Education in Action Blog

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Education in Action was awarded $500 by Staples Foundation, the private charitable arm of Staples, Inc., through a program called 2 Million & Change that allows Staples associates around the globe to direct more than $2 million in donations each year. Ms. Karen Alvarez, Manager of the Southlake location of Staples, nominated Education in Action for the award.

“We were elated to learn we received these funds! This money provided five $100 scholarships for outstanding young Texans on free or reduced meals to take part in our summer 2018 Lone Star Leadership Academy camps.” stated Jennifer Pasteur, Executive Director of Education in Action. “We want every nominated student to be able to take part in this unique educational experience. Thank you to Karen Alvarez, Staples Store Manager of the Southlake location, for nominating Education in Action for this grant and thank you to the Staples Foundation for awarding the funds and helping us fulfill our mission, to empower young people to be informed and active leaders in their communities.”

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Sixty-one outstanding young student leaders from across Texas successfully completed membership in Education in Action’s 2017-2018 Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council. Members each received a certificate of merit to honor the contributions they made to their communities through the service projects they led this school year as Alumni Council members.

Initially, members participated in the Lone Star Leadership Academy, a weeklong leadership development summer camp. As graduates of this program, they were invited to join the Alumni Council to continue developing their leadership skills during the school year. They completed leadership modules to pinpoint their interests and talents and to identify a need in their community about which they were passionate. They used the information to create and lead a service project of their choosing. A 2017-2018 Alumni Council Video and a description and photo of each student’s service project are available at...

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Each year the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented awards merit-based scholarships of up to $400 for GT students to take part in summer enrichment opportunities including Lone Star Leadership Academy camps. This year, a FULL scholarship for the top scoring applicant to attend the Lone Star Leadership Academy was also awarded. Congratulations to Mikaela Johnson, an 8th grader from Early ISD. Mikaela was the top scoring Lone Star Leadership Academy applicant and received a FULL scholarship to attend the Houston/Galveston camp this summer!

SIXTEEN additional outstanding students from across the state received TAGT Scholarships to attend summer 2018 Lone Star Leadership Academy camps. This year's winners include Marisol Acevedo of Fort Worth, Emaan Atiq of Richmond, Karen Butron-Rangel of Houston, Maggie Cepeda of McAllen, Ayanna Constantino of Levelland, Aidan Cuellar of San...

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Kudos to Pavithra Gopalakrishnan for winning the 2018 Texas State Historical Association's Junior Historians "Lone Star Leader in Texas History" essay contest! Her entry, "The Life and Leadership of Samuel Houston", earned her a full scholarship to attend a 2018 Lone Star Leadership Academy camp.

"Frank" de la Teja, TSHA's Interim Chief Executive Officer, presented Pavithra with her award during the 2018 Junior Historians Annual Meeting Awards Luncheon in San Antonio on April 7th. Kudos, Pavithra! We look forward to seeing you at camp this summer! #TSHA #EducationInAction #LoneStarLeadershipAcademy

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Jayson Kimberly, a 6th grader at Montgomery Junior High in Montgomery, Texas and Lone Star Leadership Academy Dallas/Fort Worth and Austin/San Antonio camps alumnus, is making quite a name for himself among animal lovers in his community! As a member of the 2017-2018 Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council, Jayson has helped hundreds of foster and shelter animals through his “Leave it for the Pooch” service project. With two Great Danes, two Weimaraners, and a Bull Mastiff in his family, it’s no surprise Jayson chose to create and lead a service project benefiting his four-legged friends!

In July 2017 Jayson started his project by creating a “Leave it for the Pooch” Facebook group as a place for donors to notify him of items for pickup and for those that shelter and foster animals to post their needs and wish lists. Thank yous for donations received and photos of donation drop-offs are also posted on this page. Jayson also partnered with...

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We are excited to highlight Jade Sosa, a stand-out young leader that took part in the Lone Star Leadership Academy – Houston/Galveston camp this past summer. Jade is a GT student at International Baccalaureate Lamar Academy in McAllen. She cofounded an organization called Project 2.0, Do Something Mentor, to provide positive role models to mentor students in her school that didn’t have positive mentors in their lives. The idea came to her when she attended People to People Leadership Ambassador Program at Harvard where she was asked to think of a local community problem and come up with a solution. The Texas Education Agency recognized her work by naming her a 2017 Student Hero Award recipient. In addition, Jade presented her program at the South Texas Ideas Festival in March of 2017. Kudos to Jade for taking the initiative to make a positive difference in her school and community in such a unique...

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Kudos to Dawson Zarazinski for winning the 2017 Texas State Historical Association's Junior Historians "Lone Star Leader in Texas History" essay contest! His entry, titled "Charles Goodnight 'Father of the Texas Panhandle'" earned him a full scholarship to attend a 2017 Lone Star Leadership Academy camp. He took part in this week's June 11-16 Dallas/Fort Worth camp.

I met with Dawson this morning, his last day at camp, to congratulate him and to learn a little more about him. I asked Dawson what motivated him to enter the contest and he stated, "I do well in UIL Writing and thought I had a pretty good chance, so I entered." When I asked what was his favorite experience during the week he said, "That's hard. Either AT&T Stadium or the Texas Civil War Museum. I'm all about the Civil War and I've always liked learning about it. My great-great-great-great grandfather fought in the Civil War." He also shared, "I'm also really...

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Each year the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented awards merit-based scholarships of up to $400 for GT students to take part in summer enrichment opportunities including Lone Star Leadership Academy camps. We are delighted to announce that TWELVE outstanding students received TAGT Scholarships to attend summer 2017 Lone Star Leadership Academy camps. With more than 600 TAGT scholarship applicants and less than 50 recipients this cycle, we are delighted that almost a quarter of TAGT's scholarships went to future Lone Star Leadership Academy campers! This says a great deal about the caliber of students that take part in these camps! In addition, ZaCory Shields received TAGT’s Carole Vermillion Elementary Scholar Award for submitting the highest scoring summer enrichment scholarship application! As the winner of this award, ZaCory received a $500 scholarship to attend the Lone Star Leadership Academy! The remaining eleven TAGT scholarship winners are...

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Kudos to Caden Black, Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council third year member, for being recognized in Azleway Boys Ranch’s spring 2017 magazine! For his 2016-2017 Alumni Council service project, “Hooked on Books”, Caden collected more than 1,000 books which he donated to Azleway Boys Ranch, an organization that has been restoring lives and relationships of children in crisis since 1979. For his first two service projects (2014-2015 and 2015-2016) Caden collected food and clothing for his community’s pantry. In addition, Caden has earned Education in Action’s Trailblazer designation by participating in all three Lone Star Leadership Academy camps. We are so proud of this Lone Star Leader! Read the full article recognizing Caden’s work!

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In honor of National Random Acts of Kindness Week, February 12th-18th, we are highlighting an activity recently completed by our 2016-2017 Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council members. Members have committed to a year of continued leadership development in the form of four leadership lessons and a service project. In December, for one of their lessons, Carolyne Markle, Alumni Council Coordinator, challenged all 88 members to reflect on how Random Acts of Kindness received had made them feel and the benefits of performing them. She then challenged them to perform their own Random Acts of Kindness. The 88 members representing schools and districts across Texas completed the assignment and spread goodwill all over the state! Here are just a few examples:

  • "My friend and I chose to smile at everyone we pass in the halls at school. It definitely creates positive vibes and encourages the people we smile at to smile at others, too!"
  • "We decided to write anonymous notes to our favorite teachers about how much we appreciate them."
  • "I noticed a girl behind...
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