal on ideas for success.” Sponsor: Kent Kopnicky.

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Boling ISD

Emily P., 1st year member

Project: Hometown Hygiene Helpers – Emily and Alyssa, enlisted the support of three teachers and school leaders to promote their service project, Hometown Hygiene Helpers. They set up collection boxes in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade classrooms and a local business to receive donations of hygiene products such as shampoo/conditioner, body wash, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, combs, etc. The donations of over 10 cases of travel toothpaste, and approximately 75 other hygiene items will benefit those receiving services of The Crisis Center. The girls felt a sense of peace in knowing they were helping others, because good hygiene leads to better health, confidence, and overall growth. Emily said, It felt good to give back to my community. The challenge to get my school and community involved made me step out of my comfort zone to speak up for this important cause.” Sponsor: Kent Kopnicky.

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Boyd ISD

Lindsey G., 1st year member

Project: Cause for Paws – Lindsey recruited her friends and asked for donations on the announcements at school to collect 20 bags of animal food, 25 bags of treats, at least 25 dog toys and 10 cat toys, and about 10 grooming items and accessories for both dogs and cats. The donations benefited the animals in the shelter and helped fill care packages sent home with animals when they get adopted. Lindsey said, I did encounter a few setbacks in the beginning , but then I was able to figure out what needed to happen to fix the setbacks and made me more confident. I felt good to know that there were people around me that want to help our community as well.” Sponsor: Lainey Travis.

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Burleson ISD

Kayda K., 1st year member

Project: Meaningful for Motherhood – Kayda went though unwanted or small clothing to donate to Berry Goods Buy in Fort Worth, Texas. She was able to find around 65 things of clothing to donate to Berry Goods Buy, which would sell those clothing items. The Berry Goods Buy store received the items that they could sell off to women and children in need to help them get back on their feet. Kayda said, I had some difficulties though the way, but it didn't stop me from becoming a generous leader. Its nice to talk more and engage with my community this way.” Sponsor: Teri Wesson.

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Carroll ISD

Leighton G., 1st year member

Project: Drop a Toy, Spread Some Joy! – Leighton and her best friend, Whitney, collected and donated over 100 toys, 10 gifts cards, and many online orders to GRACE Christmas Cottage in Grapevine to give children and families in need a Christmas to remember. Leighton said, “I believe this experience has shown me that I can start and run my own events as well as be successful. I was super happy to be able to help so many little kids and just wish I could have seen their reactions. This was definitely a moment I will never forget.” Sponsor: Sandy Laquey.

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Carroll ISD

Madeline B., 3rd year member

Project: EmpowerBeadsByMaddie – Madeline and her family made over 80 bracelets to donate to the Children's Hospital. The bracelets are made out of natural healing stones and each one has an encouraging message on it. Madeline said, I learned how to work with people who don't always see eye to eye.” Sponsor: Audrey Baek.

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Carroll ISD

Whitney J., 1st year member

Project: Drop a Toy, Spread Some Joy! – Whitney and her friend Leighton collected one hundred toys, ten gift cards, and many online orders for items for the GRACE Christmas Cottage. The donated gifts were distributed to kids who would not otherwise receive toys for Christmas. Whitney said, We learned that communication is key when working together.” Sponsor: Daphne Barnard.

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Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD

Carissa H., 1st year member

Project: Christmas Cheer for All – Carissa and three American Legion Junior Auxiliary members shopped for, wrapped, and delivered Christmas gifts for ten students in need at Good Elementary School. They worked with the American Auxiliary using money raised through various fundraisers and donations. This program impacted the recipients by giving them a great Christmas and showing them there is love in the world. Carissa said, I learned how to delegate tasks and lead younger children while having fun. The project reinforced my love of service and giving back to the community even when I couldn't see the response of the recipients directly.” Sponsor: Nikki Ellis.

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Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD

Darby M., 1st year member

Project: Candid Canines – Darby took photos of shelter dogs at Carrollton Animal Services Shelter, and made flyers to hang up all around Carrollton to help dogs get adopted. She hung up 69 flyers in many different places. After her first shoot with them, quite a few got adopted. She is continuing to do this every month. Darby said, I had an entire event planned out ready to make it happen, but there was some confusion. I had to scrap the whole plan that I had made and go a completely different route but in doing so it made me realize that no matter what I did, it would have some sort of impact.” Sponsor: Ashley Bloomberg.

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Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD

Ethan J., 1st year member

Project: The Art of Giving – With the help of his sponsor, Ms. Phillips, and two friends, Ethan collected 105 art supplies items such as colored pencils, crayons, and markers and donated them to the children at St. Jude Hospital. This benefited the kids by helping them cope with their anxiety. Ethan said, I started small, but each step molded me into the leader I am now.” Sponsor: Kathy Phillips.

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Clear Creek ISD

James G., 3rd year member

Project: Falcon Nation Toy Drive – James enlisted the help of his school's student council to implement a toy drive that would benefit elementary school students that feed into Clear Lake High School. Together, they collected 168 toys that were distributed equally across these campuses. The success of the toy drive afforded many kids to have a bright and joyful holiday season. James said, By demonstrating leadership qualities, I was able to pitch the idea to the members of the student counci. They were eager to join in the fundraising efforts of the toy drive. By organizing the effort into groups I was able to delegate certain aspects of the initiative to ensure a successful outcome.” Sponsor: Christiana Cavaliere.

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Clear Creek ISD

Jayden C., 1st year member

Project: Joyful Generosity – Jayden, along with her sister, family members, and church members, collected 160 toys, clothing items, baby items, and other necessities. The items collected were donated to The Children’s Center in Galveston right before Christmas. The donation helped the Center assist many families with children. Jayden said, Starting out I originally wanted to collect hygiene items and create boxes for children under the age of five, but had to change the types of donations I was collecting realizing how difficult it was. Although things didn’t work out how I wanted, I was able to change things up and figure out what would work and was able to still help children in need.” Sponsor: Catherine Rudolph.

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Clear Creek ISD

Logan M., 3rd year member

Project: Books from Kids for Kids – Logan worked with three students to collect books at two elementary schools, Wedgewood and P.H. Greene. They collected 3,522 books which will be given to Books Between Kids, an organization that gives books to kids in Houston that don’t have books at home. Reading is important to help kids with their education and having books at home will help kids develop their reading skills and create a love of reading. Logan said, I learned how to use email as the primary form of communication to reach our goal.” Sponsor: Toni Davis.

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College Station ISD

Lance T., 3rd year member

Project: Sleep in Heavenly Peace – Lance and his community collected over 30 assorted bedding items for Sleep In Heavenly Peace. These supplies will help less fortunate people in his community have a great place to sleep. Sponsor: Kristen Cain.

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Conroe ISD

Catarina P., 1st year member

Project: Joy for Clothes - Catarina and her social group of friends collected seven bags of clothes for the homeless served by Hope Beyond Bridges. Catarina said, "This experience brought me joy. I learned more about my leadership skills and that sharing and giving can bring joy to me and others. Using my leadership skills, I was able to grow and be greater for the future." Sponsor: Regina Perez, Mother.

