Alumni Council Members' Service Projects
This video highlights service projects led by 2018-2019 Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council members. You may read about each of the member's individual projects, below and/or in the printable Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council Newsletter! To check out previous years' service project videos, click here.
Timothy J., 1st year member. Project: Helping Hands - Timothy and two of his friends from school collected various items including clothes, sheets, toys, and shoes from across the community. They donated 50 bags to be distributed by Helping Hands of Belton, Texas. The recipients received clothes and various items that they were unable to afford themselves. Timothy said, “I learned that I always need to reach out and help others. I also saw how any help I give reaches far beyond what I ever imagined.” Sponsor: Brittany Duncan, Associate Executive Director.
Kaz W., 2nd year member. Project: Welcome to Boy Scouts - Kaz reported about Boy Scouts and provided a welcome statement on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives. He organized his report and presentation on how Boy Scouts of America was becoming more inclusive by allowing girls to become scouts. He extended a Texas welcome to all of the new scout recruits. In addition to the welcome, he summarized membership numbers, volunteer hours, and Eagle Scout advancements for the Northwest Texas Council. He is an advocate for the Boy Scouts of America. Kaz said, “Everyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or religious choice, can benefit from the experiences of scouting, just as I have. By opening the scouting door to more kids, the world becomes a more welcoming place.” Sponsor: Brandy Williams, Parent Volunteer.
Sophia D., 6th year member. Project: Snack Sacks for Northeast ISD - Sophia collected food and monetary donations from her community, with the help of underclassmen in Keller, Westlake, and Carroll ISDs. She spoke at PTO meetings, book clubs, and enlisted the help of National Honor Society. They assembed over 1,500 Snack Sacks which will be sent home with NISD students who qualify for free or reduced lunches. Sophia said, “Running a service project requires real-world skills many young people don't get to use. I have enjoyed my service projects as they have helped me learn skills I will use for the rest of my life.” Sponsor: Kim Deras, Parent.
Alexandra D., 1st year member. Project: TEDx Youth@Southlake - Alexandra and her sister, with the help of their parents, researched and received a license to organize a TEDx event for the Southlake community. The event brought together local and out of town speakers and members of the community. The event showcased diverse ideas about achievement, leadership, and happiness. In addition, the event was recorded and will be included in TED's official YouTube channel for everyone to view. Alexandra said, “I learned that although it looked like a maze full of twists and turns that looked impossible to complete, if you work really hard and don't give up, you can succeed.” Sponsor: Alejandro Dominguez, Director of Southlake Youth.
Carolina D., 1st year member. Project: TEDx Youth@Southlake - Carolina and her sister, with the help of their parents, researched and received a license to organize a TEDx event for the Southlake community. The event brought together local and out of town speakers and members of the community. The event showcased diverse ideas about achievement, leadership, and happiness. In addition, the event was recorded and will be included in TED's official YouTube channel for everyone to view. Carolina said, “I learned that I could be an organizer of something that looked so distant like TEDx and learned to not get discouraged when trying to find people willing to collaborate.” Sponsor: Alejandro Dominguez, Director of Southlake Youth.
Maranda F., 2nd year member. Project: Kuddles 4 K-9s - Maranda and three of her friends collected donations and made blankets for animals at the Humane Society of North Texas. They made 16 blankets and collected 236 pounds of food, 70 pounds of cat litter, dog treats, and toys. The donations enabled the Humane Society to care for more abused and homeless pets in the community. Maranda said, “I experienced many difficulties with my original project idea, but we were able to re-group and complete a project that was both fun and impactful.” Sponsor: Kristin Maggi, Teacher.
Mattie K., 1st year member. Project: Milkweed for Monarchs -Mattie and her friends planted 200 milkweeds in Dr. Pillow Park as a service to the North Richland Hills Monarch Waystation program. The milkweeds will serve as a nectar source for the migrating butterflies as they make their journey across North America. Mattie said, “From the beginning of the project, I encountered a lot of scheduling conflicts among other setbacks. Though it was difficult to find the best time to work on this project, in the end, I felt like I made a huge contribution to a great cause.” Sponsor: Bill Thornton, Assistance Director of Parks and Recreation.
Austin S., 1st year member. Project: Easter Egg Contribution -Austin recruited members of a local parks department to help with an Easter egg hunt. He wanted to help children be happy. More than 100 children participated in the egg hunt. Austin said, “I always loved Easter as a kid, the egg hunts, the candy, it was so much fun. I realized that not everyone gets to have a great Easter. I wanted to help children have the same Easter experiences that I did. Doing this not only helped the children, but also me. I improved at being a leader and learned that there is more to life than material things.” Sponsor: David Lown, Band Director.
