You are funding an entrepreneurial leadership program for young students at high poverty schools in the United States.
One Bead's mission has been to elevate education in East Africa through the sale of recycled glass beads. Now, our six-day program, One Life, will draw upon the entrepreneurial spirit and leadership that has continually guided our successes.
Over the past two years, One Bead has made a visible impact in the lives of over 300 Kenyan students by raising more than $65,000 in bead sales, merchandise, and grants. However, it would be narrow-minded to say these children are the only ones affected. Since graduating from college in May 2013, I am most frequently asked, “What’s next?” Personally, this journey has never been about just one bead. Rather, it is about the letters I receive from representatives telling me how much they appreciate being a part of something bigger than themselves. It is about the pride and confidence we build in students when we return to Kenya. And it is about the lessons I continue to learn from those who mentor me. This entire cycle of leadership all revolves around the simple act of making and selling recycled glass beads. It seems only logical to build upon these strengths. THIS is the answer to “What’s next?” One Life: a leadership program for youth, using the One Bead model.
Our business revolves around the mantra that just one bead can make a real difference. Now we take this metaphor further. One Bead will serve as a model that teaches elementary school students how perseverance, self-confidence, and teamwork are all catalysts for change, whether that change is global or individual.
Our fundraising goal is $20,000. This seed money will allow us to bring our pilot program to four schools in the greater Boston area. Your donation provides essential resources:
- a grant for each school of $2,500 that will allow our young leaders to put their newly acquired skills into action, making a difference in their local community
- facilitating opportunities for local entrepreneurs to speak during the final session of One Life
- creating global connections for our leaders with students worldwide
- travel expenses to and from the schools we work with
- the resources needed to research, assess, and make any changes to the curriculum after the pilot program has been completed
- pens, pencils, paper and various other supplies needed to teach students how to be a leader
- compensation for two individuals who are ready to devote more than 50 hours a week to running the One Life curriculum at all four schools in addition to developing the next stages of the program.
“It is not nearly enough to teach students how the world is. We must also encourage them to think about how it ought to be.” - Harriger & Ford (1989)
The world is changing at a rapid pace. The Common Core Learning Standards that are taught in public schools challenge students in English Language Arts (ELA), writing, and mathematics. These subjects are emphasized as the fundamental basis of elementary education. In order for students to have the creativity, adaptability, and perseverance to solve the complex problems that our world will be confronted with in the upcoming century, students are going to need more than what the standardized tests evaluate and deem important.
What students learn during the extent of the academic school day is imperative to developing their skills in reading, writing, and math. However, there are other skills - leadership skills - that are essential for students to practice and learn in order for them to be ethical and contributing members of a future college, organization, business, and community. We will hold our program in an after-school setting to provide an opportunity for students to practice and model what it means to be an ethical leader. This will build on what they are already learning during the day.
The inherent flexibility of our curriculum, along with the unique global entrepreneur model of One Bead, allows us to stand alone from similar organizations. Ultimately, the integration of leadership into the elementary school culture will work to build confidence and autonomy among students in preparation for both current and future roles. The end goal is twofold: It is critical for students to be prepared and competitive in their future areas of employment, while also learning how to be contributing and valuable citizens in the community and world in which they live.
The five-year goal is to have this program implemented in more than 100 schools, maximizing the network of youth leaders across the country.
Below are a few examples of the learning objectives that were taken directly from One Life's leadership curriculum. These objectives speak to the curricular and instructional goals of the program:
- Our leaders will explore and discuss the theme of 'leading self.'
- Our leaders will be able to describe five leadership strengths that they possess and to reflect on how they can use these strengths when working in groups.
- Our leaders will craft their “I Believe” statement, in which they will be challenged to write what they believe is true about leadership.
- Our leaders will explore the theme of 'leading others' through group discussions about the complex relationship between leaders and followers.
- After being introduced to the idea of an action plan, the group will collectively brainstorm how they can positively impact their community.
- Our leaders will take the leadership skills we have been exploring and discussing and put them into practice by participating in a service project.
Other Ways You Can Help
Can't donate, but still want to be a part of the movement?