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Conroe ISD

Chloe M., 1st year member

Project: The Meyer Project – Chloe set up donation boxes around her school and her mom's office and had online posts announcing her fundraiser for the Montgomery County Women's Center. She collected six big donation boxes filled with games, shampoo, conditioner, feminine supplies, birthday bags, cake mixes and icing, party decorations, and backpacks for school. Chloe hopes these things will help the women's shelter and make the people who receive them happy. Chloe said, There were a few issues in the project and getting everything situated, but in the end the project was a success and I got to help my community” Sponsor: Staci Meyer.

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Conroe ISD

Jaelyn M., 1st year member

Project: Lend a Helping Paw – Jaelyn asked those around her for donations to help an animal shelter. After collecting everything her community had to offer, she dropped it off at the place where donations are collected. Jaelyn said, I learned the importance of letting others help when you need it. It was very enjoyable to help those in need.” Sponsor: Michelle Beineman.

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Conroe ISD

Regan M., 1st year member

Project: Helping Hounds – Regan and the Grand Oaks High School Student Council collected dog supplies for a local dog rescue organization, My Chi & Me Rescue. The group collected 11 bags of dog food, eight boxes of dog pee pads, and eight dog collars to support foster families working with My Chi & Me Rescue. Regan said, This project helped me improve as a leader by helping me learn better communications skills by working with several different people and organizations to accomplish a goal.” Sponsor: Jacob Anderson.

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Corpus Christi ISD

Diya T., 1st year member

Project: S.O.S. (Serve Our Soldiers). Help serve those who serve us! - Diya enlisted three of her friends to help gather items for care packages for our soldiers. This group of girls collect hundreds of dollars worth of items and shipped them to Alaska via USPS. They were able to raise all shipping costs as well. The soldiers received all the packages just in time for Christmas. Diya said, "At first, I did not see many donations, but I was able to post flyers and donation boxes in many different locations as well as get an interview on my local news channel. Working harder and talking to people made me feel my cause was important and that I could help be a part of something big." Sponsor: Amanda Garza, Social Studies Teacher.

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Cypress-Fairbanks ISD

Brenden B., 2nd year member

Project: Cypress Lucky Mutt Adoption and Donation Event – Brenden and two school friends collaborated with Cypress Lucky Mutt Rescue and Woofgang Bakery to successfully facilitate a dog adoption and donation event. The trio helped with the adoption of six out of the eight dogs at the event. The team also collected crates, pet food, and other dog necessities and raised $5,200 in monetary donations and grants. This impactful event not only provided loving homes for the adopted dogs but also ensured the well-being of other animals at the shelter by supplying them with much needed resources while growing both organizations' outreach. Brenden said, Leadership is not just about guiding or influencing others, but also about learning from them and fostering a sense of unity for a purpose.” Sponsor: Regina Gonzalez.

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Cypress-Fairbanks ISD

Michelle B., 2nd year member

Project: Happy Tails – Michelle and her friend Macy assisted in an adoption event and donated food and crates to Cypress Lucky Mutt Rescue. In total, the group collected $5,200 in monetary donations and six puppies were adopted during the event. Michelle said, It felt wonderful to provide loving homes for puppies in need.” Sponsor: Regina Gonzalez.

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Denton ISD

Brandon B., 6th year member

Project: Food for Friends – Brandon partnered with the Marcus Clay Target Team to collect canned and boxed goods for Lovepacs Flower Mound, an organization that delivers boxes of meals to students in need. The food collected will be specifically used for the summer. Brandon said, This is my second year partnering with Lovepacs and I hope to do it again. It is an awesome experience that lets me help out others in my community. This also gives me experience in creating and organizing large scale projects while having to achieve and objective with a large team.” Sponsor: Holly Botyos.

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Denton ISD

Bri B., 6th year member

Project: Feeding Denton - Bri recruited her dance team to help her collect canned goods and other food. The group collected 314 food items for LovePacs to give to people in need during the holidays. Her project allowed many families to be able to have food during the holidays. Bri said, "This project helped me learn how to properly communicate and lead a project that helps our community." Sponsor: Holly Botyos, Parent.

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Dickinson ISD

Kylie T., 1st year member

Project: Paws for Donations! – Kylie and her friend Miranda put posters around Kylie's school to request donations of supplies for League City Animal Care, a no-kill shelter. They were overjoyed to see 158 items wheeled in through their front entrance. Kylie said, The Alumni Council project, the Leadership Camp, and all the people who volunteer to work there--they all helped me better myself and gain leadership skills, as well as social skills, by pushing me to take the lead and speak up.” Sponsor: Ashlee Pearson, Teacher.

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Dripping Springs ISD

Ryder T., 3rd year member

Project: Cents for Swimmers – Ryder and his fellow teammates donated over $2,000 to local swim programs in their community. The fundraiser, Cents for Swimmers, also used its money to help the financial aid fund at their YMCA so those who couldn't afford swim lessons still had the opportunity. Ryder said, This has been an amazing year of new beginnings for my fundraiser. I even had a booth with a couple of fellow swimmers in my community that were interested in my project!" Sponsor: Andrea McCarthy.

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Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD

Jaxon D., 1st year member

Project: Sportsmanship On and Off the Field - Jaxon and two team members from different sports teams helped clean up the Saginaw Youth Associations's football fields, practice fields, and adjacent parks. In total, the group collected sixty bags of trash. This benefitted everyone who visits the areas. Jaxon said, "Clean facilities and a clean atmosphere gives us motivation, peace of mind, and an overall good feeling when we play." Sponsor: Elizabeth Howell, Saginaw Youth Association Board Member.

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Eanes ISD

Ellie S., 1st year member

Project: Aid in Edification – Ellie and her friend Ameera helped two teachers shrink their workload and create fun, safe, learning environments for their students. They were at West Ridge Middle School every Wednesday morning to help out by organizing , replenishing students' school boxes with pencils, white boards, and erasers, and doing any time-consuming tasks to help out Ms. Behnke and her students. Ellie said, I was more than excited to work with Ms. Bender and Behnke. I am even happier that we could benefit their students as well. Even though we (Ameera and I ) had to switch sponsors because of schedule conflicts, we worked around the challenges to find a new sponsor who welcomed us with open arms. We are very lucky to have worked with both sponsors but especially Ms. Behnke for allowing us to create better environments for her students.” Sponsor: Kristin Behnke.

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Ector County ISD

Project: Feeding Friends in Odessa – Antonio and several of his schoolmates collected about 200 cans of non-perishable foods for the local West Texas Food Bank. The donation helped feed those who are in need of food. Antonio said, I stumbled upon several obstacles when deciding where to get people to donate to my cause, but, while working with my classmates and leading an effort, I was able to find suitable lists of people to ask for donations.” Sponsor: Cari Rocha.

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El Paso ISD

Katherine K., 6th year member

Project: Hygiene for the Holidays II – Katherine enlisted the support of her high school’s Key Club members to help collect hygiene products for clients of the Opportunity Center for the Homeless. The goal of collecting a minimum of 150 hygiene products was surpassed with 200 hygiene products collected. The clients of the Opportunity Center for the Homeless received personal care items during the holiday season which improved their self-sufficiency in meeting their basic needs and outlook during an often stressful time. Katherine said, The support of my peers in the Key Club assisted in maximizing the ability to help as many people as possible while also building positive community relations through acts of service and kindness.” Sponsor: Sarah Ensley.

