Goodbye 2014, Hello New Year!

Reflecting back, we couldn’t be happier with the success the foundation had this year. We have had a year filled with reaching new goals and creating an impact on students from all over the Tri-State.

While we watch another year come to a close, we look forward to what the New Year brings, including new Service Challenge projects. We can hardly wait to come visit Seton, Anderson, Western Brown and Southern Hills in 2015!

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Although we are loving this festive time of year, we are also having to say goodbye as we wrap up here at AMF. Luckily, Caroline and I have had the privilege of attending a few of the Service Challenge Projects this year. We are thankful for this opportunity and love to see how students take what they’ve learned at the Youth Leadership Seminar and bring it back to their communities.

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From AMF, we hope everyone has a safe and blessed Christmas!

Kristen Ludwig

Programs Intern

#AMFChallenge

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New Miami’s Candlelight Vigil: Doing Something Worth Remembering

On October 27th, New Miami High School dedicated their #AMFChallenge to Christian Benge and her family by hosting a Candlelight Vigil. Christian Benge, who was a student at New Miami High School, passed away on Friday, October 17th from an underlying heart condition. The high school created a truly amazing event to remember her and support the family. It is great to see that New Miami can create light during such a dark time.

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New Miami high school did a number of fundraisers within the school in order to raise enough money to help the family with expenses for a headstone and a tree they planted outside their school. It is through the generous acts that this school has done, that highlight the importance of coming together to get through a loss and bringing together a community.

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The point of the AMF Challenge is not who can raise the most money but who can make an impact on the community around them. That is just what New Miami is doing and it is wonderful to see a community come together during such a hard time.

Don’t forget to keep us up-to-date on how your AMF Challenge Project is going by following us on social media and hash-tagging AMFChallenge.

Caroline Wydysh

Events Intern

#AMFChallenge

 

Elder High School Fights Hunger in Cincinnati!

This past Sunday, Elder High School invited some of the AMF staff to join them for their #AMFChallenge Project “The fight against homelessness”!

Elder High School’s Leadership and Initiative Club started undertaking clean-ups in the Price Hill Community. This was their starting point for their project but as fulfilling as it was, they knew they wanted to do something more. After attending the Youth Leadership Seminar, they thought of the idea to pack lunches and distribute them to the homeless that congregate around Paul Brown Stadium during Bengals home games.

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Their Leadership and Initiative Club created an informal rotation week by week so that each boy in the group would get the opportunity to be engaged in giving back to the homeless. Being a part of this experience was great and was something I have never been a part of. I was not the only person there that was new to the experience either. The boys that are part of the club are from all different grades, so they don’t have relationships outside of the group but in this club they are coming together to make a difference in the community.

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These Elder students are building relationships with the homeless so much that they recognize them and look forward to seeing them during Bengals home games. To the boys, the homeless aren’t just people sitting on sidewalks and holding up signs, they are real people who are in need of help. The impact they have on the community is bigger than they even know. We are so proud of what Elder High School is doing!

They have taken the time to think outside of their own community at Elder. The faculty and students are thinking out side of the box and helping a larger community where they can make an even bigger difference than they thought! This quote by their faculty advisor, Mr. Tom Nugent  demonstrates what drives these boys to do what they are doing!

“The only day worth living is one where you can help someone who can never repay you.”

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Don’t forget to keep us up-to-date on your projects by posting to social media and tagging #AMFChallenge. We love to see and hear what wonderful things you are doing out in the community!

Caroline Wydysh

Event Intern

#AMFChallenge

High Schools Inspiring Community Involvement: Part 2

Last week, we highlighted 5 schools who have taken their leadership skills beyond the classroom and into their community! Now we bring you 5 more who have been dedicated to attending our Youth Leadership Seminar (YLS) for almost a decade!

Hamilton High School: 9 Years

 For the students at Hamilton High School, they can’t seem to get enough of our Youth Leadership Seminar! This will be their 9th year with us at YLS! Their 2012 Anti-Bullying campaign led to some serious community involvement earning them the 2012 National School District of Character Award from the Character Education Partnership! We love seeing students and schools being recognized by their community. We cannot wait to see HHS again this year!

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Harrison High School: 9 Years

It’s no big secret that AMF has worked pretty closely with Harrison High School students, especially since former Harrison HS graduate, Sean Witzgall is currently interning at AMF! Their most recent service challenge project was their Project Inspired campaign which got students involved in activities to uplift! Harrison High School has been participating at YLS for the past 9 years, and we are excited to say they have registered for their 10th year!

See what Sean had to say about YLS here!

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Ross High School: 9 Years

It is 9 years and counting for the Ross High School Rams! Their most recent event was in 2013 which was the creation of a 5K Run in honor of a young student who passed away. They received great support from the community with over 400 participants and raised over $13,000 for juvenile diabetes.

High five, Ross Rams!

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St. Henry District High School: 7 Years

There’s nothing better than community involvement and the holiday season. SHDHS, who have been at YLS for 7 years now, got the joy of experiencing just that! Their involvement at YLS lead to a SCP called “‘Crusaders’ Kicks for Kids” that helped collect sporting shoes for inner city children and included a visit from Santa Claus as well! Keep it up, crusaders!

