Students look to make a lasting impact

Over time, projects develop, service plans are altered, and new ideas are formed for the Service Challenge Projects. By getting “Plugged In” at the 2013 Youth Leadership Seminar, many students decided that it was time for them to “stand up” and make a difference in their community. The second annual “Giving Tuesday” is on December 3, 2013, and with the holiday season quickly approaching, we are very proud that our students give back throughout the entire year and not just during the “giving season.” 

Turpin High School was inspired to create 9-1-1 for Fun, where their seniors played a basketball game against local members of the Fire and Police units. Following the game, there were sandwiches 

BaBNH-8CQAAeH5f (2)provided by Chick-fil-A, and a chance for students and community members to hear stories from members of each unit and to give thanks for all of their hard work. This was AMF’s second school visit on November 26th and we could not be more inspired by the students at Turpin who came out to support such a great cause.

In 2012, Anderson High School also hosted a basketball game to raise money and awareness for Pelizaeus-Merzbacker Disease, a rare, degenerative central nervous system disorder in which coordination, motor abilities, and intellectual function deteriorates. Anderson is sticking with the sports theme and decided that their project for this year will be a community dodgeball event to raise community spirits and to provide funds for Mitch’s Mission, a non-profit organization that gives scholarships to send children with cancer to summer camp.

Norwood High School also continued with a similar theme from their project idea from last year, through supporting the children in the community by planning to host a science-outreach event for the elementary students of their school district. This project is an extension of their 2012 project where they focused on cleaning up and planting flowers along Mill Creek, as part of the restoration project.

_MG_6054Oyler High School focused on making their community better in 2012 through their efforts to sell calendars to raise money to adopt two families for the Christmas season. They took family portraits and presented these photos at a community dinner. This year, Oyler has decided to focus their efforts inward and hold an anti-bullying/violence week to help stop this issue within the walls of the high school.

Our Service Challenge Winner last year was Bracken County High School with their “It Can Wait!” campaign to discourage students from distracted driving.  They reached over 1500 students with the campaign’s events and the weeklong activities included themed IMG_3446days to focus on different types of distracted driving, a real car that had been involved in a distracted driving accident resulting in a fatality, and texting while driving simulators.  Bracken continued their desire to make a difference and have developed their new project for 2013 of “Spread the word to End the Word” (to eliminate the word retard), which will take place December 9th-13th. Bracken will be partnering with Pine Ridge Pine Village Homes for much of the week to bring mentally and physically challenged individuals and their workers to do a presentation for the students. There will be stations that are set up in the gym to simulate handicaps, such as being blindfolded, wheel chair obstacle course, ear muffs for deafness, etc. Finally, there will be a pledge table set up for students to sign up that they can “End the Word.”

Whether a school has developed a new idea for their Service Challenge or found ways to expand past projects, as long as students are getting “Plugged In” to their community, the world will continue to be touched by inspirational students looking to make a lasting impact.

Becky Griesmer
Impact Intern

YLS and SCP through the years

Wow, have times changed?!

Can you believe we just had our 12th annual Youth Leadership Seminar? Neither can we! The Anthony Muñoz Foundation held the 1st annual Youth Leadership Seminar on April 17, 2002. 36 schools and 360 students attended. This past years Seminar was by far the most successful yet, with over 1,300 students from 100 high schools in attendance.

YLS-through the Years

It’s incredible to compare and see the differences of the Seminar that we held in 2002 to this past years Seminar. Going from only having one guest speaker at YLS to having four guest speakers this year. Our first YLS was in the banquet room of Xavier University whereas this year’s YLS took up a huge part of the arena at the Cintas Center of Xavier University. The biggest change of all is that in 2002 we didn’t have smart-phones or present social media and this year on Twitter we were trending #Pluggedin2013 in Cincinnati. Can you image how much will change within the next decade?

Now that the Seminar is over its time to see all the students put their leadership skills to the test by taking this time to make a difference in their community with Service Challenge projects. (Not familiar with Service Challenge projects? Check out our previous blog to learn more!) This is our fifth year of having students put on a Service Challenge project and starting next week we will be going on tour! Next Thursday, November 21st we will have some of the AMF staff stop at Carlisle High School to see their project a Blood Drive for “Zeus Soldiers.” Learn more about their project in next week’s blog.

Don’t forget we want to see your project in action, all you need to do is tweet pictures and videos of the progress of your project to #AMFChallenge! Not involved in a project? Check out #AMFChallenge on Twitter to see how others are getting involved in their community!

Megan Barger
Experience Intern

Travel around the Tri-State

Buckle up and come for a ride to learn about the Service Challenge Projects from 6 local high schools.

Boy, time is flying by! Can you believe that YLS was a month ago and Thanksgiving is right around the corner?! Here at AMF, we are busy working on many projects, one of which being the Service Challenge! This week, we are going to take you on a trip around Cincinnati, so that you can learn what area high school students are doing to stay active in their communities!

Our journey starts off on the west side of Cincinnati at Mother of Mercy High School. Mercy has attended YLS since 2006 and their project this year is to coordinate an event to promote self-confidence and self-image to area grade schools.

soccer childrenWe now must take the long journey south on 75 to Erlanger, Kentucky, to visit the students at St. Henry District High School. The project developed at YLS is called “Crusaders” Kicks for Kids, where the school community will collect sporting shoes for inner city school children. The kids will even get a surprise visit around the holidays from Santa as they try on their new shoes!