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Forney ISD

Anthony F., 1st year member

Project: Home For The Holidays - Anthony and four of his friends spent two days collecting donations for the Forney Animal Shelter. They then went to the shelter to carry out an adoption event. Anthony said, "I feel that this has given me a sense of initiative." Sponsor: Jeanne Brady, Teacher.

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Fort Bend ISD

Advika A., 2nd year member

Project: Mathistry4u – Advika created content for the Mathistry4U website and visited Dulles Elementary School to demonstrate interesting chemistry experiments! Together with Anant, another Alumni Council member, she fostered the seeds of curiosity in young minds and donated over 20 kits to disadvantaged students. Together they spread the love of chemistry, enabled students to witness a variety of safe chemistry experiments within their homes, and provided kids access to equal education opportunities. Advika said, The Girl Scouts slogan is 'Do a good turn daily.' Through this project, I was prepared and ready to teach and create materials for younger girls and students in need. It feels good to help the community!” Sponsor: Marilupe Hren, Ph.D.

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Fort Bend ISD

Alexis F., 3rd year member

Project: Bringing the Buffet – Alexis and her friend organized food to be sent to hungry children. The group that they were a part of put together over 32,400 meals at the Houston Food Bank. The students learned about the immense amount of hunger in the Houston area, and what all goes into running a food bank. Alexis said, I learned about the range of access that people in my community may or may not have.” Sponsor: Charles Summerhill.

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Fort Bend ISD

Anant A., 2nd year member

Project: Mathistry4U – Anant visited Dulles Elementary School to demonstrate interesting chemistry experiments. Together with his sister, he has fostered the seeds of curiosity in young minds and has donated over 20 kits to disadvantaged students. Together they spread their love of chemistry, enabled students to witness a variety of safe chemistry experiments within their homes, and allowed kids access to equal education opportunities. Anant said, Learning about my philanthropic priorities helped me focus my energy and time on something I truly cared about.” Sponsor: Marilupe Hren, Ph.D.

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Fort Bend ISD

Caleb H., 1st year member

Project: Turtle Island Beach Clean-up - Caleb, two friends, and his family collected 61.36 pounds of trash off the beaches of Galveston. They collected and provided data for NOAA to help maintain a healthier environment. A healthier environment means cleaner beaches to promote tourism and boost Galveston's economy. Caleb said, "In this project I had to reschedule due to weather and overall it was hard to communicate. But it was an amazing experience and helped me grow in better communication, planning and coordination skills. I also love helping the ocean." Sponsor: Andrea Smith, Teacher.

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Fort Bend ISD

Charlize L., 8th year member

Project: Share Warmth, One Coat at a Time - Charlize and her family distributed more than 150 coats and jackets, sandwiches, and blankets on one of the coldest days of the year to homeless individuals at Houston's Tent City. They donated additional coats to the Fort Bend Women's Center for women and their children. Charlize said, "People don’t choose their hardships but are forced to brave them. The least I can do is ease that process." Sponsor: Jam Lopez, Diagnostician.

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Fort Bend ISD

Demira M., 1st year member

Project: Readers Unite: Empower through Books! – Demira guided her Student Council team to help with a book donation drive because of her avid passion for reading and strong belief that her book drive will benefit those who may not have had opportunities or access to books. She collected over 200 books which were donated to Ronald McDonald House Charities. Demira said, This project helped me learn A LOT about time management and perseverance. Though there were quite a few rough patches along the way, I learned to think wisely and recover.” Sponsor: Ladislada Rogers.

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Fort Bend ISD

Haven L., 1st year member

Project: Share Warmth – Haven continued a service project her sister started several years ago. She collected over 2,000 pieces of warm clothing to be donated to homeless Afghanistan refugees during winter to help them stay safe in extreme weather and poor conditions. The leftover clothing was donated to Fort Bend ISD Women's Center. Haven said, “'Your small act of kindness can provide warmth and comfort to someone in need.' I personally find this quote truly inspiring. It expresses how one small thing can lead to a spark of kindness to people.” Sponsor: Jam Lopez.

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Fort Bend ISD

Lana N., 3rd year member

Project: Books4Good – Lana and her friend are passionate about closing the educational gap and found a way to provide resources to underprivileged students. Together they collected 602 books by reaching out to local organizations and members in the community. The books were donated to the Sienna Branch Library, where they will be put on the shelves to expand accessibility to books for all students. Lana said, I truly strengthened my organizational and outreach skills, allowing me to work with various other clubs in my school to collect hundreds of books!” Sponsor: Caitlin Zuber.

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Fort Bend ISD

Landon M., 1st year member

Project: Nourish the Neighborhood – Landon and two friends donated 100 lbs. of food to Second Mile, an organization that provides food and healthcare to underserved people in the community. Landon said, This experience helped me understand how to deal with other people and that you always need a plan B; this made me a stronger leader.” Sponsor: Amy Mathis, Teacher.

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Fort Bend ISD

Lucile W., 2nd year member

Project: Homemade Joy – Lucile and several of her peers set out to make and collect 60 homemade cards of many genres for Creative Kindness, an association that collects homemade cards to send to people who need them. The cards will be delivered to people in the hospital and families who are suffering from a loss. In addition to using their creativity, the students learned that you can use hobbies and things you enjoy doing to spread kindness and to benefit the community. Lucile said, I learned how to speak up in an environment where I was uncomfortable to ask my peers for assistance. I was scared of rejection or failure. It turns out, many of my peers were happy to help me.” Sponsor: Supriya Jha.

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Fort Bend ISD

Nandini P., 2nd year member

Project: Donate to Feel Great – Nandini recruited neighborhood friends to help her bring awareness to the fact that many people do not donate clothes and they should. This project benefited the charity clothing collection by helping them be recognized. Nandini said, Even thought sometimes I felt like giving up, persevering had greater results.” Sponsor: Aparna Pradhan.

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Fort Bend ISD

Olivia Z., 2nd year member

Project: Books4Good – Olivia and her friend Lana are passionate about closing the educational gap and found a way to provide resources to underprivileged students. "Books4Good" collected 602 books by reaching out to local organizations and members in the community. The books were donated to the Sienna Branch Library, where they will be put on the shelves to expand accessibility to books for all students. Olivia said, Leading the book drive and witnessing the impact of our donations on narrowing the educational gap has been transformative. Through this experience, I've learned that true leadership is not just about guiding others but also about empowering communities towards a shared goal. It taught me the importance of collaboration, empathy, and perseverance in driving positive change. As a leader, I've grown to understand that the greatest fulfillment comes not from personal achievements, but from the collective impact we make on the lives of others.” Sponsor: Caitlin Zuber.

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Fort Bend ISD

Tyler L., 3rd year member

Project: Give a Book, Share the Knowledge – Tyler decided to collect unused books from his school and repurpose them for other people. He acquired over 200 books across a wide variety of genres. He gave the books to multiple organizations. Tyler said, Even though I couldn't collect a lot of books at the start, I kept on pushing and got to my goal.” Sponsor: Jam Lopez.

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Frisco ISD

Ashlynn B., 2nd year member

Project: Bundles of Love – Ashlynn and Alex raised around $300 and collected over 200 items including blankets, wet wipes, Band-Aids, hand sanitizers, etc. for care packages to be distributed to people experiencing homelessness across the D/FW metroplex. Ashlynn said, When I give back to the community, I feel it coming back to me, in joy and unison.” Sponsor: Scoot Mills.

