Media

Dashing Doggie Fashion Show benefitting the OCSPCA

Lion’s Heart interns went to the Dashing Doggie Fashion Show,  in Laguna Hills, CA. on July 23rd, to interview our Members and the event chair, while taking pictures, and helping out with the event. Here is what they found out!

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Rochelle Chacon, a Real Estate broker associate, had seen the real estate housing market undergo several distressed sales. Some owners were having to give up their dogs because they were not able to afford or house them. This sparked Ms. Chacon’s passion for helping animals in need. She has taken in many rescued dogs herself, hoping to find them a home. She also took the initiative to host The Dashing Doggy Fashion Show in order to raise awareness for the organization Orange County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OCSPCA). She wanted to make a difference in the lives of all animals (especially dogs) living in Orange County. Dogs were awarded for best costume, hair, trick and owner look-alike. Putting this free event showcased the talents of several dogs and inspired donations to the OCSPCA. Ms. Chacon and her team hope to inspire others to better the lives of animals in the community.

Since Ms. Chacon’s daughter is a member of Lion’s Heart, she requested volunteers for the event on the Lion’s Heart’s website. She was hoping to get a little extra help and was overwhelmed with a response of more than 150 members. Although she was heart-broken to turn away so many who wanted to help, she was grateful for the huge response and is looking forward to connecting again with the Lion’s Heart in the future.

Volunteer Interviews

IMG_1270

Q: What was your favorite part of this opportunity?

A: I liked watching the dogs and presenting the prizes.

Q:What kind of jobs did you have?

A: We passed out the prizes to everyone.

Q: Would you volunteer for this kind of activity again?

A: Yes

Q: Do you guys have pets of your own?

A: Yes, I have two dogs, Trixy and Rosie.

A: Yes, I have a dog, Bentley, and a lizard, Max.

IMG_1269

Daisy B, North Irvine Girls 2022

Q: What was your favorite part of the event?

A: The awards and seeing all of the dogs.

Q: Who was your favorite dog?

A: I had two. Cloudy (because she is mine) and the aloha Princess one dressed up as a shark that won best in show.

Q:What kind of jobs did you do at this event?

A: I helped at the front table asking people how they found out about this event, with scoring, and taking pictures, and stuff like that.

Q:Would you do this event again?

A: Yes, definitely.

Lion’s Heart is thrilled that our members participated in this event. If anyone is interested in teen volunteering and getting involved with Lion’s Heart, you can visit our website here.

Written by two amazing and talented Summer interns as well as Lion’s Heart Members, Cameron and Brynne. They are both high school seniors looking forward to their bright futures!

In the News: Lion’s Heart Teen Volunteers Honored in Franklin, MA.

In the news! Congrats to our Members in Franklin, MA. for winning President’s Volunteer Service Awards and being recognized in Wicked Local, Franklin news. So proud of their dedication to volunteering and giving back to the community. Great article about some equally great young men and women!

Here is a snippet of the great article about some equally great young men…

FRANKLIN — Nine hard-working members of the Lion’s Heart were recently awarded a Presidential Volunteer Service Award signed by the President of the United States.

The awards are based on the number of volunteer hours served, said Franklin Lion’s Heart Chapter President Allison Bernhardt. Read it here!

Lion’s Heart Members went above and beyond this year and earned a whopping total of 1135 President’s Volunteer Service Awards.

10 Fantastically Unique Volunteer Activities by Lion’s Heart Members

cure with kindness

 

Curing with the Most Kindness 

Lamorinda, California, girls 2020 group made cards for hospitalized children at their meeting.

most uniques volunteer project.PNG

 

 

 

 

 

Most Constructive Volunteer Opportunity

Larchmont-Mamaroneck, New York, girls 2020 group helped refurbished an abandoned school in Yonkers, NY.

 

park city boys 2022 donate clothes to utah clinic

most environmentally friendly.PNG

 

 

 

Coldest Opportunity with the Warmest Thanks

Park City, Utah, boys 2022 group collected and donated clothes for Utah Health clinic last winter.

 

 

 

Most Environmentally Friendly Activity

Larchmont-Mamaroneck, New York, girls 2021 group put no polluting stickers on drains around their community.

 

doggy reader

 

 

Cutest Volunteer Opportunity

Fort Worth North, Texas, girls 2022 group volunteered at Dallas Animal Services Adoption Center making chew toys, handing out treats, and reading to dogs.

vb boys 2022 tissue paper flowers for seniors

 

 

 

 

The Artsiest Volunteer Project

Virginia Beach, Virginia, boys 2021 group made tissue paper flowers for seniors in their senior center.

prettiest pose with produce.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best Pose with Produce

Trabuco, California, boys 2021 group gleaned the gardens at the Incredible Edible Farm.

warmest donation.PNG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warmest Donation

Laguna Niguel, California, girls 2022 group made and donated blankets and towels for an animal shelter.

sweetest suprise.PNG

 

 

 

 

Sweetest Surprise

Westlake Village, California, girls 2018 group delivered ice cream to fire stations in their community.

