I recently had the pleasure of working (long-distance) with a young woman, Alexis Sykora, a Joseph Charter School Senior.
For her senior project, Alexis first organized a kindergarten to 8th grade Jog-A-Thon, conveying the message that exercise is important as well as fun. The kids were divided into grade-groups, and she had prizes for two kids in each group –– one for the most laps and one for the person who raised the most money.
Now, here’s the rest of the story: Alexis then used the money she raised to purchase athletic shoes to be given to students at her school who might otherwise not be able to have them. She has already given away part of her inventory and she had enough money left for her project to be continued throughout the year or even after she graduates.
She told me, “It is important to me because sports and staying active have been a part of my life, and I want all kids to be able to participate and feel confident.”
Not only did she conceive this idea, she used extremely persuasive negotiating skills to acquire a large discount from a reputable athletic shoe manufacturer. She did the shopping herself over Christmas vacation, and she continues to be a star performer on the Joseph Girls’ Basketball Team.
Congratulations, Alexis, I have no doubt you are going to be a huge success in whatever you do in your future, and it makes my heart smile to see someone with such foresight, compassion and ambition. This was no easy feat.
Susan Benson Sturm
Sturm is a graduate of Joseph High School and lists her occupation as “pole dancing instructor at the nursing home.”