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Frisco ISD

Dhanvi B., 2nd year member

Project: Comforting the Cold – Dhanvi and five friends collected over 2,000 items of clothing and donated them to Arms of Hope Donation Center. The clothing benefited the less fortunate in the community by helping them stay a bit warmer this past winter. Dhanvi said, We as a group learned that a little bit of effort and time can make another person's day much, much better.” Sponsor: Vishnu Bethalem.

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Frisco ISD

Shruti A., 2nd year member

Project: Art for Kind Hearts - Shruti was inspired by St. Jude’s commitment to cancer treatment. She consulted with her art teacher to create over 75 Valentine’s Day cards with uplifting messages for St. Jude's patients. She led the project with the help of two of her peers. In addition, her parents offered to donate $5 for every card to St. Jude’s Research Hospital raising over $375. Shruti shared, "I learned important traits of leadership such as how to guide others with perseverance and compassion when working towards a goal for our community." Sponsor: Angela Mehta, Art Teacher.

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Frisco ISD

Yuti C., 2nd year member

Project: MediFund – Yuti gathered a team of volunteers to raise money through local events and online crowdfunding for the MediFund initiative. The funds raised were used to purchase essential medical equipment for two community medical colleges, benefiting 300 students directly. This project not only provided crucial resources for medical education but also strengthened community ties and fostered a sense of shared purpose among the participants. Yuti said, Working with my team to raise funds for community medical colleges not only made a difference in the lives of students but also helped me grow as a leader, learning to inspire and organize others towards a common goal.” Sponsor: Kevin Watts.

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Grand Prairie ISD

Lauren G., 1st year member

Project: Bear Necessities – Lauren and a team of six classmates collaborated to craft teddy grahams that were circulated throughout the school. Through this initiative, they collected over 110 wish list items to support Family Gateway, an organization that helps those who have found themselves homeless. This experience instilled a sense of responsibility towards others, empowering Lauren to make a difference in the lives of those in need. Lauren said, I faced challenges and had to navigate through limitations. Although it was tough, pushing through and learning from those challenges ultimately made me a better leader.” Sponsor: Andrea Cook.

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Grand Prairie ISD

Shannon R., 2nd year member

Project: Clean Up GP! – Shannon and three friends helped to clean up Friendship Park in Grand Prairie. Together they picked up six bags of trash and litter. This activity benefited community members by keeping the park safe while also cleaning the environment. Shannon said, Even though we did not have the easiest working conditions, we came together as a team to support each other.” Sponsor: Sarah Teubner.

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Harlingen Consolidated ISD

Frida R., 1st year member

Project: Stay Clean Go Green – Frida and two friends created a small recycling movement for their school which benefitted the students, teachers, and janitors. Allowing students and teachers to make their own effort to recycle a few papers here and there showed them how easy it was and resulted in less clean up for the janitors as well. Frida said, This experience helped me to become a better leader by giving me an opportunity to put my skill base into action. I was able to direct and guide both of my friends and in return, I improved my management.” Sponsor: Susan Allen.

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Hays Consolidated ISD

Delaney M., 2nd year member

Project: Pet Tags for PAWS – Delaney and her friend Marjorie created pet tags for the local animal shelter (PAWS) to help increase adoption rates. They created nearly fifty resin dog tags, customized to each dog’s personality. In the end, twelve dogs were adopted in a one-month time frame, and the pet tags added a special charm when they went to their forever homes. Delaney said, This service project improved me as a leader because I applied an interest of mine (interacting with animals), to helping my community which brought me joy and a sense of belonging.” Sponsor: Anastasia Salazar.

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Holliday ISD

Evan H., 2nd year member

Project: Orienteering in the Outdoors – Evan recruited a friend to help him teach about fifty students how to use a map, compass, and GPS. After their lesson, they then went on a one-mile hike using their new-found knowledge. This benefited the cub scouts in the Northwest Texas Council. Evan said, I struggled to keep my class mainstream towards the kids; but it helped both the kids learn a new skill, and I learned how to work with young kids.” Sponsor: Jenka Conrad.

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Houston ISD

Cindy T., 3rd year member

Project: Books For The Brain – Cindy, with help from her classmates, collected over 150 books over the course of three weeks. The group donated the books to the Houston Public Library so young students and adults could borrow a variety of new books. Cindy said, It was challenging to work around the schedules and commitments of my team members, but the end result was well-worth the effort of all those involved.” Sponsor: Shuruq Gyagenda.

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Houston ISD

James P., 2nd year member

Project: The Houston Instrument Share – Working through the American Festival for the Arts, James and his friend collected used instruments and helped redistribute them to schools for families in need. Within two weeks, they collected five instruments, a flute, two trumpets, a ukulele, and a cello, which have all found new homes at schools across the Greater Houston Area. They are still getting both instrument requests and donations and hope to continue this project to help make music more accessible to all who are unable to afford their own instrument. James said, This project has helped me learn how to connect with people from all kinds of backgrounds..” Sponsor: Mark Buller.

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Houston ISD

Sofia S., 2nd year member

Project: Casa Hope: Donations that Make a Difference – Sofia enlisted the help of her classmates and her school to collect over 1,000 items including food packages, baby supplies, personal hygiene items, and toiletries. She donated the items to Casa Hope, an organization that strives to build better lives and provide housing and safe environments for children in neglectful, abusive homes, or that struggle with HIV. These donations helped provide necessary resources to feed and care for the children. Sofia said, This experience has taught me the importance of determination. I go to a challenging school, and students are constantly busy. This made it difficult to find others to help assist and lead in my project. I stayed persistent and worked hard, which eventually the project made it to my school's weekly email, and the project began to gain attention and donations.” Sponsor: Penny Jones.

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Houston ISD

Sonia Z., 1st year member

Project: Extra Care for Elder Care – Sonia and two friends visited The Gardens of Bellaire Nursing Home three times for three hours each and provided extra help for the staff. In addition, they provided some entertainment for the residents by playing music. The staff received extra help and the residents were able to talk to new people and receive some entertainment. Sonia said, We were nervous at first, but after getting used to the environment, we were able to push back our shyness and start helping people.” Sponsor: Aleta Cole.

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Huntsville ISD

Aaron P., 1st year member

Project: Pet Food and Supply Drive – Aaron raised $100, food, and animal toys to benefit the local animal shelter. He learned that motivating others is challenging. Aaron intends to redouble his efforts for next year's service project. Aaron said, It's take a lot of self-motivation to motivate others as a leader.” Sponsor: Elizabeth Matchett.

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Industrial ISD

Aubriana R., 4th year member

Project: Eggstra Thanks to “Eggstra” Special Staff – Aubriana and a group of friends gathered donations from their community and made Easter baskets for the Industrial High School custodians and cafeteria workers. They did this to show their appreciation for the under-appreciated staff members who work behind the scenes to make sure students are presented with the best resources in order to help them in their educational journey. Aubriana said, This experience helped me improve as a leader as it helped me open my eyes to the amount of work these amazing people do daily in order to benefit others. Their selflessness and hard work really inspired me to become a better leader in those aspects.” Sponsor: Emma Medina.