Kenzie W., 1st year member. Project: Teddy Bears for Emergencies - Kenzie and her sister collected 160 stuffed animals to give to children in a crisis. They donated the stuffed animals to CPS to give to kids in their care. They learned that sometimes the small things provide the most comfort. The kids loved the stuffed animals. Kenzie said, “My sister and I are really shy, but we had to overcome that to talk with people to promote our stuffed animal drive, and I feel that I became a better leader when I worked over one of my fears to do something good for kids in need.” Sponsor: Candace Clifton, Church Teacher.
Copperas Cove ISD
Rhylee D., 1st year member. Project: Make My Day - Rhylee and three of her friends collected over 50 toys to give to children in the hospital. They put out collection boxes at Fairview Elementary School and Copperas Cove Junior High School. Rhylee said, “I learned how to be a better person and give back to my community.” Sponsor: Jordan Love, Teacher.
Ariel D., 2nd year member. Project: Kicking Cancer in the Butt: Kickathon - Ariel, with the help of her community, raised a total of $1,120.01 for the Pink Warrior Angels of Central Texas. This organization is donating the funds to a woman who cannot afford her chemotherapy treatments anymore. Ariel said, “I faced many problems, but always came up with some sort of solution. I led a small group of volunteers to help set up, tear down, and run this event. I feel like this has been an exceptional experience not only in terms of becoming a better leader and problem solver, but also in helping my community.” Sponsor: Anne Derby, Parent.
Abigail B., 2nd year member. Project: BEAR Hygiene Packs - Abigail organized ten members from her church and family to help her complete her hygiene pack service project. The group wanted to help BEAR (BE A Resource), a resource for CPS kids, by collecting donations to complete 145 hygiene packs, each filled with a toothbrush, toothpaste, bar of soap, shampoo/conditioner, and deodorant in a Ziploc bag and labeled with a positive message. After delivering the packs, the staff from BEAR provided a tour of a BEAR supply room where the hygiene packs would be distributed from and showed how the packs immediately had an impact on the lives of 145 children. Abigail said, “I learned that you shouldn't procrastinate when trying to achieve or complete anything in life. You need to take initiative and think everything through. I'm extremely grateful for the chance to help the people of my community through this service project.” Sponsor: Amanda Behrens, Parent.
Karen B.-R., 1st year member. Project: Trash Bags for Animal Rehab Center - Karen, her sister, and two friends asked multiple small businesses for donations to collect enough money to buy 500 trash bags. The bags will benefit the Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. The TWRC has multiple uses for the bags such as getting rid of trash, storing food, and keeping the shelter clean. Karen said, “I have never organized a service project by myself and, now that I have, I can’t wait to do more for my community!” Sponsor: Donna Lord, NJHS Leader.
Katya B.-R., 1st year member. Project: Blankets for Rescue Animals - Katya, her sister, and two of her best friends collected fabric donations to make blankets for the Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Center (TWRC). They collected $20 and eight fabric donations to sew a total of 21 blankets for the TWRC. The blankets will help the animals be at maximum comfort level while they enjoy their stay at the TWRC. Katya said, “This was my first time organizing a service project by myself. I will never forget this amazing experience and how it helped me improve as a leader.” Sponsor: Donna Lord, NJHS Leader.
Kole K., 2nd year member. Project: Share the Warmth Coat Drive - Kole joined with the Women in Mission for the 2019 Coat Drive and Winter Street Bag collection and distribution. Over several months, hundreds of coats were collected and picked up, sized, and prepped for those in need. The coats and "Winter Street Bags" were handed out to the homeless in downtown Houston. Kole said, “I was proud of the amount of coats I was able to collect for this project. It felt good to make an effort and know my contributions are benefiting my community.” Sponsor: Robyn Tarnowski, Women’s Group member.
Brianna B., 1st year member. Project: Treats for Pediatric Oncology Celebration - Brianna and several student council members prepared treats for a Pediatric Oncology Celebration. Brianna said, “It felt good to help make other people happy.” Sponsor: Janan Grice, Student Council Sponsor.
Ector County ISD
Mia S., 2nd year member. Project: Soar, Succeed, and Accomplish – Mia, with the help of a local business, Lucky's Septic Service, collected frozen turkeys and canned and boxed goods and donated them to 15 families in her school district that would otherwise go without a hot Thanksgiving meal. Mia was also able to collect 20 jackets for children in need and donated school supplies year-round to students and teachers. Additionally, Mia volunteered her extra time to tutor kids and assisted teachers with grading, organizing, and cleaning up before and after school. Mia said, “Helping others with their struggles allows me to grow mentally and emotionally while becoming a stronger leader. I really enjoy providing support to students and my school district.” Sponsor: Luis Nieto, Owner, Lucky's Septic Service.
