Alumni Council Members' Service Projects

150 outstanding students from across Texas are members of the 2023-2024 Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council. Their hometowns are pinned on the map below. As they complete their service projects, we are highlighting the projects they led, and the positive contributions they've made to their schools and communities, below.

Leaders in Action!

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Aledo ISD

Freya, 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 Hop 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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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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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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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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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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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

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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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

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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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

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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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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NorthsideISD

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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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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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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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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Homeschool

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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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.