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Industrial ISD

Katherine R., 4th year member

Project: A Holly Jolly Christmas - Katherine recruited seven friends to put on a Christmas performance at the Ganado Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. The performance was filled with skits and songs to spread Christmas cheer to the residents. Katherine shared, "I spent an amazing time with my friends incorporating our love of performing into a project that helped bring others joy." Sponsor, Beth Auble, Teacher

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Judson ISD

Royce M., 2nd year member

Project: Hygiene Heroes - Royce, with the help of his peers, worked with the community to collect three racks of clothes, three pairs of shoes, and almost 50 hygiene products! The collected items were provided to students in need at Judson Middle School. Royce said, "I learned how much our community is willing to help out, if you just ask." Sponsor: Dru Sanchez, School Social Worker.

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Katy ISD

Brianna L., 1st year member

Project: Bri's Bounty: A Food Drive for the Community – Brianna and three friends teamed up to collect over 100 pounds of canned goods and non-perishable food. Over the winter they created and decorated collection boxes and presented their project to their classmates. With the school by their side, they were able to make this donation to the Houston Food Bank through the help of the Royalty Church, a local food pantry and distribution center. Brianna said, Hosting a food drive has truly improved my leadership skills by teaching me how to motivate and coordinate a team towards a common goal. Through this experience, I've learned the power of collective action and the importance of fostering collaboration.” Sponsor: James Mohyde.

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Katy ISD

Kaila P., 2nd year member

Project: Colors of Kindness – Kaila and ten friends tie-dyed t-shirts to donate to the Bethany House Sto. Nino Orphanage in Guiguinto, Philippines. Through the efforts of Kaila, her friends, and her family in the Philippines, Kaila donated nearly 500 t-shirts to children in need and gave back to a community that has given her so much. Kaila said, Finding time to balance my service project with my academic and extracurricular obligations proved to be a challenge; however, I am eternally grateful to everyone that supported me on my journey. With the support of others around me, I was able to hone my time management skills and strengthen my ability to effectively and efficiently communicate.” Sponsor: Maricar Pierson.

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Katy ISD

Kristopher H., 6th year member

Project: Warm Blanket Drive – Kris enlisted the help of two neighbors to collect towels, blankets, bedding, bowls, dog food, and treats for the Katy Animal Control Shelter. This was to help the shelter prepare for an influx of homeless dogs in the coming summer months. Kristopher said, Lone Star Leadership Academy has helped me improve as a leader by exposing me to different experiences that require me to be a leader.” Sponsor: Marlea Hodgin.

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Katy ISD

Sydney R., 1st year member

Project: Ho Ho Holiday Gift Drive - Sydney recruited five friends to help her collect 25 toys and games and $140 in gift cards for the Katy Christian Ministries' Santa's Sleigh program. The organization distributed the donations to families in need to help them give their children a little something special for Christmas. Sydney shared, "As we worked together to achieve our common goal, we learned the value of teamwork, community, and support." Sponsor: Melody Pohla, Teacher.

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Keene ISD

Yaerelis R., 1st year member

Project: Passion Project for Pets – Yaerelis recruited two friends to help her collect donations for the Cleburne Animal Shelter. She made flyers and shared the shelter's needs through social media, her school, and church. With the help of some amazing people, Yaerelis collected 100 blankets, 30 stainless steel food bowls, 120 mice cat toys, and 48 knot dog toys. The Cleburne Animal Shelter was thankful for this donation and for her sharing the organizatio'ns needs with the community. Yaerelis said, No matter the setbacks in this journey I kept in mind that 'With faith as your compass, you can navigate any storm and find peace in the midst of chaos.”' Sponsor: Courtney Kittrell.

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Keller ISD

Brooke H., 2nd year member

Project: Brooke For Cook Children's – Brooke and two of her school friends passed out flyers and received donations for Cook Children's. They received over 20 items including baby items, board games, and other items from friends, family, and the neighborhood. Brooke dropped off the donations to the Cook Children's Facility. Brooke said, "I learned how to be persistent and advocate for myself.” Sponsor: Amber Chance, Teacher.

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Keller ISD

Evelyn L., 1st year member

Project: Snowy Open Mic Night - Evelyn recruited eight of her fellow theatre officers to help her host an open mic night for all the theatre departments in the district and encouraged all the participants to bring brand new or gently used toys for Toys for Tots. The open mic night not only connected students in the area but also benefited a good cause. Evelyn and her team spent days making decorations, hanging up Christmas lights, and collecting toy donations to make this a holiday event Keller ISD will never forget! Evelyn shared, "The leadership lessons especially helped when working with other people, because I was able to give them tasks that I know they'd enjoy. Knowing who you're working with really helps when trying to organize an event." Sponsor: Lunday Maninger, Theatre Director

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Keller ISD

Grace K., 1st year member

Project: Giving Things Back to your Community (Milestone Church) – Grace and two friends pooled their resources to raise money to donate to a church in need. They organized a bake sale and a community fundraiser, collecting a generous sum over the weekend. By the end of their fundraising efforts, they had raised enough money to make a significant contribution to the church's cause, leaving them feeling happy and grateful for the opportunity to help others. Grace said, "Raising money for my church transformed me into a better leader. How? Giving back taught me the power of empathy, teamwork, and dedication. I'm grateful for every opportunity to lead with purpose."” Sponsor: Damon McMurdo.

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Keller ISD

Maggie G., 2nd year member

Project: Full Bellies = Happy Tails – Maggie and a friend collected dry and canned dog and cat food and one-gallon Ziploc bags at their school and in their neighborhood for Don't Forget to Feed Me. Pets hold a special place in Maggie's heart; the items collected will help families in their community feed their pets during financially difficult times. Maggie said, Presenting my project to my classmates increased my confidence which will make me a better leader in the future.” Sponsor: Megan Hieger.

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Keller ISD

Samantha B., 3rd year member

Project: A Tribute to Teachers - Samantha and her friend volunteered at The Welman Project where they organized various supplies available to teachers at no cost. Samantha said, The organization I worked with is truly amazing and I felt extremely proud knowing I am part of such an impactful operation that benefits teachers state wide.” Sponsor: Sha Olive, Teacher.

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Kerrville ISD

Jayde M., 1st year member

Project: Big Hearts for Little Miracles – Jayde recruited her family, friends and school to donate baby items such as diapers, formula, bottles, pacifiers, soap, powder, and lotion which she donated to the Ronald McDonald House. Her project benefited premature babies and the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House. Jayde said, Helping others in need helps the world succeed.” Sponsor: Cecilia Arredondo.

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Klein ISD

Elizabeth B., 5th year member

Project: T-Shirts to Toys – Elizabeth recruited twenty of her fellow FFA members to take time after school to make dog toys out of old FFA shirts. Together, they were able to make fifty dog toys which were donated to Abandoned Animal Rescue. The members helped make a difference in dogs' lives. Elizabeth said, Even though my members and I couldn't directly volunteer with AAR, we all still felt the impact that we had made just making those dog toys.” Sponsor: Heather Rahm.