El Paso ISD
Katie K., 1st year member. Project: Have a Heart, Help a Pet! - Katie enlisted support from several of her National Junior Honor Society peers to collect items from the Humane Society of El Paso's wish list with the goal of collecting 50 items. The group exceeded the goal by 204% collecting a total of 102 items for the Humane Society of El Paso. Items included different sizes of kennels, a variety of cat and dog supplies, and cleaning supplies, all benefitting the animals at the shelter awaiting their "forever" home. Katie said, “I conquered several hurdles throughout the project; however, the end result of exceeding my goal and making a positive impact for the animals at the Humane Society of El Paso was worth all the hard work.” Sponsor: Helen Clausen, Humanities Teacher.
Fort Bend ISD
Reena D., 1st year member. Project: Pet Supply Drive - Reena and two other school friends collected different pet supplies at their school, neighborhood, and church. They helped many different animals be able to survive. Reena said, “I got to experience what being a good leader felt like. Now, I know what to do in the future.” Sponsor: Erica Desai, Veterinarian.
Ethan L., 2nd year member. Project: Game Day With Seniors! - Ethan and ten other Student Council students played games and assisted at Mamie George Community Center. They played dominoes, cards, and puzzles. They also helped set up a bingo session. In addition, they helped in the cafeteria by carrying lunches, cleaning tables, and collecting trays once seniors finished their meals. The project positively impacted the seniors because it gave them an opportunity to socialize with a new generation and share stories from their lives. Students involved learned to contribute to the community and enjoyed their time at Mamie George Community Center. Ethan said, "Assisting my elders taught me that as a leader, I have to learn how to work with people completely different then me. That may mean an age difference, or different interests, but I have to make them feel comfortable.” Sponsor: Supriya Jha, Student Council Facilitator.
Emma L., 5th year member. Project: Warm Up America - Emma and her grandmother crocheted 175 rectangular pieces to donate to the Warm Up America organization. This non-profit organization joins pieces of fabric others donate to create blankets to give to those in need such as local homeless shelters and hospitals. As a result of her project, Emma hopes that the blankets that were made from her pieces bring warmth, both physically and spiritually, one person at a time. Emma said, “I learned to be more patient with myself and to value quality over quantity.” Sponsor: April Sorensen, Warm Up America Coordinator.
Charlize L., 2nd year member. Project: Give a Coat, Share the Warmth - Charlize and several of her classmates collected over 200 coats and articles of warm clothing. The items provided warmth on cold days for those less fortunate. The remaining coats not given directly to those who were homeless went to the Star of Hope and the Fort Bend Women's Center. Sponsor: Jamaimah Lopez, Teacher.
Cassandra R., 1st year member. Project: Campus Beautification Project - Cassandra and two of her friends created a Campus Beautification Squad. They add inspirational messages to the bathrooms in Sugar Land Middle School in order to reduce bullying, reduce suicide rates, increase self-esteem, and increase self-confidence. Sponsor: Tricia Thompson, Teacher.
Fort Worth ISD
Riley K., 3rd year member. Project: Sandwiches for the Homeless with After School Programs - Riley and seven schoolmates in the After School Program made 250 ham and cheese sandwiches for Presbyterian Night Shelter, a charity for the homeless. The shelter helped distribute the sandwiches to the homeless. The homeless benefited by getting a meal when they may not have had one. Riley said, “I learned that for projects where there's a large quantity involved, you need to think ahead about the logistics and the best way to pull it off.” Sponsor: Penni Askew, Parent.
Sansdhitha A., 3rd year member. Project: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Your Way to Paradise! - Sansdhitha continued her project of helping the environment by educating people in her community about different ways to recycle. She made flyers advocating the correct ways to recycle and the benefits and she gave her neighbors reusable bags to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags. Her community ended up learning a lot about the positive impacts of recycling and how even a small change in the way they dispose of trash can make a difference in the environment. Sansdhitha said, “I learned to stand up for the things I believe in and created positive awareness in my community.” Sponsor: Kelsey Wells, Teen Leadership Teacher.
Braedon A., 1st year member. Project: Items for Dogs in Need – Braedon and his four friends collected over 300 dog toys, beds, and blankets from multiple neighborhoods. They donated the items to the League of Animal Protectors and Habitat 4 Paws. They also made donations to a local vet, Family Pet Center. The items provided comfort and support for the animals waiting for their forever homes. Braedon said, “This experience helped me recognize what I take for granted everyday and it motivated me to volunteer in my community more often for those in need. I now know one person can make a difference.” Sponsor: Luci Papanastassiou, Strategy Director for Human Capital.
Rahul N., 1st year member. Project: One Warm Clothing Drive - Rahul recruited two friends to collect 100 pieces of warm clothing including heavy coats, hoodies, pants, shirts, and blankets for City House in Plano. Rahul said, “Coordinating and working together was a great learning experience.” Sponsor: Lisa Rodgers, Director of Volunteer Resources, City House.
