Please Share My Passion For Education!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

EMPOWERING Student Leaders: Call to Action

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.



I need to practice what I preach.

I believe strongly that kids can make positive change in the world.  I believe that if given the time, support, and resources that students have the power to be inspirational and world-changing leaders.  Too often we have these leaders enclosed in classrooms with a ceiling called 100% on a test, quiz or worksheet.  I have never understood why more classrooms do not try to find ways for these student leaders to use their abilities and skills to make positive change in the world.

I believe that altruism can be taught.  I believe that leadership is a skill that needs to be practiced and honed.  I believe that this next generation of students, have the potential to be one of the most altruistic and strong leaders that we have seen.  I want to empower them.  I want to have them working on real-life & relevant projects.  I want to support them.  I want to find them authentic audiences.

Recently I had a highly motivated junior in high school student that wanted to take an Independent Study course.  Her goal was straightforward:  She wanted to make a difference.  She wanted to change the world.  Now, rather than have her pick up some garbage around the school or have her run the 4th food drive our school would have this year, we sat down and decided on a plan.  

I want to connect this student with other students like her from around the world.  With the amount of technology that we have these days, we are no longer limited to the walls of our school.  Over the years, I have repeatedly saw students that are frustrated because they do not have anyone around them to match their passion, enthusiasm, altruism, and motivation.  

THE PLAN:  My goal is to communicate with High School teachers from around the world to see if anyone has a student that wants to go above and beyond and help change the world.  The thought is to connect these leaders via email, social media, phone, and through possible Google Hangouts or Skype calls.  The leadership group would be a way for these students to do the following:

  • Connect via email, social media, phone, etc...
  • Have occasional meetings through Google + or Skype calls.
  • Create a blog as a way for this leadership group to share their accomplishments
  • Allow them a group of peers to brainstorm and support one another
  • Empower them to create leadership groups within their districts.
  • Collaborate together on at least one project that everyone would do.
  • Eventually "adopt" and mentor a middle school student from their district to be a leader.
  • Receive letters of recommendation & certificates for participating in this group.

I have received tremendous support from some superstar educators that I have talked with already.  The group is running.  There is a small pod of students that are already linked together.  Although I plan to oversee the group, I do not plan to do much (other than support the student at my school).  I am hoping to find some educators that will nominate a hard-working, passionate, altruistic student (9th-12th grade) with the desire to help change the world.  If anyone has two students that would like to work together from the same school, that is also acceptable, as it may make it easier for them to handle.  The nominating teacher will not have added responsibilities, other than being there to answer a question if this student has one.
Please contact me with questions, concerns, or nominations.  Even if you are an elementary or middle school teacher but know of a former student that would thrive in this group, please feel free to nominate them.  I am really hoping to get a solid group of about 20 students connected.  I think it will be a powerful experience for them, an opportunity to add to resume's and applications,  an opportunity for them to share their stories with the world, give proof that students are capable of great things,  possible opportunities to speak, and an enormous opportunity to change the world.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE contact me if you are willing to nominate someone.  All communication after that point will be done by the student in my Independent Study who is running this group.

My email address is:

Please contact me if you are interested.  Please show this to any friend that are teachers.  This would be a great way for you to honor a student that you believe in!

Oliver Schinkten
Twitter @schink10






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