Lead4Change Student Leadership Program Honors Student Teams Addressing Community Issues such as Recycling, Mental Health and Anti-Bullying

Students across the country learn leadership skills while creating real change in their communities

NEWARK, Del.--()--Today, 29 middle school and high school teams have been selected as winners of the Lead4Change Challenge. The top five teams earned a $10,000 grant for a nonprofit of their choice. The Lead4Change Student Leadership Program guides students through lessons to develop a service project that addresses a need in their community while teaching valuable skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, communication and collaboration. Throughout the 2018 – 2019 school year, Lead4Change awarded $130,000 to 70 teams across 24 states.

Lead4Change is the nation’s fastest growing privately funded student leadership program. More than 1.5 million students across all 50 states have had the opportunity to grow as leaders through Lead4Change’s free curriculum. The lessons align to most educational standards, including Literacy, Social Emotional Learning and Project-Based Learning.

The five grand prize recipient teams are:

  • Fort Lauderdale High School, “Brightcasters” team, Fort Lauderdale, Florida – A team of ten high school students formed a mindfulness club to take tragic events such as Parkland and focus on positivity, mindfulness and changing the culture of their school. The group became incorporated as a non-profit organization. Jill Malman said, “Lead4Change helped Brightcasters set clear goals, create an action plan and have an overall structure. This came at the perfect time, allowing student leaders to shine.”
  • Menchville High School, “Fare Share” team, Newport News, Virginia – This year students renamed their club “Fare Share” and focused on several ways to improve their community. Twenty-one students managed their time and efforts to accomplish each of their goals – from food drives to anti-bullying campaigns. In the fifth year of offering Lead4Change at Menchville High School, teacher Peter Mercier said, “This program develops leadership, discipline, motivation and empathy in students. Every student who participates learns how to take an active leadership role.”
  • Stockbridge High School, “SHS NHS RRR” team, Stockbridge, Georgia – Designed as a National Honor Society project, this team collected plastic bottles to construct a greenhouse, used a food computer and encouraged community composting. The 28 students involved the entire school, parents and community members to achieve their goals, while learning and teaching STEAM concepts. Teacher Josephine Jeganathan said, “Accessing the lessons through Google Classroom allowed students to use Lead4Change at their own pace. Students worked tirelessly and remained open to new learning at every point.”
  • Ft. Zumwalt South High School, “Ft. Zumwalt FBLA/DECA” team, Saint Peters, Missouri – Inspired by fellow students who had been granted a wish from Make-A-Wish, FBLA and DECA students raised almost $3,000 to help fund a wish. When FBLA and DECA students applied Lead4Change lessons, they achieved more than any previous year. Teacher Anne Klemme said, “The Lead4Change experience reinforced what we are trying to teach – it’s not always about what you want, but how you can help others.”
  • Ogden High School, “FCCLA United” team, Ogden, Utah – Six FCCLA students set a big goal of improving the lives of young children through service. Hosting a variety of events to provide support for at-risk and special needs youth, the students invested over 450 volunteer hours, collected close to 2,000 food items and served 450 meals. Teacher Shaylene Parry said, “These students were amazed, in the last lesson, to see how much they accomplished. They also improved their own self-esteem through this experience and have found their place at Ogden High.”

The Lead4Change Student Leadership Program is also awarding $500 charitable grants based on the outstanding works of the following teams:

  • J F Shields High School FBLA, “Panther Pride Computer Mentoring” team, Beatrice, AL
  • St. Paul's Episcopal School, “Magic on Old Shell Road” team, Mobile, AL
  • Flowing Wells High School FCCLA, “Denim Do-Over” team, Tucson, AZ
  • Rio Rico High School FFA, “Hawk Pride” team, Rio Rico, AZ
  • South Pasadena High School FBLA, “iKOMO” team, South Pasadena, CA
  • Hialeah Gardens Middle School/DFYIT Club, “121 Peer Counselors Changing Lives” team, Hialeah Gardens, FL
  • Mater Academy Charter High School FBLA, “Mater Academy FBLA 2019” team, Hialeah Gardens, FL
  • Miami Lakes K-8 Center, “Helping Hands, Open Hearts” team, Miami Lakes, FL
  • Babb Middle School FCCLA, “Babb Middle School FACS-FCCLA” team, Forest Park, GA
  • Garden Plain Elementary, “Team 2023”, Garden Plain, KS
  • Seneca High School Redhawk Rangers, “RRCK-Red Hawk Rangers Carole’s Kitchen” team, Louisville, KY
  • Kelliher Public School FCCLA, “Kelliher Kits” team, Kelliher, MN
  • Raytown High School, “Jay Crew” team, Raytown, MO
  • Jay M Robinson Middle School FBLA/Lead2Feed Boost, “Chargers for Change” team, Charlotte, NC
  • Grants High School FCCLA, “Peers Against Destructive Decisions” team, Grants, NM
  • Centennial High School FBLA, “Centennial Business Leadership” team, Gresham, OR
  • Easton Area High School FBLA, “FBLA Hero Squad” team, Easton, PA
  • ELCO High School, “RaiderTHON” team, Myerstown, PA
  • Rosemary Middle School FBLA, “RMS Cobras” team, Andrews, SC
  • Mount Ogden Junior High School, “Mount Ogden Junior High YMCA” team, Ogden, UT
  • George H. Moody Middle School, “MMS Far Fetchers” team, Henrico, VA
  • Moody Middle School, “Hearts at Home” team, Henrico, VA
  • Rock Ridge High School FBLA, “RRHS FBLA 19-20” team, Ashburn, VA
  • Tuckahoe Middle School, “Sketch Squad” team, Richmond, VA

The Lead4Change program is inspired by Founder & CEO of oGoLead, Co-Founder, retired Chairman and CEO of Yum! Brands and leadership expert, David Novak, and developed by the Foundation for Impact on Literacy and Learning and the Lift a Life Novak Family Foundation. Lead4Change recently rebranded from Lead2Feed, reflecting dynamic growth and the program’s expanded vision beyond its initial focus on hunger-related issues.

“The beauty of the Lead4Change program is in watching students apply the leadership skills they’ve learned in the classroom to a real need within their community,” said David Novak. “We hope this experience sparks a passion in students and helps them see their ability to positively impact the world.”

“It’s incredibly rewarding to watch students build confidence and a sense of belonging throughout their involvement with Lead4Change,” said Diane Barrett, Executive Director of the Foundation for Impact on Literacy and Learning. “These service projects have a profound impact on the community and the students involved.”

Complete rules and details on the Lead4Change Challenge are available at http://www.lead4change.org/

To watch the action, get involved and learn more, follow Lead4Change:

About Lead4Change

The Lead4Change Student Leadership Program was created by the Foundation for Impact on Literacy and Learning and the Lift a Life Novak Family Foundation to encourage middle and high school students to hone leadership skills by completing a service project around a community need involving a public nonprofit.

About Foundation for Impact on Literacy and Learning

The Foundation for Impact on Literacy and Learning was established in 2003 as a public charity. The Foundation supports and builds alliances that enhance innovative, instructional programs and community outreach by providing the resources to promote new opportunities and participation. FILL is a supporting foundation to the International Literacy Association. The foundation welcomes participation in efforts to engage, enlighten and inspire today’s students and educators by opening their classrooms to the real world. Find out more at www.fillprograms.org.

About Lift a Life Foundation

The Lift a Life Novak Family Foundation was established in 1999 by David and Wendy Novak. The mission of the Lift a Life Novak Family Foundation is to lead the way with innovative programs that help people in need and develop future leaders. The Foundation focuses on creative partnerships that make a lasting impact in the primary areas of hunger relief, early childhood education, juvenile diabetes, military family support and leadership development. Since Lift a Life Novak Family Foundation began, it has helped thousands of people in need through grants and programming support. For more information on Lift a Life Novak Family Foundation, go to www.liftalifefoundation.org.


Jessica Chen
G&S for Lead4Change


Jessica Chen
G&S for Lead4Change