Galena Park ISD
Casey W., 2nd year member. Project: Share the Love with B.I.G. Love Cancer Care - With the help of his brother, Casey shared a video they made asking for donations of items for care bags which are given to newly diagnosed cancer patients at Texas Children's Hospital. Most families are admitted to the cancer unit after long hours in the emergency room and arrive to the cancer unit unprepared and lacking the most basic necessities from home. They collected 341 items, including 100 tubes of Chapstick, 65 deodorants, 14 bottles of body wash, 73 toothbrushes, covers, and toothpastes, 46 mesh pop-up hampers, household items, school supplies, and games. Casey said, “I learned that social media is a great way to spread the word and reach a lot of people. I made a video asking for specific items. My dad, mom, brother, and I all texted the video to friends and family, and my mom shared the video on her Facebook page. People want to help and support a worthy cause if they are aware. My video helped to bring awareness to B.I.G. Love Cancer Care, all that they do, and the many needs they have to continue supporting cancer patients and their families.” Sponsor: Kellie Runkle, Office Manager and Volunteer Coordinator, B.I.G. Love Cancer Care.
Sarah B., 1st year member. Project: Paws For a Cause - Sarah and two friends collected donations for the Georgetown Animal Shelter. They received over 60 items and had an anonymous donor add additional items bringing the total to 80 items. They also donated $150.00 to the shelter. Employees at the shelter were very grateful and they were very excited for the animals. Sarah said, “You always have a choice to help or not. I will always choose to help others.” Sponsor: Chelsea Morgan, Teacher.
Zoe R., 1st year member. Project: Holiday Helpers - Zoe and her friends donated toys to kids in the hospital on Christmas. They decided to do two fundraisers through the school. They collected funds at the band's holiday concert and at the seventh and eighth grade basketball game. They collected about 200 toys for kids. The hospital was grateful and thankful for the donations. Zoe said, “We learned how to help our community while doing something we love.” Sponsor: Laura Koehler, Principal.
Drew S., 1st year member. Project: Gift Cards for Teenagers at North Texas Youth Connection (NTYC) - Drew and two of his friends did chores and other tasks to collect $450. With the money collected, they donated nine $50.00 gift cards, along with many toys, books, and games to the North Texas Youth Connection. Drew felt happy that he got to make an impact on other kids his age. Drew said, “After I donated these items, I felt happy knowing that I had given some joy to and made an impact on other kids' lives.” Sponsor: Mike Woody, Volunteer.
Aiden M., 1st year member. Project: PAWS Animal Shelter Supply and Donation Drive - Aiden, 20 fifth grade students from Fuentes Elementary School, and his teacher, Ms. DePizzo, collected two truck loads of gently used and/or new items that would benefit animals in PAWS, a local no-kill shelter in Kyle, Texas. PAWS had an on-site event where volunteers made cat and dog toys, painted rocks, cuddled cats and puppies, and sold waters and baked goods collecting almost $200 for PAWS. Aiden said, “It was hard managing so many other kids. I learned how to delegate and use my enthusiasm to inspire others.” Sponsor: Jennifer DePizzo, Teacher.
Maura C., 4th year member. Project: Operation Cozy Care - Maura partnered with her fellow National Honor Society members, her school, and neighboring schools to make blankets for the children at High Plains Children's Home in Amarillo, Texas, a project known as Operation Cozy Care. Some children at the home's emergency shelter had nothing to call their own due to their difficult circumstances, so Maura and her volunteers made over 20 special blankets for them. This service project allowed Maura and her volunteers to make a difference for children in need. Maura said, “Partnering with classmates to aid children in need developed my leadership skills like never before. I was finally able to involve my peers in a worthy cause, and I now feel confident leading a group to make a difference in the lives of others.” Sponsor: Jaci Chapman, Parent.
Grayson C., 2nd year member. Project: Operation Cozy Care - Grayson and her sister worked together to tie and fold several blankets for the High Plains Children's home in Amarillo, Texas. The blankets benefited orphans entering the shelter. Grayson said, “This experience taught us how to work as a team to achieve our goal while allowing us to help many children.” Sponsor: Jaci Chapman, Parent.
Camille A., 6th year member. Project: Interact Rotary 7th Annual International Festival Cultural Performance – Camille and the Cultural Performance Committee worked in conjunction with Carnegie Vanguard's Interact Rotary Chapter to organize a show with over 40 volunteer performers that demonstrated cultures from around the world. The Interact Club hosted a large festival with booths that sold food and organized activities as well as inflatable rides to add to the fun. As part of this festival, the Cultural Performance Committee, along with a separate fashion show, helped to raise over $14,000 to help the Interact Rotary branch in Puerto Rico rebuild after damages caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Camille said, “Most of my projects are typically done with a team of three, little more. This project helped me navigate and explore the challenges of being a leader of eight people, as well as coordinating and communicating with leaders of other clubs that helped to contribute to such a large project.” Sponsor: Miyuki Scott, Teacher.
