BRAVE kicks off new program with Chick-Fil-A party


Brooke Kelliher

Junior Mason Arsenault (left) and Blake Litzau (right) make paracord bracelets to be shipped to soldiers overseas.

Eilla Reid, Technical Editor

New Vandegrift organization Building Relationships to Achieve Viper Excellence, BRAVE, celebrated their sponsorship with the Chick-fil-a Leader Academy last Thursday. Students in the organization were treated to a free Chick-Fil-A lunch while they worked on a community impact project.

“When we started the BRAVE Program, I actually went to a coworker at Allen High School and asked what we needed to do,” BRAVE teacher Laura Freund said. “We found out we needed to be sponsored by a local franchise that helps donate the curriculum and the owner of the new Chick-Fil-A opening on 620 was happy to sponsor us.”

Through the partnership, there are many Impact Projects that BRAVE will be taking part in, in an effort to better our community. Other programs similar to BRAVE nationally have completed many impact projects such as bringing music therapy to assist home facilities, collecting donations for homeless veterans, and packing over one million meals for people in need in their community and more. 

“Our partnership provides us resources to do projects benefiting the community,” Freund said. “With their support and sponsorship, we are able to teach our kids, students, and parents how to be leaders.”

During the first meeting, students made bracelets out of paracord for military members. These bracelets are meant to aid in emergency situations and were sent overseas with handwritten appreciation notes.

“Writing the notes and talking to our sponsors was really rewarding,” junior Olivia Schwent said. “For me, BRAVE is different than other organizations because we get to see the impact of our actions in real-time.” 

The organization has big plans for the remainder of this school year. They are focusing on building relationships, growing as leaders, and helping our community, especially through hands-on service projects. Students in BRAVE are planning on traveling to other schools in our district to work with ICAP kids and give presentations focused on preventing bullying.

“My experience in BRAVE so far has been really fun; we’re starting to plan our trips to the middle school,” junior Mason Arsenault said. “We’re going to help out some middle school students, and I think it’s going to be really beneficial.”

BRAVE is a place to strengthen leadership skills in yourself and watch those skills grow in others. It is a unique program to advance leadership that is making a difference at our school. 

“I can’t wait to see how everything we’re planning now is going to be implemented,” Schwent said. “Seeing the effects on our community will hopefully inspire the people who were working with to see the value of leadership.”