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Lago Vista ISD

Haylee G., 4th year member

Project: Cozier Critters – Haylee, her friend, and two family members raised money for Lifelong Friends Pet Adoptions. They also collected and donated 30 blankets and towels and 25 toys and treats. The donation provided animals in the shelter with food, blankets, and toys during the colder season. Haylee said, I learned that helping my community is more than just helping the people living here.” Sponsor: Naomi Giroux.

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Leakey ISD

Leeland M., 1st year member

Project: Mimi's Gift - Leeland recruited his classmates and the community to help gather donations to give to the Cedar Hills Geriatric Center in Camp Wood, TX. The group collected10 stuffed animals, 147 pairs of socks, nine games, 100 sticks of lip balm, four puzzles, toiletries, and 100 tubes of skin moisturizer. Leeland said, "My Mimi shared so much love and I just want to share that with others because it was a special gift that she gave me." Sponsor: Becky Hooten, Teacher.

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Loop ISD

Natalie S. , 1st year member,

Project: Supporting Others in Need - Natalie recruited her little brother, Eli, to help her take care of Margarita Valenzuela for a day. They provided her with meals, groceries, and activities to keep her occupied. They collected over $200 dollars worth of groceries for her. Natalie shared, "I had two project ideas flop, but it made me come up with solutions quickly and taught me to keep working. Making Margarita's day was absolutely worth all the setbacks." Sponsor: Christina Silerio, Mother

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Maud ISD

Graham H., 5th year member

Project: Ho, Ho, Help! - Graham joined with Maud's Middle and High School Student Councils to collect toys for children in the community of Maud. Graham shared, “I like times that we all can come together for a greater good in my community. Knowing that what we collected made a child smile made my Christmas." Sponsor: Kayla Harrell, School Counselor and High School Student Council Advisor.

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North East ISD

Mason E., 1st year member

Project: Have a Heart for San Antonio Pets – Mason recruited students and teachers at his middle school to donate toys, dog and cat food, and treats to help the San Antonio Humane Society. During the month of February, the Tex Hill Community helped him collect nearly 100 items to donate to the local shelter. Mason said, This experience helped me become a better leader because leading other students gave me a real-life lesson on how to motivate and help others.” Sponsor: Mary Bowls.

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North East ISD

Maxine R., 1st year member

Project: Enchanting the Differently Abled to Play in the Dirt! – Maxine and one of her classmates reinforced planter boxes to provide the Down Syndrome community with opportunities to develop their motor skills through planting and growing flowers and plants. Maxine said, This opportunity has helped me learn that patience and understanding of different needs can fill my heart in more ways than one!” Sponsor: Amy Roussin.

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Northside ISD

Logan S., 1st year member

Project: Kleaning Kennels – Logan and members of his youth group collected donations of cleaning supplies for Hoff’s Hounds, a local dog boarding company. The donation of 127 items including toilet paper, vinegar, and towels, provided the company with desperately needed items to continue operations when spirits were low. Logan and his team learned that what seems like a small gesture can mean a lot to the recipient and can help them in many ways. Logan said, I had some minor problems but in the end with help from others I was able to acquire more leadership skills and make a helpful donation to my community.” Sponsor: Abie Mata.

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Northside ISD

Madeline S., 1st year member

Project: Fur Babies Need Love, Too – Madeline and her best friend raised awareness about stray animals and ways that the community could help care for animals, even if they could not adopt. They invited the community to donate slightly used blankets, towels, toys, and food for animals waiting for adoption in San Antonio. In all, the duo collected three large moving boxes of donations for animals at the shelter. Madeline said, I never realized how many animals were in need of love, care and attention that have been neglected until I donated. This made me want to make people more aware that strays should be the way to go and that we should not be supporting those who raise purebreds for profit because there are many animals out there who deserve a chance at life and to be loved." Sponsor: Alex-Marie Michael.

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Northwest ISD

Kyle D., 1st year member

Project: Books for Cooks! - Kyle enlisted the help of his sister and a friend to help collect 1,350 new and gently used books. The books were donated to Cook Children's for families staying at the hospital. Kyle shared, "Through this service project I learned how to communicate better with my principal, teachers, sister, friend, and community to facilitate and lead a successful book drive that ultimately helped families at Cook Children’s Hospital. It felt amazing to share my love of reading with others." Sponsor, Amy Swearingen, Teacher.

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Olney ISD

Laney K., 1st year member

Project: Books for Christmas - Laney raised over $1,000 through a baked good sale at Thanksgiving and business sponsorships. She used the funds to purchase books for children who signed up for the annual Toys for Tots program through the Olney Volunteer Fire Department. Four volunteers assisted her with making pies, purchasing over 110 books, and organizing books for delivery to the fire department. Laney and her friends learned a lot about raising funds, managing money, budgeting for items, and had a great time distributing books at the fire department. Laney said, "When I'm doing a project there is always someone else there, so it was hard to ask for donations alone. Having my friends volunteer was incredibly helpful. It felt great to help kids get books." Sponsor: Scotte Clark, Teacher.

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Overton ISD

Sara W., 1st year member

Project: Sara's Socks and Slippers for Seniors benefiting Overton Nursing Home - Sara and her cousin Kenai collected 48 pairs of socks and slippers for the Overton nursing home to help keep the residents' feet warm during the cold winter months. Sara said, "As my grandmother lived in a nursing home, from a young age it made me realize how people sometimes people forget about every how citizen should be included and remembered." Sponsor: Zachariary Griffin, Coach/Teacher.

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Pearland ISD

Yi Q., 1st year member

Project: Helping Homeless Pets - Yi and seven friends helped many homeless pets get food and homes. The Houston Humane Society was very grateful for more space for pets who needed it. Yi said, "“I think small work becomes big work if you put you heart into it”" Sponsor: Yidan Li, Data Analysis.

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Pflugerville ISD

Jackson E., 1st year member

Project: Fight for Planet Rights! – Jackson’s family, his best friend, and some lovely volunteers joined him in cleaning up lake Pflugerville in the hopes to reduce pollution in the area. They collected sixteen bags of trash over a span of two days. Jackson said, As a leader, this experience not only helped improve my social skills, but helped me realize that if a small team like mine could do all of the work we did in two days, it just shows how much a whole community can accomplish.” Sponsor: Kyle Egger.

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Pottsboro ISD

Alexa M., 1st year member

Project: Cole’s Closet Drive – Alexa recruited her friends and family to collect 100 toiletry items which she donated to Neblett Elementary’s Cole’s Closet, an organization that helps students have everything they need at school and at home. Alexa said, This experience has helped me to grow in my time managing skills and has helped me to realize just how much something that seems so small can have a big impact.” Sponsor: Valery Medford.

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Prosper ISD

Arnav A., 1st year member

Project: Can You Guess the Speed? - Arnav recruited his sister, Gargi, to see if people could guess how fast they could do certain things. People guessed how fast Arnav could solve a Rubik's Cube while Gargi operated the timer and scrambled the Cube. This benefited the Little Elm Library by providing funds for books. Arnav said, "This improved me as a leader because it showed me how to effectively lead people without making them feel bossed or uninvolved, while still making it an enjoyable experience for everybody and completing a goal." Sponsor: Milind Ambare, Father.