Anthony R., 2nd year member. Project: Books for Kids - Anthony worked with three friends to collect 50 books which they donated to a local library. The donations benefited kids because they will have more to read. Anthony said, “This helped my leadership ability and the project went great.” Sponsor: Esmeralda Rodriguez, Parent.
Christine R., 3rd year member. Project: Music To You, Holiday Chorus - Christine and a few of her sophomore and freshmen vocal friends formed a small chorus and sang Christmas carols to seniors at Brazos Tower at Bayou Manor Senior Living to spread holiday cheer. Each student also contributed a donation of socks for the wintertime. Goodie bags filled with Christmas decorations and warm socks were given to each senior after the performance. Christine said, “Doing this service project really helped me become a better leader not only by learning how to deal with the people and situations I had to work with, but also by dealing with the obstacles that came in the way. I learned more about who I am and who I want to become as a leader.” Sponsor: Yuying Liu, UT Health Associate Professor of Pediatrics.
Emerson H., 1st year member. Project: Kids Raising Dough - Emerson, with help from two classmates, baked homemade holiday sweets and treats. They collected pre-orders on a donation basis and also held a large one-day bake sale. They raised over $1,400 for Basset Buddies Rescue of Texas which was used to provide life-saving medical care for several dogs in the rescue. Emerson said, “I learned a lot about time management through this project. It takes a lot of time and work and I had to balance that with school and activities.” Sponsor: Amanda Harris, Parent.
Ethan P., 1st year member. Project: Buckets for Books – Ethan engaged the Atascocita community by putting together a basketball clinic to collect over 250 books and raise funds to cover the shipment to the Trinidad Municipal Library in Bohol, Philippines. Ethan enlisted three friends to help him sort the books and prepare them for shipment. Another set of ten friends attended the basketball clinic where they learned new skills at and at the same time helped a child across the world to love books. Ethan said, “This project has helped me become a leader knowing that I have helped many people not only in my local community, but also a community in Asia.” Sponsor: Sherard Hunter, Basketball coach.
Ashlyn R., 1st year member. Project: Beginning Orchestra Tutoring - Ashlyn and two of her friends helped out Atascocita Middle School's beginning orchestra program by aiding in full class and offering individual lessons. They attended 10 classes and provided five individual lessons to beginning students. The students received free private lessons that they would have otherwise had to pay for. This gave those students an opportunity to learn from their peers. Ashlyn said, “I dropped my fear of speaking up and gained experience in communicating effectively.” Sponsor: Yu-Chuan Lin, Orchestra Head Director.
Kaitlyn S., 2nd year member. Project: Out Play Cancer - Kaitlyn collected over 717 items to donate to children battling cancer at Texas Children's Cancer Center. The items included gently used video games, DVDs, books, and board games. She also donated TVs and a brand new PS4. Kaitlyn said, “I learned that helping others is so much better than treating yourself.” Sponsor: Robert Sitton, Humble ISD Trustee.
AnneMarie S., 1st year member. Project: Hygiene for the Hopeful - AnneMarie enlisted the help of the Creekwood Middle School Student Council to collect 380 toiletries and personal care items. The student council made 20 bags and filled two boxes with extra items and gave them to The Door, a shelter to help abused women and their children start a new life. AnneMarie said, “This project helped me show others that the things we take for granted can mean so much for others.” Sponsor: Mary Anne Sokol, Parent.
Ethan G., 1st year member. Project: Teaming Up for Math - Ethan helped his math teacher every Tuesday and Thursday with tutoring at least three to five other students at a time. Ethan became more skillful when it comes to being a leader by becoming a better role model to his peers. With this project students became more disciplined in the area of math and it made Ethan a better leader and mentor. Ethan said, "All through this program, I developed a more suited understanding of teaching and being an adviser to others." Sponsor: Jessica Roope, Teacher.
Clayton S., 1st year member. Project: Lap Blankets and Goodies for Sodalis - Clayton and four of his family members and friends passed out lap blankets and goodies to the residents of Sodalis Memory Care of Victoria. Clayton, through a donation drive at his school, collected over 45 lap blankets, 38 pairs of gripper socks, and 30-40 toiletry items for the residents of Sodalis. Amid smiles and beautiful Christmas music provided by Clayton's cousin, Clayton and his friends presented each resident a wrapped blanket along with gripper socks, lotions, and soaps during their Annual Family Christmas dinner. Clayton said, “Leading this project that made so many patients and their families smile showed me I can accomplish great things if I push myself to go beyond my normal comfort zone. It made me feel proud of myself and know I am a leader.” Sponsor: Pam Mader, Counselor.
