On February 26, over 140 students and teachers from 22 different schools in the tri-state area came together for “Bystander to Upstander: Youth Leadership Summit,” organized by The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education (CHHE).
Designed for youth in grades seven and eight, this full-day program welcomed youth selected by their teachers, to explore how they can become positive leaders, advocates and upstanders for positive change. Students from Academy of World Languages and St. Joseph School-Crescent Springs discussed how to overcome obstacles to being a leader with students from Woodward High School and Summit Country Day School. Students from Madeira, Turkeyfoot, Fairfield and Mariemont Middle Schools brainstormed with students from Oyler, Aiken, and Taft High Schools about how their strengths as a communicator, learner or listener can be a tool in their toolbox for how to take positive action. This day would not have been possible and would not have been as impactful without the support of Fuel Cincinnati®.
Fuel Cincinnati funding provided students with the materials to create Action Plans used to tackle a project at school. As one teacher shared:
Immediately after my students returned from the leadership summit, they requested a meeting with our school principal. I sat back and let them conduct the meeting themselves. They asked that from now on, the school not only fundraise for charity but interact with community members through hands-on outreach projects. As one girl put it, ‘At the summit, I experienced so much diversity, so many stories… it made me realize that we need to get out more.’ I was so proud.
Fuel Cincinnati’s support also allowed each student to receive an autographed copy of the memoir of the keynote speaker, Carl Wilkens, one of the only Americans to remain in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide, insuring his words stay with the students.
Students also heard from the chair of Fuel Cincinnati, Javi Cuadrado, who shared about his own experiences as a community leader and his desire to support important initiatives around Cincinnati.
CHHE is grateful for the generosity of Fuel Cincinnati. Their investment ensured that all those who participated in the Leadership Summit: the students, young professional volunteers and staff, and community educators, will continue to be a voice for the voiceless and advocates for a stronger Cincinnati, using their passion to spark new ideas into action.
You made this possible for us students to learn more about being an upstander…if you didn’t create this event, we would or might stay a bystander.
Fuel Cincinnati® is a program of Give Back Cincinnati. To apply for a grant, visit our application page.