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Wantagh Middle School’s Lead2Feed Student Challenge national grand prizewinners, EsSCENTial Melts, met with representatives of the Born This Way Foundation to donate a $10,000 check to the organization which works to enhance the mental health awareness of young people and to assist in building a kinder and braver world. The grand prizewinners and second-place winners SoupRSouls and Waste-less Denim also had the opportunity to discuss their projects with BTWF program manager Alex Aide and Communications and Outreach Associate Shadille Estepan, who said they were truly inspired by the students willingness to raise money for the foundation’s programs.

Lead2Feed is a privately funded leadership program which provides educators with the tools to guide student teams through lessons and a service project to develop and practice leadership and teamwork skills. More than 7,200 teams took part in the annual Student Challenge competition, with teams from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

During the Student Challenge, Horizons program students, under the direction of teacher Patti Andreolis, raised money through the sale of two EsSCENTial Melts aromatherapy products. Aromatherapy candles were made out of recycled crayons and scented with lavender. The students also made rectangular eye pillows, both of which are designed to have a calming effect on stressed students.

In addition, the district’s two Lead2Feed Student Challenge second-place teams, SoupRSouls and Waste-less Denim, each donated $500 to the WE Charity, an organization which assists in breaking the cycle of poverty. The donations were raised through the SoupRSouls’ creation of decorative bowls, sold in partnership with Bigelow’s Restaurant in Rockville Center, which offered a free bowl of soup to anyone who bought one of SoupRSouls’ bowls. Waste-less Denim made decorative cellphone carriers out of recycled denim jeans, keeping used jeans out of landfills and the jeans’ indigo dyes out of waterways.

Ms. Andreolis said the students were responsible for determining their own projects. “I am so proud of the students for their insightful projects and it’s inspiring to see middle school students with this depth of knowledge of social issues,” she said.


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