Nicole L., 1st year member. Project: Purrfect Pals - Nicole and three friends collected donations for S.A.V.E Rescue Coalition. They collected a total of 28 items including pet food, beds, and toys and $245.00. The donations provided pet care items to those who foster homeless animals through the S.A.V.E. Rescue Coalition. Nicole said, "My project taught me that if you see something wrong in the world, you need to step up and change it." Sponsor: Erica Brasseaux, Teacher.
Vibhas C., 1st year member. Project: Secret Santa Toy Drive - Vibhas and four of his friends held a donation drive to collect toys for Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. Vibhas and his friends collected 100 toys which helped brighten up patients at Cook Children's. Cook Children's was very thankful to receive so many gifts for their patients. With the help of his teacher Mr. Cornelius, Vibhas and his team were successful in making kids at Cook Children's smile. Vibhas said, “A smiling face and a helping hand outweighs the riches of the land.” Sponsor: Jason Cornelius, Teacher.
Aidan C., 1st year member. Project: Little Free Library - Aidan organized a group of four to build a Little Free Library. He raised $305.00 to pay for supplies to build the library. He presented the library to the Williamson-Travis County Municipal Utility District #1. Aidan said, “I learned how to work through setbacks to achieve the goal I had in mind from the beginning, and working through those made me a stronger leader. I also learned how to work with other people to achieve a goal that would benefit many people around the community.” Sponsor: Karon Bowers, Director, Portfolio Management, Pearson.
Liberty Hill ISD
Caylin K., 2nd year member. Project: Dell Children's Book Drive- Caylin and two of her friends set up book donation stands in their community. The group collected over 50 new books to donate to the Dell Children's Medical Center. They had lots of fun collecting and donating the books. Caylin said, “I learned new communication skills by spreading the word about the book drive.” Sponsor: Deanna Bye, Teacher.
Lily T., 2nd year member. Project: Thank You Teachers! - Lily enlisted the help of her fellow cheerleaders to show appreciation to teachers of the freshmen class at Coronado High School. The girls showed their thankfulness for their teachers by giving them handwritten thank you cards to show how valued they are. Lily said, “This project really opened my eyes to the way teachers have helped us and how under-appreciated they are which helped me grow as a leader by recognizing and organizing a way to show them our appreciation.” Sponsor: Kevin Tran, Parent.
Peyton M., 2nd year member. Project: Care Packages - Peyton and his family collected 100 toiletries for homeless people. Sponsor: Candra Mizeski, Parent.
Sam F., 4th year member. Project: Books for Barbara - Sam collected 505 children’s books from his classmates and neighbors and donated them to the Barbara Bush Literacy Foundation’s Curiosity Cruiser, a mobile library serving children in Harris county. Sam said, “For a lot of kids, the books they get from the Curiosity Cruiser might be the only books they’ll own. It felt really good to know that my service project was going to provide so many books to so many young kids who love to read.” Sponsor: Leigh Ann Hedges, Advanced English Teacher.
Cole H., 1st year member. Project: Blankets for the Homeless – Cole reached out to his church congregation to help provide blankets to the homeless. He placed a box at his church services at The Forge, Montgomery United Methodist Church. Over the course of the project, the box filled up thanks to the generosity of this loving congregation. Cole and his brother made a trip to deliver the blankets to the Salvation Army where they were greeted with enthusiastic appreciation. Cole hopes the blankets bring warmth to those who benefit from the Salvation Army. Cole said, “I have been very blessed in my life and it is great to be able to bless others who need help.” Sponsor: Cab Matthews, Pastor.
Tyler H., 1st year member. Project: Cards of Honor – Tyler enlisted the help of friends in his church youth group at Montgomery United Methodist Church to help him create Cards of Honor. They decided on this project because they wanted to find a creative way to express thanks to veterans who have risked their lives so they can go safely to sleep at night. Tyler and his brother delivered the cards to the VFW Hall Post 4709 in Conroe. Tyler said, “I wanted to find a way to honor and thank our veterans for their strength.” Sponsor: Jacob Torrez, Montgomery UMC Student Ministry Director.
Jayson K., 2nd year member. Project: Leave it for the Pooch/Donation Drive for Meals on Wheels Ani-Meals - Jayson gathered his friends to participate in a donation drive to collect animal food. They collected a month's worth of dog and cat food for the Meals on Wheels Ani-Meals program which provides food for homebound senior citizens' animals. Jayson also set up a Facebook fundraiser, in which he collected $1,200 and was able to provide five months' worth of dog and cat food to Ani-meals. He felt really good about leading this project and being able to help senior citizens feed their animals so that they didn't have to feed their own food to the animals. Jayson said, “This experience helped me to increase my public speaking abilities and my ability to lead others.” Sponsor: Kim Kimberly, Parent.
