Students in attendance led a service project to benefit food insecure elementary school children through Helping Hungry Kids.
More than 720 of the best and the brightest high school students from across the Commonwealth gathered together at South Lakes High School in Reston on Saturday, April 16. They were brought together by the Virginia High School League (VHSL) Ken Tilley Student Leaders Conference funded in part by the Allstate Foundation. The conference is an annual event with workshops and idea-sharing sessions that are designed to enhance students understanding of leadership, sportsmanship and citizenship.
Students in attendance led a service project to benefit food insecure elementary school children through Helping Hungry Kids, a non-profit organization that provides weekend meals and snacks to surrounding area schools.
According to data reported by Feeding America, twenty percent or more of the child population in 38 states and D.C. lived in food-insecure households, with the District of Columbia (31 percent) and Mississippi (29 percent) having the highest rates of children in households without consistent access to food.
One of the students who helped lead the service project, Caroline Beaulac of South Lakes High School said, “We hope that our fellow students here today from across the state will see this program and replicate it in their own town.”
The Allstate Foundation has been supporting the VHSL Student Leaders Conference since 2009. They believe it’s important to invest today in the next generation of change-makers who can play an active role in shaping our collective tomorrow. “Student volunteerism and leadership is key to a young person’s growth,” says Kyla O’Brien, Allstate Foundation spokesperson. “This conference provides students with the resources they need to tackle social issues impacting themselves, their communities and others across the nation. We hope they will return to their schools with energy, enthusiasm and feel empowered to start a new community service idea they can implement on their own back at their schools.”