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Future leaders being the change they want to be!

MUKILTEO, Wash., May 25, 2021 – The weekend of May 21-23, fourteen future leaders with Leadership Launch performed random acts of kindness throughout Everett and Mukilteo for their 2021 Community Launch Projects.

Rachel Kittle
Rachel Kittle

The event this year consisted of high school students putting together a “LYLO & Link Challenge” to help and get help involving the community they choose to participate. The Fourteen students worked over the weekend on eleven different projects challenging the community to join in with their own random acts of kindness and help with donations for a better community.

The event was organized and supervised with care from the Executive Director, Rachel Kittle and her husband Dan Kittle, who together started the initiative back in 2014. “We usually organize one big project but this year was difficult with C OVID going on,” said Rachel Kittle. 

She added, “Last year we had to cancel and this year we thought it would not happen again but with the state and county loosening restrictions we gathered together only three weeks ago and brainstormed ideas. We decided that instead of one big project, to come up with 11 small ones with 14 students participating.”

The projects proposed and voted on by the students had different approaches: Alberto chose neighborhood art class, for younger kids in his community. The reason is helping kids to have more social interactions.

leadership launch future leaders
Alberto just before his neighborhood art class begins. Source: Leadership Launch.

“I like art. And I also like helping younger kids out. I just put all of these together and I came up with an art class for them. I believe I can use it in the future and it could be like a pastime thing where I can teach small art classes”, said Alberto.

Jesslyn chose a different approach from Alberto. She showed her appreciation for her teachers at Serene Lake Elementary School by preparing care packages.

“I made baskets for teachers to show appreciation for what they have done for me over the years there. I chose particularly Serene Lake elementary because my whole childhood was based on that school. I chose seven teachers who helped through the years”, explained Jesslyn.

Anjoli’s project was called Acts of Kindness for a person experiencing homelessness by providing haircuts and hygiene supplies. Worth mentioning that when we were meeting with students and organizers we stopped by Kittle’s household in Mukilteo and we couldn’t help the delicious smell coming from the kitchen. Where Anjoli, Dan and his kids were preparing chicken alfredo fettuccine. Food that was in the last phase of preparing before going out to the homeless.

leadership launch future leaders
Anjoli (right) packaging supplies for the homeless. Source: Leadership Launch.

“In fact, three weeks ago when we were brainstorming ideas my project started like helping one particular person. But we decided to extend along with the hygiene supplies to also prepare food. I know how it is to experience homelessness because I know people have to go through this,” Anjoli told the Lynnwood Times.     

leadership launch future leaders
Johnaven (left) and Wigar’s (right) leaving notes across several neighborhoods to show their love and support for the AAPI community. Source: Leadership Launch.

Some of the other projects happening over the weekend were: Johnaven and Wigar’s helping and supporting the Asian American, AAPI community by spreading cards of solidarity. Yenni and Benito prepared 86 out of 40 initially planned lunch bags for the homeless in their community at the Airport Road.

leadership launch future leaders
Yenni and Benito about to prepare 86 lunch bags. Source: Leadership Launch.

Other projects included Jasmine’s Toys and Treats for dogs and cats in an animal shelter, Aiden’s Clothing drive for Northwest Center, Sheila’s pay it forward thoughtfulness campaign for people going through hard times and Glenda’s support for the nonprofits organizations in SnoCo. 

leadership launch future leaders
Jasmine dropping off toys and treats for dogs and cats at the animal shelter. Source: Leadership Launch.

The students used social media to spread the word to their community, which with their involvement were the important part of this project.

“These are little projects have a big impact on the community. We are inviting community members to join in our LYLO & Link Challenge this weekend, whether through their own random acts of kindness or supporting our students in their projects, such as dropping off supplies or making donations for their projects, said Rachel Kittle.  

“People have stepped up and supported us. This gives the students also a take away, wherever you are with your life you don’t stop giving back to the community”

Leadership Launch is a non-profit program where students enter usually in the ninth grade and stay through their first year of college to develop skills in becoming future leaders. The students plan and buy supplies for their projects, turning their passions into a reality for their community. Experiences like these enhance their leadership skills which the young leaders will apply to their future careers. 

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