Lindsi T., 5th year member. Project: Birthdays in a Bag - Lindsi enlisted the help of her church's youth group to help her raise over $950 to put 50 birthday bags together for the Guadalupe Valley Family Violence Shelter. The bags, which contained all the items needed to have a birthday party (cake mix, cake pan, icing, candles, plates, forks, napkins, balloons and streamers, along with a gift of either a story book or an activity book), were handed out to mothers at the family violence shelter. Many of these mothers would not otherwise be able to provide their kids with a birthday celebration. Lindsi said, “I learned how to more effectively manage my time and my organizational skills improved greatly as well.” Sponsor: Donna Ewald, Retired Teacher.
Nixon-Smiley Consolidated ISD
Emilie J., 3rd year member. Project: Cash for Cats - Emilie recruited the help of 13 of her fellow Nixon-Smiley High School Student Council members to set up, run, and tear down a Christmas dance fundraiser at their school. All proceeds, $565.25, were donated to the Friends of Gonzales Animal Shelter. Emilie said, “I learned that organizing a dance required that I make a lot of detailed 'To Do' lists and that I communicate on a regular basis with the many adults and students who were willing to help. I felt very blessed and honored that so many people volunteered their time to help raise money for animals, especially those waiting for their forever homes.” Sponsor: Janie and Israel Jimenez, Teacher and Student Council Sponsors.
North East ISD
Griffin O., 1st year member. Project: Feed the Kitties! - Griffin and several of his neighbors worked together to collect supplies for the San Antonio Feral Cat Coalition (SAFCC). After they created posters to advertise the effort, the group received over 400 pounds of donations via two donation areas at the mailboxes. The SAFCC was very grateful to him for his project and featured him in their newsletter. Griffin said, “I feel like this project really taught me a lot about management. I couldn't just have everything handed to me. I had to get permission, coordinate people, and make a plan. It wasn't easy, but I am happy I did it.” Sponsor: Lorraine Cantu, Adoption Coordinator for the SAFCC.
Michael D., 3rd year member. Project: Tutoring Middle School Students – Michael spent every Tuesday and Thursday going to Bush Middle School to tutor students in math. He enjoyed working with students and helping them improve their grades. Michael said, “I learned it feels good to make an impact in a younger student's life.” Sponsor: Rachel Youngblood, AVID Teacher.
Matthew J., 3rd year member. Project: English and Chinese Books for Elementary School Students in China - Matthew, along with some of his classmates, collected books over 50 books in English and Mandarin from classmates and friends. The books were sent to Hua Dong Shi Da Fu Xiao (华东师大附小). Matthew said, “Although the process itself had some difficulties and challenges, we were able to function as a team and conquered the challenge.” Sponsor: Chengdong Liu, Business Affair Consultant.
Ava S., 2nd year member. Project: Tutoring - Ava tutored her peers in Spanish for a semester to help them get better grades. They were able to achieve the grade they worked for and learned how to study more efficiently. Ava said, “I learned how each individual has different learning needs.” Sponsor: Laura Sullivan, NCL meeting coordinator.
Mazie J., 1st year member. Project: Pen Pal for Poiema - Mazie recruited two local philanthropy groups, Outlook 2022 and Outlook 2021, to write letters for victims of human trafficking. Together, they wrote over 50 letters for the Poiema Foundation in Texas. Through the Pen Pal program, Poiema can spread hope and uplifting messages to help others in their time of need. Mazie said, “We found a way to channel everyone's interests and skills into the effort to improve the lives of others. I learned in order for a leader to prosper, they must value the skill sets of their team.” Sponsor: Rebecca Jowers, Founder and Executive Director, Poeima Foundation.
Round Rock ISD
Annalise B., 1st year member. Project: Cards For Cancer - Annalise and six of her middle school friends worked together to spread joy to pediatric cancer patients. They created 46 unique handmade cards, each with seven doors that revealed lighthearted messages to provide a week of smiles. Annalise personally delivered the cards to M.D. Anderson in Houston to help give love to those in need. Annalise said, “I learned how to understand what cancer patients were going through and make my project really special for them.” Sponsor: Jennifer Robinson, Cancer Patients Mother.
Collin H., 2nd year member. Project: Collection of Goods for the Local Food Pantry - Collin and two of his friends worked together to gather over 350 items to donate to the local food pantry. The project helped them see how important it is to give back to the community and help the ones that need it most. Collin said, “I learned certain leadership skills that helped me see the side of giving back as well as how important it means to the ones who are receiving.” Sponsor: Taylor Ory, Youth Ministries Director.
San Angelo ISD
Mattie F., 1st year member. Project: Foster Care Toy Drive - Mattie and three of her friends collected toys from her peers and teachers at Lee Middle School. The toy drive benefited the foster children of High Sky Children's Ranch. Children there have to spend their Christmas away from home. The toy drive benefitted seven foster families. Mattie said, “I felt this experience was a great way to engage my peers in helping others. I was able to gain the support of my principal and she was proud to see me lead my volunteers in such a generous activity.” Sponsor: Elisa Bird, Vice Principal.
