The Odessa Record -

Students mobilize to tackle community needs

FBLA wins $10,000 for Friends of the Pool


--Archive photo.

Odessa FBLA students are shown earlier this year at a Spokane event. Back row: Brady Walter, Colton Messer, Jakob Starkel, Joshua Clark, Noah Anderson, Theron Schlomer, Jayd Jennings, Chance Messer, Camden Weber, Colby Sooy, John DeWulf, Brad Johnston, Colton Hunt, Marcus King, Jaden Hunt, Wyatt Haase. Front row: Destiny German, Kassidy Crossley, Ireland Luiten, Kenadie Elder, Brenna Carstensen, Sarina Goetz, Rebecca Fortner, Josie Westmoreland, Tori Weishaar, McKennah Davison, Caitlyn Schuh, Zoe Clark, Megan Shafer, Arianna German, Terri King (FBLA advsior).

Odessa, WA, May 16, 2017 – The Odessa High School chapter of FBLA will be awarded $10,000 for their chapter's nonprofit of choice, Odessa Friends of the Pool, and $5,000 in Apple products for their school as part of the fifth annual Lead2Feed Leadership Challenge, the nation's leading and fastest growing free service learning program which aims to solve community needs by teaching leadership skills to students. Since its inception in 2012, over a million students in 5,000 schools and clubs across all 50 states have participated, donating thousands of volunteer hours and millions of meals to hungry families. Lead2Feed was developed by the USA Today Charitable Foundation, with support from Lift a Life Foundation and Yum! Brands Foundation. Odessa FBLA has won the Lead2Feed Challenge twice and received second place this year.

To win the Lead2Feed World Hunger Leadership Challenge, students from Odessa High School FBLA formed teams and created programs to meet the basic needs of the Odessa Community including warm clothing and food for children in need, nutritious meals for Odessa's senior citizens and donation of money from a fundraiser to purchase a heat pump for the Odessa pool.

This year, more than 5,000 teachers nationwide registered as Lead2Feed members. Of the educators who submitted student-led projects, Odessa High School FBLA was selected as one of the top 10 winning recipients due to their outstanding work and determination to serve their community.

Odessa High School FBLA was selected as a winner based on:

• The establishment of the Backpack Program for the Odessa School District.

• The annual implementation of the Backpack Program which serves approximately 50 students each week throughout the school year.

• Raising $1,465 to purchase warm winter clothing for children in need.

• Packing 1,100 donated items into Hunger Boxes for 55 children in need to eat over Christmas Break.

• Preparing 500 nutritious freezer meals for Odessa's senior citizens

• Donating $2,500 from a fundraiser to the Odessa Friends of the Pool to purchase a heat pump.

"Inspiration is one of the many words that come to mind when I think of the hundreds of thousands of students finding ways to combat and understand world hunger in their local communities," said David Novak, executive chairman of Yum! Brands, Inc. "Lead2Feed provides the opportunity to teach the next generation of leaders how to lead the right way – with compassion and understanding – this program is making the world a better place for generations to come."

The Lead2Feed curriculum incorporates leadership principles from Novak's book, "Taking People With You: The Only Way to Make BIG Things Happen." Students get hands-on experience with Novak's idea that the only way to make big things happen is to have other people on your side.

"We are very pleased to be awarding Odessa HS FBLA students for the admirable work they have accomplished in their communities through the Lead2Feed Program this year," said Diane Barrett, president of the USA TODAY Charitable Foundation. "After three years in the Lead2Feed program, we are amazed to see the experiences this service-learning program has brought to students at Odessa High School. Not only are they actively learning, but they are learning important skills such as collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity."


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