Why Do We Do It?

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Without passion and purpose young people may feel powerless and directionless. This leads many to make decisions which deter their futures. But, when a young person finds their spark, they have the potential to change the world. The earlier they’re able to find the connection between their spark and education, the more likely they are to graduate from high school and become global citizens.

How We Do It?

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Powered by Service is a one day, 4 – 6-hour intensive leadership program, powered by the Emory University Goizueta Business School and the Suntrust Foundation. It introduces middle school students to the benefits of local servant leadership, explores career paths, teaches financial literacy, and nurtures their passions with an emphasis on education. Through peer-to-peer mentorship, students are able to identify their unique “spark,” while developing creative solutions to positively influence their communities.


A One-of-a-Kind, Peer-to-Peer Experience

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Students who attend Leadership Academy participate with their school or during a city-wide session at a UNL location, and explore the topics listed below. Upon successful completion, each student receives a Local Leadership Certificate backed by Emory University.


  • Networking 101 – Students learn and practice the fundamentals of networking.
  • Personal Assessment – Students assess their interests, strengths, and weaknesses to discover their “spark” (passion).
  • Defining Your Brand – Students assess their current brand and image to understand how they can positively align their lifestyles with their spark. They also explore how personal brands are directly related to their social media presence.
  • Leadership 101 – Students identify and discuss the traits of great leaders, while discovering which traits they share with notable leaders. They’re also encouraged and empowered to implement the principles they learned in their schools and communities.
  • Exploding the Issue – Students are taught how to analyze issues they identify within their communities, then work collaboratively to create sustainable solutions.
  • Financial Literacy – In conjunction with the SunTrust Foundation, participants work collaboratively to explore the basic principles of financial literacy in scenario-based formats.