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Talawanda High School: 8 Years

Nothing stops Talawanda High School from being involved with YLS.  For their 8th consecutive year at YLS, Talawanda High School created a Service Challenge Project that led to their “Plug into Kindness” campaign, which took place January 2014. The campaign was a huge success! We can’t wait to see what THS “Sparks” at this year’s YLS!

Check out how THS “Plugged into Kindness” here!

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A huge round of applause to all our 10 dedicated schools and all the hard work that they continually put into creating a brighter future for their school and community! It inspires AMF to see the positive contributions that all the students put in on a daily basis. Every day is an opportunity to make a difference in the world, and these are some truly great examples! We are looking forward to seeing everyone at our Youth Leadership Seminar to see what “Sparks” them! These are some great examples of Service Challenge Projects, and hopefully you’re brewing up some ideas as well! Interested in learning about the other Service Challenge Projects after YLS? Just follow the hashtag #AMFChallenge! It’s easy as 1, 2, 3!

Kristen Ludwig

Programs Intern

#SparkCincy #AMFChallenge

High Schools Inspiring Community Involvement: Part 1

Our Youth Leadership Seminar (YLS) has inspired many Tri-State schools to go out into their community and make a difference one Service Challenge Project (SCP) at a time. Below are the 5 schools who are not only dedicated to YLS, but making an impact in their community as well!  Let’s put the spotlight on some of the schools for how many years they’ve been to the event!

Aiken High School: 9 Years

AMF is proud to be able to see firsthand the positive impact Aiken High School has undoubtedly made in their community. Counselor, Sandi Horine, and her YLS group have been outstanding with their past SCP, including one completed this past February which focused on raising awareness against local gun violence.

Read more about it here!

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Amelia High School: 9 Years 

Amelia has proven loyal to their school’s commitment to have students “stretch their learning to show what they can do as they become more responsible world citizens.” (AEP Vision Statement)  What we can say is that they are definitely on the right track, especially with service challenge projects like 2012’s canned food drive which collected over 4,000 non-perishable food items, and 2013’s Amelia Ambassadors Program!

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Anderson High School: 9 Years

Needless to say, YLS would be nothing without all the great faculty leading students. Anderson High School’s Pat Thatcher is just one example of an exceptional, motivated YLS moderator. She’s lead the way in helping her students inspire their community with projects like a donkey basketball fundraiser and the school-wide Christmas present drive.

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Bracken County High School: 8 Years

Winners of the 2012 Service Challenge Project, Bracken High School is an outstanding example of what it means to spark a passion in your community. Their “No Text on Board-It Can Wait!” campaign educated many throughout their community about the dangers of distracted driving. “It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what your school normally does, if you have a great idea and a few friends to help you, you can do it no matter what.” –BHS Student

Check out their winning Service Challenge Project here!

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Franklin High School:  6 Years

Franklin High School was the 2012 runner-up for the SCP, opening a library for Kindergarten students whose library’s funding was cut. This is a great example for younger students as it shows great leadership skills within the community!

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These are just a few of our most active YLS schools! Make sure you tune in next week to see more schools under the spotlight!

Jemannie Luong

Experience Intern

#SparkCincy

What It’s Like From the Other Side

Transformation from a high school student at Youth Leadership Seminar to an Anthony Muñoz Foundation intern

Rewind back to 2009, when Sean Witzgall was a student at Harrison High School. Sean was lucky enough to attend the Youth Leadership Seminar (YLS) themed “G.E.T. M.A.D. Get Everyone To Make A Difference.” Well, after that seminar, he got so “mad” that he ended up becoming a great leader and role model for others. Fast forward to now, 2014, he is an intern at the Anthony Muñoz Foundation! Of course we wanted to know more, so we asked him a few questions:

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1.What about YLS do you remember most?

   At YLS, there was a speaker named Matthew Kelly. He talked about making the best version of yourself and gave everyone a free book, which I still read to this day.

2. In 2009, the YLS theme was “G.E.T. M.A.D.- Get Everyone To Make A Difference” What did you “G.E.T. M.A.D.” about?

I got “M.A.D.” about applying my leadership skills in high school. I started an organized student section called “The Den.” The Den is a group that got more students to come to sporting events and had organized themes and cheers. It brought the spirit of the school together.

3. How does it feel to intern at the Anthony Muñoz Foundation, especially since you attended YLS in 2009?

It’s pretty cool to have the connection. Now I am on the other side, and I can make a difference for these kids now.

4. This upcoming YLS’s theme is “Spark”. So what about the Anthony Muñoz Foundation sparks you?

At the Anthony Muñoz Foundation, it is always a positive environment, and creates a good place to make connections.

5. What would you tell others about YLS?

The impact that the seminar made can make you realize the importance of leadership. YLS hit home for me.

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6. How has your life changed since “G.E.T. M.A.D.?”

I became more of a leader, I take on greater challenges and pursue leadership. I changed my major to Organizational Leadership which I will be graduating with in December from Northern Kentucky University.

Without a doubt, Sean has gone on to become a leader in his community and high school. His experience led him on to having an enjoyable college experience and has allowed him to grow even more! Seeing how Sean has used his “Spark” to become a leader, we couldn’t be more excited to see all the leaders create their own spark at YLS this year! #SparkCincy

 

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Sean is in the last row, 4th from the left.

Kristen Ludwig
Programs Intern
#SparkCincy