(photo of Jeannine Wright and graduating class of 2022)
"Engaging students at every grade level is something that changes their lives dramatically", says Vanessa Puleo, Founder and Executive Director with led2serve. "When a student serves on their class trip in the 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th grades...something eventually clicks. They begin to see life, serving, fun and community blend as one. They want to incorporate a piece of serving into every place they go".
"Six years ago we sat around a table, and cast the vision of finding a school to partner with where each class trip would become a meaningful experience with the inclusion of service projects. We pictured them leaving their campus and making a difference in the lives of others while enjoying what would have been a more traditional class trip. Incorporating the fun of the trip with the serice component locally". This statement from Vanessa has come to life this fall as 239 students and faculty departed the campus of a Florida based independent school this past week.
All Saints Academy is a Florida based independent school who takes the term "creating global citizens" to a new level. Each year, starting from grade 7, they incorporate service into their curriculum. In a partnership with led2serve, they have joined forces to lead through example to each student in their classrooms. They travel to well designated partnerships that fit their specific class and goals. While the 7th graders are joining in team building activities and serving at our Young Life partner location, the 12th graders are white water rafting and helping homeowners build a ramp in beautiful North Carolina. Other classes will include spending time at the Dolphin Research Center in Key Largo, before heading out on glass bottom boat tour, while an additional class will spend time supporing a local park before adventuring onto the high ropes course.
"The graduating class of 2018 will be the first that we know of anywhere across the USA that has incorporated serving into a week of curriculum for five of their last six years". During their junior year ASA organizes a College Tour which supports students in the college decision. led2serve is planning to have lapel pins and shirts made to recognize all students who have said "good-bye" to their old style of class trips and have embraced the new life-changing model.