Three LouisvilleKY schools earn national grants for student-led community projects

Student Leadership Program Rallies One Million Students Across the U.S.

NEWARK, Del.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Empowered to Lead. Inspired to Serve. Today, five student teams from middle and high schools across the country have won the fifth annual Lead2Feed Challenge and will be awarded $20,000 each for their school’s nonprofit of choice and $10,000 technology grants for their school. Since its inception five years ago, the Lead2Feed Student Leadership Programis the nation’s leading and fastest growing free student leadership program, attracting more than one million students from 5,000 schools and clubs across all 50 states.
Aligned to 21st century skills, Lead2Feed encourages students to develop leadership, literacy and teamwork skills by completing service learning projects addressing needs in their community. In a recent survey conducted by Lead2Feed, 91 percent of Americans believe that middle and high school students should learn leadership skills as part of their curriculum. The program is inspired by Co-Founder, former CEO and Chairman of Yum! Brands, and leadership expert, David Novak. The program was developed by the Foundation for Impact on Literacy and Learning, the Lift a Life Foundation and the Yum! Brands Foundation.


To win the Lead2Feed Challenge, students study leadership lessons, form teams and create programs to address a community need. From the student-led projects submitted, 50 total teams were selected based on the leadership, innovation and impact students demonstrated to address an important need in the community.

The five grand prize recipients are:

  • Bagdad School, Bagdad, AZ (Team Cottage Crafters): FCCLA and Skills USA students teamed up to apply their leadership skills to build a “sleeping cottage” for the homeless. Students planned, built and delivered a complete tiny house to the Coalition for Compassion and Justice and the United Way in Prescott, AZ. “Our hope is that we will spark a movement!” said students.
  • The Phoenix School of Discovery, Louisville, KY (Team R.I.S.E. Refugees in a Safe Environment): Team R.I.S.E. created a Bridge Building Day event to create cultural awareness and break down walls between cultures. More than 500 students formed teams and helped more than a dozen charities in the community while learning about and valuing each other.
  • Winton Woods Middle School, Winton Woods, OH (Team Warriors for Change): Students set a goal to change the current culture and climate of the school so school leaders would see them as a resource for effective change. The students led a variety of projects, including renovating the wait room, creating air-scrubbing indoor gardens and collecting for the FreeStore Food Bank. As student Julian tells us, “At the beginning I thought I would fail this class, but now I feel confident in almost any situation. The lessons taught me about being a leader and I feel better about myself.”
  • Eisenhower High School, Lawton, OK (Team Ike Ignition): Eisenhower’s ninth grade class wanted to achieve and exceed the legacy of the school’s “All In” Lead2Feed award from last year. They took their efforts to volunteer, fundraise and educate students as well as schools across Oklahoma to alleviate hunger in their communities. The biggest takeaway for these students was learning communication, optimism and flexibility as necessary tools for leading a team.
  • Ogden High School, Ogden, UT (Team FCCLA C.A.N.): Students combined lessons of healthy eating, cooking and food collection to empower teens to make wise food and lifestyle choices. Student Crystal said “I learned through Lead2Feed that an effective leader shares responsibilities and includes everyone.”

The Lead2Feed Student Leadership Program is also awarding $10,000 charitable grants and $5,000 technology grants based on the outstanding works of the following teams:

  • Elizabethtown High School Service Club, Elizabeth, KY (Team We Scare Hunger)
  • Mercy Academy, Louisville, KY (Team E.N.D. Educating for Nonviolence Daily)
  • River Hill High School, Clarksville, MD (Team RHFBLA)
  • Grand Rapids Christian Middle School, Grand Rapids, MI (Team Global Diversity)
  • Raytown High School, Raytown, MO (Team Raytown High School Jay Crew)
  • Port Chester Middle School, Port Chester, NY (Team PCMS Rams Out ALD)
  • St. Francis Episcopal School, Houston, TX (Team Harris Souper Squad)
  • George H. Moody Middle School, Henrico, VA (Team YAPS)
  • Southampton High School FBLA, Southampton, VA (Team Southampton HS Dream Catchers)
  • Odessa High School, Odessa, WA (Team Future Business Leaders of America)

Additionally, $5,000 charitable grants and $2,000 technology grants will be awarded based on the outstanding work of the following teams:

  • Mohave High School, Bullhead City, AZ (Team Launching Leaders at NOW-MOM!)
  • Design and Architecture Senior High, Miami, FL (Team Happy Little Boxes)
  • JP Taravella High School DECA, Coral Springs, FL (Team JPT DECA Here 2 Help)
  • Stockbridge High School, Stockbridge, GA (Team SHS National Honor Society)
  • Seneca High School, Louisville, KY (Team Seneca Redhawk Rangers)
  • Atlanta High School, Atlanta, LA (Team #ShopWinn)
  • The Harbour School, Baltimore, MD (Team Harbouring Hope)
  • Churchill County High School, Fallon NV (Team Have a Heart)
  • St. Hilary School, Fairlawn, OH (Team Student Council)
  • Menchville High School, Newport News, VA (Team Food Lions)

For a full list of winners, please visit here.

“Now more than ever, we need to build leaders for the future. Through the Lead2Feed Student Leadership Program, we are teaching students leadership skills they will use to find a need in their community and take action,” said David Novak. “Our recent survey found that 91 percent of Americans think teachers should integrate leadership skills in their schools’ existing curriculum. Lead2Feed helps support this by fostering the development of leadership in classrooms and beyond.”

“I am incredibly proud of our Lead2Feed students who have used this program to develop their leadership, project management and teamwork skills,” said Diane Barrett, Executive Director of the Foundation for Impact on Literacy and Learning, Inc. “The program is empowering students to make a difference in their communities and the skills learned will serve them now and in the future.”

Complete rules and details on the Lead2Feed Challenge are available at:

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About Lead2Feed

The Lead2Feed Student Leadership Program was created by the Foundation for Impact on Literacy and Learning and the Lift a Life Foundation, with assistance from the Yum! Brands 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 501c3.

About Foundation for Impact on Literacy and Learning

The Foundation for Impact on Literacy and Learning, a 501c3 organization, 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 organization 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. The Foundation seeks funding from other foundations, private companies and organizations to help provide educational programs for elementary and secondary schools, community colleges and/or programs in specific disciplines or curriculum areas. The Foundation works with interested parties to collaborate on the creation of an educational program that promotes literacy and learning.

About Lift a Life Foundation

The Lift a Life Foundation was established in 1999 by David and Wendy Novak. The mission of the Lift a Life 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 Foundation began, it has helped thousands of people in need through grants and programming support. David Novak is the Co-Founder, former CEO and Chairman of Yum! Brands, one of the world’s largest restaurant companies with nearly 43,500 KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut restaurants in more than 135 countries and territories. A renowned expert on leadership and recognition culture, Novak is the author of three highly respected and critically acclaimed books, The Education of an Accidental CEO, the New York Times bestseller Taking People With You as well as his latest parable, O Great One! A Little Story About The Awesome Power of Recognition. David has been recognized as “2012 CEO of the Year” by Chief Executive magazine, one of the world’s “30 Best CEOs” by Barron’s, one of the “Top People in Business” by FORTUNE and one of the “100 Best-Performing CEOs in the World” by Harvard Business Review. In April 2015, he received the prestigious 2015 Horatio Alger Award for his commitment to philanthropy and higher education and became a lifetime member of the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. He is the recipient of the 2012 UN World Food Program Leadership Award for Yum! Brands World Hunger Relief effort that raises awareness, volunteerism and funds to address this global problem. He received the national 2008 Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship. He also is the founder of the world’s first recognition brand, OGO, which stands for ‘O Great One’, a term coined by Novak to define influential people, such as family, friends or co-workers, who inspire and contribute to those around them. Wendy Novak is a lifelong philanthropist and volunteer. She serves on the advisory board for the Wendy Novak Diabetes Care Center.

About Yum! Brands, Inc.

Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, has over 43,500 restaurants in more than 135 countries and territories and is one of the Aon Hewitt Top Companies for Leaders in North America. In 2017, Yum! Brands was named among the top 100 Best Corporate Citizens by Corporate Responsibility Magazine. The company’s restaurant brands – KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell – are the global leaders of the chicken, pizza and Mexican-style food categories. Worldwide, the Yum! Brands system opens over six new restaurants per day on average, making it a leader in global retail development.