“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” --Mahatma Gandhi
In this day and age, real leaders capable of changing the world for the better are sparse. In an attempt to equip the next generation with powerful leaders, Chick-Fil-A from the Shawnee Chick-Fil-A, started a program called The Chick-Fil-A Leader Academy. With the backing and help of Jeff Madison from the Shawnee Chick-Fil-A, this program focuses on equipping kids with solid leadership foundations and putting emphasis on the importance of serving.
Each semester, every Leader Academy team must operate a charity event for their local community. As a way to reach into the community, the students of Christian Family Academy enrolled in Chick-Fil-A Leader Academy and were faced with a challenge titled “Do Good December.” This unique project comprised of doing a good deed within the community, donating certain necessities, then delivering them to people in need. The students had to organize this event themselves, as well as come up with the funds and supplies necessary to do so. The finished project consisted of going to the Shawnee Craig Family Friendship House to decorate cookies and celebrate the Christmas season. The Friendship House is an afterschool program through Community Renewal Shawnee. It takes in kids after school, feeds them, and invests in their lives in a positive way. The Leader Academy students arrived at the Craig Family Friendship House on Dec. 10 to participate with the kids after school. The Leader Team decorated cookies and got to know the kids. After the decorating was over, they handed out gift bags of hats, gloves, and socks in preparation for colder weather. These items were donated by Christian Family Academy. Just as the Friendship House reaches out to the kids, the Chick-Fil-A Leader Academy also reaches out to their community to make a positive impact.
Shortly after the event, Caleb Brunet, a member of the Chick-Fil-A Leadership team, stated, “This event gave me a new perspective on the welfare of Shawnee and a love for its citizens.” Thanks to the insightful experience provided by the Friendship House, the Leader Academy students not only were touched by the experience, but they will continue to empower their community.
Written by: Isaac Dean and Caleb Brunet, Chick-Fil-A Leader Academy members and future leaders