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Queen City ISD

Kynleigh A., 1st year member

Project: Loving Our Neighbors - Kynleigh and her mom, with the help of local community members, collected over 750 toys for the Cass County Toys for Tots. In addition to collecting toys, Kynleigh and local students helped sort and count toys to be distributed. Over 300 families who might have gone without toys for their children at Christmas were able to receive them. Kynleigh said, "Being able to give back to my community helps me be a better leader and helps me to learn more about the people around me." Sponsor: Rebecca Russell, Counselor.

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Richardson ISD

Ayelet R., 1st year member

Project: Letters to Soldiers – Ayelet and her friends wrote letters to members of the Israel Defence Forces. They gathered stationery supplies and wrote well wishes, including jokes and drawings, in each letter. Rabbi Andrew Paley delivered the letters when he traveled to Israel. Ayelet said, I enjoyed being able to send positive messages to soldiers fighting in a war.” Sponsor: Deborah Niederman, RJE.

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Richardson ISD

Jake R., 2nd year member

Project: Helping Homeless at Austin Street Center – Jake recruited a friend to help him collect clothes, cleaning supplies, blankets, and bottled water for the Austin Street Center. The donations will help the homeless population they serve. Jake said, I learned how to effectively communicate with others through email and in person. Before I was not the best emailer or talker, but this project has required me to grow this skill and become a better leader.” Sponsor: Emily Tenner.

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Round Rock ISD

Annalise B., 6th year member

Project: Stitching Smiles – Annalise, with the help of the fiber arts club, crocheted fifteen hats for babies in the natal intensive care unit of the Preemies of the Carolinas. These hats had bunny ears and flowers on them to celebrate the spring season and bring a bit more joy to the hospital. Annalise said, I was able to learn how to apply my passions and hobbies to help others.” Sponsor: Amanda Bass.

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Round Rock ISD

Bobby D., 1st year member

Project: Platefuls for Central Texas - Bobby, alongside his dad, volunteered as warehouse workers at the Central Texas Food Bank. Together, they sorted and packed 1,200 pounds of donated food items, ensuring that 500 families in need received well-organized and diverse food packages. This collaborative effort deepened Bobby's understanding of food insecurity and strengthened their shared commitment to community service, simultaneously providing vital support to countless individuals facing hunger in Central Texas. Bobby said, "Sorting food with my dad at the Central Texas Food Bank, I learned leadership is not just about guidance but about inspiring collaboration. This experience fueled my commitment to community service and shaped me into a more impactful leader." Sponsor: Song Deng, Father.

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Round Rock ISD

Hariharan V., 2nd year member

Project: Bench Builders – Hariharan, along with six classmates, built three benches for his communal garden at the Texas Murugan Temple. The benches benefited both the developing temple and the temple goers, but also the garden which was being built by him in the following month. Aside from providing scenery and seating in the garden, the team also learned about the temple's history and development throughout the years. Hariharan said, The project was a game changer as it is way harder to manage volunteers when put in a more permanent project. It helped me learn different methods of communicating in order to keep everyone on the same page.” Sponsor: Ashokkumar Balasubramanian.

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Round Rock ISD

Yeva T., 4th year member

Project: Let's Pick Up After Each Other! – Yeva recruited four schoolmates to help her with her project. Every other weekend, Yeva took a different person with her to pick up trash for two hours around various schools, trails, and neighborhood streets. Yeva wanted to improve the quality of life for the many kids that like to play outside in the community. Yeva said, During this project, I overcame feelings of demotivation because sometimes it felt like no one cared what I did, but I decided that I was passionate enough to make a difference for an environment others could enjoy without thinking about the messes left by people." Sponsor: Emily Petrunak.

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Socorro ISD

Sebastian C., 1st year member

Project: Border Baby Shower - Sebastian Carrillo worked with three of his friends to host the Border Baby Shower, to collect new and gently used baby items and clothing for migrant families. The group collected more than 50 trash bags filled with clothing, 3,500 diapers, bottles, wipes and formula, which was given directly to migrants residing in the Migrant Support Services Center. While 95% of migrants leave Sebastian's border town within 24-48 hours, those who stay a little longer have nothing more than the clothes on their backs, and this cause helped to ensure a bountiful supply. Sebastian said, "This made me a better leader by showing me all the possible ways of helping my community. In doing so, I saw the power of working with others to make a better impact on the overall cause." Sponsor: Alfonso Chacon, Migrant Services Coordinator.

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Splendora ISD

Drew G., 2nd year member

Project: Hygiene for the Holidays - Drew enlisted the help of her friends and siblings to collect donations to make hygiene kits for those in need. They made twenty-three kits to donate to Martha's Kitchen, who distributed them to the homeless in downtown Houston. The recipients were very excited to get these items, as most cannot afford them. Drew said, "My project made me realize how much time, effort, and passion a leader needs to contribute to make their community a better place." Sponsor: Jamie Grahlfs, Parent.

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Spring Branch ISD

Drew B., 2nd year member

Project: Kids' Meals: Helping Feed 1 Hungry Child at a Time - Drew recruited family, friends and the congregation of St. Christopher's Episcopal Church to help him collect non-perishable food items. The group filled 275 meal bags for the organization Kids' Meals to distribute to Houston children in need. The Kids' Meals recipients received a meal for the day when they may not have eaten otherwise. Drew said, "I learned how to lead a group of people to an end goal. I had to overcome my fear of public speaking and talk to my congregation everyday about my project asking for their help in collecting items. We worked together and achieved my goal." Sponsor: Stacey Zubair, Counselor.

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Stafford Municipal ISD

Allison R., 2nd year member

Project: Sock Drive Part 2! – Allison asked her fellow student council members to help her collect socks for refugees. The team collected 157 pairs of socks for babies, children, teens, and adults. The socks were donated to St. Lawrence Catholic Church Social Concerns for Refugees to help people get a new start in this country. Allison said, I have experienced many challenges, but it made me a strong leader.” Sponsor: Patricia Rodriguez.

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Stephenville ISD

Kyler V., 3rd year member

Project: Paws4Texas – Kyler with the help of NJHS members, held a fundraiser for the Erath County Humane Society. They collected money by running a hat day and plan to do an even bigger project in the following weeks. The money will be used to purchase blankets, food, and other necessities required to run the shelter. Kyler said, I really liked running the fundraiser and am excited to do another. This experience helped me develop as a leader and member of the school. I learned that being a leader requires dedication, discipline, and perseverance. You are going to want to give up; that’s what separates the leaders and the followers. Followers will want someone to do it for them, while leaders will take charge and bring others to the top with them." Sponsor: Dakota Denning, NJHS Sponsor.

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Tomball ISD

Audrey D., 1st year member

Project: Bring for the Babies! – Audrey recruited her friend Lilly to help her raise donations for the Tomball Pregnancy Center, an organization that helps families in need during pregnancy and after. Audrey placed donation bins at four locations around the Tomball area. Forty donation bags for families were made out of part of the several hundred items collected. Audrey said, We learned how challenging it is to get permission to set up donation bins but we didn’t give up and we’re successful in the end.” Sponsor: Bridget Damron.

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Tomball ISD

Gavin L., 1st year member

Project: Comfort our Furry Friends – Gavin recruited his mom to help make dog and cat toys for a local animal shelter. They surpassed their goal of creating fifty cat and dog toys and made fifty-five, plus ten blankets were made. The shelter, Abandoned Animal Rescue, and the dogs and cats, benefited from the kind gesture. In addition, the people at the shelter were happy because they were low on toys and needed to replenish their stock for the animals. Gavin said, After this project I became a more caring and helpful person towards friends and family after seeing people smile and congratulate what I did for them." Sponsor: Mrs. Melinda.

