Today’s high school students are classified as go-getters, activists and dreamers. In fact, 72 percent* of high school students want to start their own business and 60 percent* want to change the world. Young people are actively looking for ways to get involved in their communities and genuinely want to make a difference.
This is apparent in the more than 27,500 students participating this year in Chick-fil-A Leader Academy, the nation’s largest leadership-specific high school program. with more than 900 high schools in 38 states.
Students are selected by their schools to participate in Chick-fil-A Leader Academy, which is organized by an educator at the school and sponsored by a local Chick-fil-A Restaurant Operator. The seven-month program focuses on making an impact through action and training leaders within local communities.
Each September, students kick off the program by engaging in a service project. This year, the students worked with Operation Gratitudeto pack and send thousands of care packages to veterans and actively deployed U.S. service members and their families. These care packages were filled with entertainment, hygiene, handmade items, non-perishable snacks and personal letters of appreciation to U.S. troops, first responders, veterans, military families, and wounded heroes and their care givers.
Throughout the school year students will take part in weekly “Leader Labs,” where they are guided through an interactive curriculum covering topics like vision, values, servant leadership and features positive stories of impact meant to spark creativity and motivation. Over the course of the program, they will put what they learn into action by completing three service projects benefiting their local communities.
The program’s midpoint is marked by “Do Good December,” where students apply what they’ve learned by planning and implementing a service project for community members in need. Not only do the students become more aware of problems their local communities may be facing, but they are also given the opportunity to actively be a part of a solution.
In the spring, the program comes to an end with students leading their own Impact Projects. Projects in the past have included everything from a special needs carnival to a “senior prom” for local senior citizens.
“We are excited to partner with high schools across the country through Chick-fil-A Leader Academy and provide opportunities for the next generation of leaders,” said Rodney Bullard, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility for Chick-fil-A. “Our goal is to engage students and equip them with the tangible leadership tools they need to impact their communities.”
The program is fully funded through generous sponsorships from local Chick-fil-A restaurant Operators, Chick-fil-A, Inc., and Coca-Cola. Chick-fil-A Operators often serve as business coaches to the students involved as they implement their service projects to better their communities.
Learn more about Chick-fil-A Leader Academy at www.chickfilaleaderacademy.com