Impact Project Season Kicks Off
The inspiration for Brookstone School’s Impact Project came from within their own community. Located in Columbus, Georgia, Brookstone School is just minutes away from Fort Benning Army Base. Brookstone School’s proximity to Fort Benning has created a deep appreciation among students for soldiers and their families— and the unique sacrifices they make in their daily lives.
Deployment is just one of those sacrifices. In fact, many of Brookstone School’s faculty and students have had a loved one deployed. Students wanted to do something special for these families. In partnership with Hearts Apart and Brookstone School’s faculty, they will select several families for a day of fun — a Family Day — at Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center, located close to Fort Benning. Students will work closely with the center to create a unique day of activities for these families.
But they won’t stop there. The Center features a popular Born Learning Trail that is in need of maintenance. Students have decided to refurbish the trail as part of the Impact Project with the hope to have the work completed in time for Family Day.
“These students felt a pull to do something for the military families in our community,” said Facilitator Catherine Trotter. “I have truly been following their lead.”
Middle School Mentors
Wando High School
Wando High School is the largest school in the state of South Carolina. Last year, students formed a group called the “Wando Ambassadors” to help rising high schoolers and new students make a successful leap into life at Wando. These same ambassadors were selected to be a part of Chick-fil-A Leader Academy.
Their Impact Project— Middle School Mentors —was established early in the program year, when students forged a relationship with Laing Middle School. Laing has a long and respected history in the community but also the highest poverty rate of Wando’s feeder schools. Mentorship could be an important way to maximize the success of these students.
The Middle School Mentor program matches 7th and 8th grade Laing students with a Chick-fil-A Leader Academy student. Twice a month, they meet to talk about life, school, and leadership. “Students realize this is about more than a bunch of meetings; it’s about commitment,” said Co-Facilitator Emilie Woody. “Students take their mentorship seriously because they want to see it continued by future Wando students.”
“They are learning about something incredibly valuable in leadership— the power of committed connection,” added Co-Facilitator Mary Whitman. “What they do today could affect somebody for the rest of their life.”
Fun Day For Kassidy
Locust Grove High School
Students at Locust Grove High School in Georgia will host a dodgeball tournament and Family Field Day benefiting a special needs student at their school, Kassidy, who suffers from frequent seizures caused by epilepsy. The money will help pay for the expenses of her new service dog, as well as ongoing medical expenses.
What drew students to this project was a desire to positively impact a family in their school, similar to the “Revved Up for Randy” Impact Project last year, which rallied around a student who suffered from a rare and serious form of cancer. Their event will invite their community for a dodgeball tournament and day of activities hosted by various clubs from the school and businesses from their community (including their own Chick-fil-A sponsoring Operator).
Kassidy’s family requested that after the $2,000 goal is met, students turn the rest over to the school’s special needs department. It was a humble request and one that students take very seriously. “These students have a committed interest in making a personal impact,” said Facilitator Holly Von Lanken. “They are thrilled that they could have the opportunity to benefit their own school’s special needs department above and beyond their original goal.”