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Victoria ISD

Noah Y., 1st year member

Project: Food for the Furry Friends – Noah and fellow students in his church youth group collected 13 bags of pet food for the Dorothy H. O'Connor Pet Adoption Center. They collected pet food and money from parish members, used donated money to get more pet food, and took the food to the adoption center so that the pets could be fed as they wait for adoption. Doing this showed him the impact he could have on animal care in his community beyond his own dog and guinea pig. Noah said, This experience helped me become a better leader by improving my perspective on things other than me that are in need over myself.” Sponsor: Robert Young.

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Wichita Falls ISD

Phoebe T., 1st year member

Project: Grandmomma Wears Pink – Phoebe raised money to create handmade care packages for local breast cancer patients. She was inspired by my grandmother who fought and survived breast cancer. When Phoebe’s grandmother was undergoing mastectomies, she received a care package that brought her hope and joy and helped her continue her fight through this difficult time. Phoebe spoke with her grandmother's breast cancer nurse and received many great ideas for the items to include in the care packages. Her goal is to raise $15,000. Care packages have already been delivered and she continues to raise money to reach her goal. Phoebe said, The looks on the patients' faces when they received their packages was a once in a lifetime experience and brought me great joy. It taught me that helping others is what being a human is truly about.” Sponsor: Shanda Keating, Teacher.

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Trivium Academy

Matilda L., 1st year member

Project: Give a Pair, Show You Care! – Matilda and four friends organized a sock drive to collect as many socks as they could. They made a fun sock drive flyer and gave it to their family and friends. They gathered more than two hundred pairs of socks and donated them to the local charity Hope's Door. The project helped several people who have suffered from domestic violence and have reached out to Hope’s Door for a new beginning. Matilda said, I enjoyed collaborating with friends and organizing the sock drive that collected many new socks for a charity in need.” Sponsor: Sarah Kolbye.

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Crossbar Academy

Rhea S., 1st year member

Project: The Soccer Fairy – Rhea organized a used soccer gear drive at her school and her soccer club. Three of her classmates helped her hand out flyers advertising the drive and helped her sort the gear. She was able to fill five huge boxes of gear to donate to the Coreluv International charity; they will take the donations to orphans in Haiti, so they can play soccer. Rhea said, Seeing how others are in need really motivates me to try and do more in my community.” Sponsor: Brandon Langer.

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The Hockaday School, Dallas

Anya A., 4th year member

Project: Free to be Me! - Anya recruited six members of her Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) club to design and execute STEM workshops to promote positive body image in young girls. She served 48 girls at the STEM Center of Excellence who benefited by making take-home projects about heart health, neuroplasticity, and genetic traits. The project not only enhanced science vocabulary about human body systems but promoted life-long self-esteem and healthy habits. Anya shared, "The online leadership modules helped me hone in on my strengths and interests and push through the hours of work involved by using "grit" tips. Reflecting on the grit strategies encouraged me to consciously put them into effect more often and this really kept me going when unpredicted obstacles arose." Sponsor: Jennifer Makins, Executive Director, STEM Center of Excellence.

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The Hockaday School

Emanuela K., 1st year member

Project: Purposeful Pause – Emanuela made a paint-by-number canvas and got her two artist friends to help. After she finished her part, she sent it to Children's Health Dallas, where 360 children in the hospital ranging in age from seven years old to teens painted it. Once it came back, Emanuela and her friends added the final touches and donated it to the hospital, which brought some joy and connection to the kids there. Emanuela said, I encountered a lot of setbacks during the project, but it taught me how to push past my comfort zone and taught me the importance of adaptability and resilience when faced with obstacles, a crucial mindset when being a good leader.” Sponsor: Charlsie Griffiths.

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St. James Episcopal School

Lilah M., 1st year member

Project: The Reading Corner – Lilah and three of her friends collected books, decorated a cart, and raised money for books. They raised $320 and donated 130 books to the Ronald McDonald House of South Texas. The Ronald McDonald residents received books for entertainment and education. Lilah said, In the end, hard work pays off.” Sponsor: C.C Alexander.

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Saint Stephen's Episcopal School

Megal A., 5th year member

Project: Harmonious Connections – Megal recruited a group of her peers to put on a series of musical performances at the Querencia Senior Living Center. The performances allowed the residents to enjoy the gift of music and strengthen community bonds. Megal said, It was difficult juggling all my different responsibilities, but this project helped me strengthen my time management skills.” Sponsor: Rebecca Gibbs.

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St. Thomas' Episcopal School

Aiken M., 4th year member

Project: Towels and Blankets for Animals in Need – Aiken enlisted the help of his co-workers, family members, friends, and bandmates to help distribute flyers and place collection boxes in their neighborhood, school, and workplace to collect donations of used, washed towels for the Houston SPCA animal shelter. In all, 100 towels and blankets were collected. Towels are the Houston SPCA's most urgently required item according to their website, therefore, the towels donated greatly benefited the animals at the shelter. Aiken said, “By conducting this service project on an even larger scale than the year before, I learned how to coordinate several people from different aspects of my life with different schedules, needs, and wants in order to accomplish a meaningful goal.” Sponsor: Lyric Todkill.

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Alana A., 1st year member

Project: Champions for Texas Youth - recruited a friend to help her collect over 100 new toys, games, and personal items for the Child Advocates San Antonio (CASA) gift shop. The $800 worth of items were made available to children entering into the foster care system, free of charge, helping them have something of their own during a challenging and isolating time of their lives. Alana shared, "I had to find a way around some roadblocks to achieve my goal. The requirement to be adaptable and think outside the box made me a stronger leader. I really enjoyed supporting such a good cause and making a difference in other kids' lives." Sponsor: Maria Angles, Mother.

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Homeschool/Inspire Academy

Kristyn L., 3rd year member

Project: The Homeschooler's Guide to College Applications – Kristyn compiled a 28-page guide to the college application process for homeschooled applicants. By creating a survey and circulating it through communities of current and previous homeschool graduates with the assistance of ambassadors at different locations, the guide came to include the insights and experiences of dozens of current seniors and recent graduates. As the current application cycle draws to a close and the high school Class of 2025 prepares to enter their own application period, students attending Liberty Classical Academy and their parents will have the opportunity to access a comprehensive guide to the process, providing a remedy for much otherwise inevitable turbulence. Kristyn said, Although the bulk of the project rested on my own shoulders to complete, I was forced to rely on other people to provide feedback. This was a great opportunity for me to get out of my comfort zone, understanding that I could not proceed with my own work until others had done their job.” Sponsor: Wendi Lacki.

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Raegan L., 1st year member

Project: Kalm Kits – Raegan and a friend gathered donations to complete 50 Kalm Kits. The Kalm Kits were given to a private counseling practice and Cherokee County Juvenile Services to be handed out to youth that struggle with anxiety. Raegan learned a lot about organization, the need to reach out and receive help from others, and problem-solving on the go. Raegan said, During this experience, I learned that I need to be more prepared and diligent.” Sponsor: Donella Younger.