It’s always amazing to me what can happen when a spark of an idea is ignited by the fire of a generous, forward-thinking community. It was 2014 when I stood before a crowd of people at a U & Improved graduation and announced we were creating a new class—U the Teen Leader—an experiential leadership development class for high school aged students. Many of our U the Leader graduates had told me that they wished they had the tools and takeaways from that class at an earlier stage in their lives. And thus, the idea for U the Teen Leader began to become a reality.
I was determined to create a program to empower the next generation with the confidence to live big, bold, passion-filled lives. And to no surprise, our amazing training team got to work and U the Teen Leader was born. I never could have imagined what happened next. Upon my announcement at that graduation, three incredible individuals immediately lept up from their seats and said, “Jodi, I would like to personally sponsor a teen!”
I was in shock … and tears.
What generosity! What kindness! It was surreal. And with that, another idea was born. I began imagining what it would be like to one day create a non-profit to help provide scholarships to deserving teens who couldn’t otherwise afford to attend the class.
I am so excited to announce that this dream is now a reality! We now have our official status 501(c)(3) organization. The U & Improved Leadership Foundation is alive!
Our goal as a non-profit organization is to provide leadership development training scholarships to deserving teenagers with the potential to positively impact their lives, the lives of their families and their communities.
The U & Improved Leadership Foundation mission is three-fold:
- Raise funds through community partnerships and private donations.
- Identify teenagers who would benefit from leadership development training but who lack funds for tuition.
- Award scholarships to these deserving teens to cover the tuition and grant them the opportunity to graduate from this rewarding leadership development program.
I can’t even begin to thank the alumni, friends and supporters who helped make this happen … there are too many to mention! I can only say it takes a village and I’m blessed to be surrounded by a village of determined, talented and extremely generous people.
And watch out world, we are going to dramatically impact and improve the lives of countless teens! Pinch me! Dreams do come true! And now … it’s GO TIME! We have lives to improve! The August U the Teen Leader class is going to be absolutely magical!
Find out how to be part of it at www.uandimprovedfoundation.org.
Want to know more about our U the Teen Leader class? Contact us today!