Our Reason Why

At the end of each school year, the LEAD Team takes time to reflect. What went well? How can we improve? Additionally, we host focus groups to hear from our student LEADers. While our efforts and methods continue to be refined with data-driven decisions, our why remains. LEAD prepares youth for success by providing life skills and exposure to new opportunities. We are grateful for our partners and friends who share their work and passion to expand our students' vision and worldview. Thank you for Letting Everyone Achieve Dreams and for allowing us to share awesome experiences with our students. Check out some of our recent activities!

Career Fair at Refined Technologies, Inc.

Refined Technologies, Inc. (RTI) hosted a career fair at their Houston Distribution Center for LEAD. Our Student LEADers were engaged and curious about this opportunity. They received a thorough tour of the facility, then visited with Artisans from RTI to experience a day in the life of professionals. LEADers were exposed to various career paths, including human resources, marketing, finance, logistics, operations, and more! The mission and culture of the RTI community were reinforced throughout the day. "Eternal purpose fuels excellence." Service and caring for others are at the core of their work. Our visit concluded with lunch, swag bags, and a trivia game that allowed LEADers to showcase their learning and recall highlights from the day. Thank you for sharing your gifts and guiding our youth, Refined Technologies.

Floral Design with Gail Hutchings

Gail Hutchings graciously shared her passion for floral design with our LEADers. The talented designer learned her skills from her Mom and grew up tending to her family's flower shop and greenhouse. Eventually, she worked part-time as a florist in college. While she has worked in many fields, she returned to her roots and feeds the artistic side of her soul and brain with flowers. The florist described how the art of design allows her the opportunity to bring the joy and beauty of flowers to many, and it connects her to our natural world. After sharing her story, Ms. Hutchings identified a colorful selection of flowers and shared the basics of floral arranging. Each student selected flowers and created a unique arrangement for a loved one. Our students were proud of their creative designs and grateful for the opportunity to gain a new skill. We appreciate your time and talents, Ms. Hutchings. Thanks for sharing your joy.

Star Wars Exhibit at Valobra Master Jewelers

Photos by Priscilla Dickson

We were delighted to attend the Star Wars Exhibit at Valobra Master Jewelers. Student LEADers, their parents, and volunteers learned about the iconic and groundbreaking Star Wars trilogy. We viewed an extensive rare collection of memorabilia that included artifacts, costumes, scripts, and props. Students loved interacting with R2-D2 and seeing Darth Vader! In addition to learning about great cinematic history, LEADers discovered how revolutionary the movies were. Exploration into space and breakthroughs in technology revealed that filmmaker George Lucas had a vision and a dream. Owner of Valobra Master Jewelers, Franco Valobra, offered words of wisdom and encouraged our group to dream big, practice kindness, and be inquisitive. Students (and adults) left inspired. We were honored to receive this invitation and unique opportunity. Thank you, Valobra Master Jewelers. May the Force be with you!

Will you help send a child to Camp LEAD?

Camp LEAD is a proven solution. We encourage personal growth, improve well-being, increase confidence and self-esteem, and reduce negative attitudes and feelings. We are expecting our largest summer ever! Your support makes a difference. Give the gift of summer camp, and allow a student LEADer to engage in outdoor activities and great fun! It solely costs $250 to send a student to camp.

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Dejon B. Hawthorne