Now, we head east on 275 to Forest Road. Anderson High School is hosting a community dodgeball event this February. The event is aimed to raise community spirit and the profits from the game will go to Mitch’s Mission, a non-profit organization that gives scholarships to send children with cancer to summer camp.

Buckle up for the hour long drive to Carlisle High School in Franklin, Ohio! This November 21st blood drive event is for Zeus Soldiers. Students will pass out teddy bears at Children’s Medical Center in Cincinnati, where a former student and friend spent almost a year fighting his battle against Leukemia before passing away earlier this fall. According to a teacher from Carlisle, “one soldier formed an army that will continue the fight for many years to come.”

Now, we start the car and head to Trenton, Ohio to visit the students of Edgewood High School. We are so glad that Edgewood was able to join us this year! “The Den” is the name of this school’s project where students will be creating a community thrift store run by local students.

Our final stretch of the road trip will be in Cincinnati at Mariemont school childrenHigh School. Students will fundraise and use donated money to provide the children of Frederick Douglas Elementary School with snacks over the weekend so that they do not go hungry. 

Now, that we have travelled around the Tri-State area, you must be exhausted! Before you go and take a nap, it is YOUR turn to let us know your school’s project, so that you can be featured in a future blog post!

Not a YLS school, but already doing something in your hometown or want to help these schools more? Not a problem, just let us know! Continue to tweet using #AMFChallenge so that we can see what change you are making in your community!

Becky Griesmer
Impact Intern

Final thoughts on YLS 2013

Thank you again to all of you for getting “Plugged In” last Wednesday!

Our October 9th Youth Leadership Seminar was a huge success and we could not have done it without all of you! It was record breaking attendance and #PluggedIn2013 was trending throughout the day in Cincinnati!

groupStudents spent the day at Xavier University learning about how they can make an impact in their communities. By getting “Plugged In” at the seminar, students had a chance to hear speakers such as Nick Jackson, a motivational speaker, April Kerley, a paralympian, and John Herman and Ben Crawford, who were from Epipheo. Participants were able to learn valuable skills through the planning of their Service Project, meeting new leaders from the Tri-State area, and by engaging in their communities and realizing what needs to change to make the world a better place. Here are some things that students shared with us about their experience:

lunch“My favorite part of the Youth Leadership Seminar was having all the guest speakers tell us how we can improve our lifestyle and help others along the way. I really like the idea of your life being a “story” and it is your job to make it exciting!”

“I was able to take away from this event the spirit of “I can.” I can make a change even if I’m one person. I can unite a community and make a difference.”

“Even if you change one life, that’s still a big deal.”

cowCheck out our recap video and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to see pictures of the event, and be sure to tag your friends! Stay tuned to learn more about our Service Challenge tour, where members of our office will actually visit schools to see the projects firsthand. Continue to visit our blog to learn more about how you can stay “Plugged In” this year and make an impact in your community. 

Becky Griesmer
Impact Intern

Plugged Into the Right Sources

Using technology in a positive way

I-phones. Laptops. I-pads. Email. Social media. Living in the 21st century, our world revolves around technology. It seems like we can’t go an hour without checking our cell phones or logging on to some type of social media site, like Facebook or Twitter. As teenagers and young adults, we are plugged into society through these sources and rely on constant communication to stay up to date with our friends, family, and favorite celebrity. The Anthony Muñoz Foundation used this idea when we decided that the theme for our 2013 Youth Leadership Seminar was to be Plugged In. At the seminar, we will explore how leaders are using technology to empower others and give back to their communities. Check out Adam’s post from last week to learn more about this event happening on October 9th.

What does the title of this post mean then when I say “Plugged Into the Right Sources?” The need for people to constantly be moving and on the go with their SmartPhones and checking their Facebook (and Twitter and Instagram and Pinterest) every chance they get, helps to emphasize that as a culture, we need to slow down. We need to learn to appreciate life as it comes at us and the relationships that can exist in person, and not just those in cyberspace. We don’t need to unplug from all forms of technology and communication, but must use this technology and future technology to do good in the world and help empower others to be leaders, even if they live across the globe. Technology gives us the power to positively influence and inspire others, but only if we use it in that way.


Instead of replying to emails or Facebook messages right as they are sent directly to our phones, we must decide when we want to respond to someone and not be constantly relying on these new devices for trivial matters. By taking the opportunity to have the final say and by not being addicted to technology and constantly in communication with other people, we will gain a better appreciation for our own life and the responsibilities that we have to others. We will learn more about our own abilities and how we can make a difference in the world.

world of techAt YLS, we’ll be encouraging students not to unplug directly, but rather to get plugged in to their school, community, and city. Technology can be used in many positive ways to help leaders in our community achieve their dreams. If we take the time to teach and explain technology to the incoming generations, it will inevitably show that technology can be used to help people. For example, organizations like The Birthday Project work to create a better world by spreading the message of kindness through their use of technology.

Be sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and continue to check back for weekly blog updates!

Becky Griesmer
Impact Intern

Check out the blog where the pictures came from!