Pathway to Leadership

By Jill Swidler, Senior Director of Development
Integrity, empathy, gratitude, and kindness are not just words to Mrs. Fagan's Middle School Service and Leadership class, they are mantras. They are words to live by. They are part of the fabric of the Middle School's #CUE2 instructional vision. Eighth grade students Anabella Munoz, Lucy Ana Barros, Manuela Penha, and Venus Robinson wanted share their passion for service by creating a student-led fundraiser for the new facility.
Mrs. Fagan asked me to work with the students to develop a fundraising campaign they could pursue throughout the second semester. The girls and I met several times over the course of two months so I could provide guidance and share steps on how to execute a fundraising campaign. After learning about philanthropic giving and how to develop a business plan, they excitedly presented me with several great ideas they had to get involved with raising money.
Their plan, A Pathway to Leadership, embodies their mission to "pave" the way for future Middle School students to demonstrate the leadership and character traits, and build the path to success. Together, they developed a Power Point presentation, complete with a mission statement, demographics, timeline, budget, and revenue projections. They built profit scenarios and created a communications plan. Last Friday, via Microsoft Teams, the students (in their Wednesday dress!) presented Dr. Kesselring with their plan for his approval. Dr. Kesselring, Mrs. Fagan and I were so impressed with their presentation skills – their poise and ability to answer Dr. K's questions, concisely summarize and provide next steps was impressive.
"This project is a glittering embodiment of their collaboration, grit, effort and thoughtfulness,” said Mrs. Fagan. “I am beyond proud of these young leaders, who showcased their leadership and service hearts, they fully demonstrated the vision of Leadership and Service Learning as well as MVA’s mission."
Today, our students and the Development team are launching the "Pathway to Leadership" family legacy brick fundraiser. The students ask that you choose a trait for the first line and personalize the second two lines. Your brick will support the work of four passionate MVA students while investing in the future of our campus. We recognize that the current uncertain environment may not be the ideal time to launch this initiative, if your current financial situation allows, please consider purchasing a brick for your family to leave a lasting legacy at the Middle School.
Work on the new Middle School building is progressing and these engraved bricks will become the courtyard’s foundation. Our goal is to sell 200 bricks and have these students help unveil the bricks at our anticipated January 2021 opening ceremony. Visit to purchase your brick and be part of the lasting legacy at MVA.