‘Impact through action’
Dinwiddie students participate in Chick-fil-A Leader Academy
DINWIDDIE — Students at Dinwiddie High School are developing leadership skills through a new program, the Chick-fil-A Leader Academy, sponsored by the Chick-fil-A on Southpark Boulevard in Colonial Heights.
The Chick-fil-A Leader Academy is offered at select schools nationwide and focuses on “impact through action,” according to the program’s website. At each participating school, 30 students in grades 9-12 are chosen to engage in monthly “leader labs” that focus on important leadership skills they later use to create student-led communityimpact projects.
“It is to the understanding that students will gain knowledge about becoming a leader and making sure that they understand the importance of service projects, to give back and to honor those who have really helped them in some type of way,” said DHS business teacher and Chick-fil-A
Leader Academy sponsor Pinkie Hall. “[It’s] teaching them leadership, having them get involved, it’s having them to create, inspire and engage as well.”
In September, the academy held its first meeting, which was attended by Chick-fil-A franchise owner-operator Stacie Anderson. Students enjoyed a Chick-fil-A dinner as they completed their first leader lab, which started with a video that explained the assigned project.
Then they broke into teams and compiled care packages for deployed soldiers, consisting of Band-Aids, mints, tissues, ChapStick and other items, as well as a thank you note handwritten by the students. All the materials needed for the project were provided by the company’s headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.
By the end of the school year, student participants will have completed seven leader labs that were intended to instill and enhance leadership skills. They also will have to complete one large service project for Dinwiddie High School.
Hall hopes the program’s senior participants will gain skills they can take with them to college while the underclassmen develop confidence in their abilities from working alongside older students.
“I think it’s really good for our seniors who are about to graduate in terms of leadership,” she said. “Then they won’t be so shy about joining things when they get to college. Because when you first get to college, you don’t want to get involved in anything because it’s always the older people, and if you’re used to doing something, you’ll want to get involved too.
“It’s going to be good leadership training,” she added. “The experience is going to be good, and even for the students that’s coming behind, the ninth, tenth and eleventh graders that’s in it, they’re going to be able to step up without being asked for a lot of things.”
From left, Dinwiddie High School business Teacher Pinkie Hall and Colonial Heights Chick-fil-A franchise owner-operator Stacie Anderson recruit students for the school’s new Chick-fil-A Leadership Academy during lunch at Dinwiddie High School.
Student participants in Dinwiddie High School’s Chickfil-A Leadership Academy create a “While I’m Alive” board as part of their September project, which includes items they wish to accomplish during their lifetime.