Levi U.-C., 1st year member. Project: Replacing Trailhead at Eisenhower State Park - Levi and six of his friends recruited from two Scout troops along with five adults dismantled an aging trailhead at Eisenhower State Park and built a new trailhead in its place. The posts for the project were cedar from the park. The group project provided a replacement for an aging trailhead that clearly marks the nature trail. Additionally, it allowed local youth to connect with the State Park and to the resources available while providing a service to the park and the community. Levi said, “I had many obstacles to overcome, including inclement weather. I learned important leadership lessons such as allowing time for unforeseen delays.” Sponsor: Cody Edwards, Interpretive Ranger.
Elisabeth C., 1st year member. Project: Helping Paws and Claws - Elisabeth organized a group of 10 friends and family who volunteered more than 50 hours at the Erath County Humane Society animal shelter. The group also hosted a bake sale that raised over $700 and over 200 pounds of pet food and supplies. The volunteers provided the help and affection the shelter and the animals needed and the sale provided needed supplies and money. Elisabeth said, “My friends and I enjoyed giving back to our community. It made us realize that even though we're young, we can still do big things.” Sponsor: Diane McCoy, Executive Director.
Hockaday School, Dallas, TX
Anya A., 1st year member. Project: Baskets from a BFF! - Anya recruited 12 of her fifth grade school friends to collect, package, and deliver 50 baskets of houseware items to the Dallas Genesis Women's Shelter. They also hosted an original bake sale to raise money for 100 board games, books, and art supplies for the children at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital. The sale benefited women and children going through hard times and the girls gained valuable leadership and organizational skills in being able to execute the project to its end. Anya said, “I began to see very early on that my Alumni Council Project, with all my pride in putting it together, was not all about me.” Sponsor: Katrina Moran, Girl Scout Troop Leader.
Providence Classical School, Spring, TX
Logan C., 1st year member. Project: Houston Food Bank Volunteer Service - Logan and seven of his classmates served in a group volunteer shift at the Houston Food Bank. Together, with other volunteers, they packed food for the Back Pack Buddies outreach and made a total of 7,800 meals to be given to children without meals over the weekend. They learned about the impact that any person can make by serving to help hungry people across Texas. Logan said, “It is very important to spread awareness about hunger. Serving at the Houston Food Bank truly changed my perspective on things. It taught me to be more thankful for everything I have.” Sponsor: Sean Dickard, Teacher.
E. A. Young Academy, North Richland Hills, TX
Jaxson D., 1st year member. Project: Cat Helper - Jaxson worked with the organization Classy Cats to help take care of kittens and help them get adopted. He worked at several adoption events to help provide these animals with a better life. Jaxson said, “I have found raising animals doesn’t always go as planned but I’ve always found a way around problems that have arisen and helped the cats in the end.” Sponsor: Stacy Driscoll, Parent.
Trinity School of Texas, Longview, TX
Hannah M., 2nd year member. Project: Book Drive for Presbyterian Children's Center - Hannah, with the help of her church, First Presbyterian Church of Longview, collected over 500 books for teachers and children at Presbyterian Children's Center. Books were distributed among classrooms for use by children and teachers. Hannah said, “I enjoy volunteering with PCC whenever I can, so I was excited to be able to hold the book drive for them.” Sponsor: Kendal Land, Pastor.
The Clariden School, Southlake, TX
Jacob P., 2nd year member, Project: Snack Sacks For Kids - Jacob, his friends, and students from North Texas Leadership Academy helped with a Snack Sacks program for students in Northwest ISD. They collected over 1,500 food items and successfully packed 369 snack bags for children on the reduced and free lunch program. They helped provide food for kids so they could have something to eat for the weekend. Jacob said, “Doing this project opened my eyes not only to the real world, but to a world of possibility.” Sponsor: Jennifer Pasteur, Executive Director, Education in Action.
Out of State
The Dunham School, Baton Rouge, LA
Kristopher H., 1st year member. Project: Warm Blanket Drive - Kristopher recruited help in collecting donations from The Dunham School, American Airlines, ARS, International Inc., BrewHaHa, and Royal Treatment Pet Spa. Because his family moved from Texas to Louisiana, donations were requested in both states and ultimately two SUVs filled with donated blankets, sheets, towels, and pillows were collected and delivered to Lost Paws Rescue of Texas and Friends of the Animals in Baton Rougen Louisiana. The rescue animals were given a warm and clean place to rest. Kristopher said, “I encountered many obstacles due to my family's move to a new state. It took a long time and some creativity, but I'm glad I helped the rescue animals in my communities.” Sponsor: Mary Theriot, Head of Middle School, The Dunham School.