 

teashers pet....

 

 

Smartest Way to Volunteer

Franklin, Massachusetts, girls 2023 group helped a teacher at Keller Elementary school move classrooms at the end of the year.

Photo Contest WINNER, Mackenzie E.!

Announcing the Lion’s Heart spring photo contest winner for submitting this great photo of her Trabuco Canyon/Coto, CA 2022 girls group picking beans for the Second Harvest Food Bank. What a great photo of Lion’s Heart Members volunteering and making a difference in their community! Congratulations Mackenzie!

Here is the winning photo: 

IMG_5938.JPG

 

By winning the Lion’s Heart spring photo contest, Mackenzie won a pair of Beats Solo2 headphones that were delivered to her door yesterday. She was so surprised and thrilled she sent us a picture of her with them on!

Thank you so much, Mackenzie, for your fantastic entry and keep on giving back!

IMG_1193

*Special thanks to all the Lion’s Heart Members who submitted photos to the contest, they were all wonderful. We are looking forward to sharing all your photos in the future on our social media channels with shout outs to the members/groups who took them. 

The Challenge Engaging Students in Community Service – It’s Not What You Expect

We were curious. Teens and parents often stumble upon Lion’s Heart  in their quest to find volunteer opportunities. They soon realize we have a full-fledged teen volunteer program where teens volunteer throughout the year, year after year. Students join Lion’s Heart because of a strong desire to give back to their community. But now more than ever, many students also have a class, graduation, National Honor Society, or another form of community service requirement.  

That got us thinking. How far reaching are student volunteer requirements?  Is this a private school tradition or has it hit mainstream public schools? How do students find volunteer opportunities? Do they track their hours? If yes, how? And looking to the future, how does their contribution reflect upon them as prospective college students and employees?  

alumni-survey-handsSo we asked. Lion’s Heart surveyed over 100 students, parents, and educators to understand how students are expected to navigate their community service requirements. Based on the manic cycles of our phones, chat lines, and email inquiries, we had a sense that students weren’t getting the support they needed. But frankly, the results which represent public, private, charter, magnet and homeschools, surprised us.

How encouraging, we thought. Schools of every kind are embracing service learning as an essential part of a students’ overall education.  We couldn’t agree more. But how are schools finding teen-friendly volunteer opportunities for their students?  The short answer – students and their parents are giving their favorite search engines a workout to find community service projects.  

alumni-survey-volunteers

An opportunity for more opportunities.  It’s not always easy to fit another activity into an overcrowded schedule of academics, athletics, music, friends and, and, and….  Students, along with their parents and educators want variety and frequency. Of those who chimed in, 52%, think weekly community service opportunities are the right cadence, while 38% feel they can get by on monthly volunteer notifications. In the minority were the remaining 10% surveyed who felt seasonal – fall, winter, spring, summer – volunteer projects were the right speed.  

Paper.  Yes, papalumni-survey-girler in 2017.  How community service is memorialized is no less curious. A shocking 57% of students use a paper tracking system, and 12% rely on a makeshift system like Google Sheets.  Only 8% of students have an app or online solution to record volunteer project details. 

We learned a lot.  But we’re more curious than ever about the barriers students encounter when they try to give back to their communities.  And because we’re all about inspiring a new generation of teen volunteering, count on the Lion’s Heart team to address some of these gaps.  Our survey is ongoing.  If you are a student, parent or educator and want to share your experience, click here.

Written by

Amy von Kaenel –Lion’s Heart Chief Strategy and Development Officer

Lion’s Heart Member Toolkit

Here are some ideas to spread the word about Lion’s Heart:

So you’re ready to change the world. Wouldn’t you love to have other great teens join you? You will need at least 2 more teens of your same gender and grad year to get your Lion’s Heart group started. Here are some great tools to help you get your friends to sign up.

1. Let your friends know about Lion’s Heart on social media. Use these posts to get you started, but feel free to use your own words too. We’ve even included some fun photos that you can use when you post.

  • Facebook – Want to help me change the world? I just joined Lion’s Heart and I would love it if you would join too so we could volunteer together! A great thing about Lion’s Heart is that they help us find places to volunteer and we can choose our favorite causes. Visit Lion’s Heart to sign up. @lionsheartservice #givingback #teenvolunteering
  • Instagram– Want to help me change the world? I am now a Member of Lion’s Heart and I would love it if you come join me when I volunteer in our community. Visit Lion’s Heart and sign up with me! #Teens #givingback #communityservice #teenvolunteers #highschool #teen #friends #giveback #lionsheartservice @lionsheartservice
  • Twitter – Help me change the world. I just joined Lion’s Heart and will be volunteering with other teens. Sign up with me! @lionsheartorg #teenvolunteers #givingback

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and our Blog and you can share our posts so your friends see them.

2. Share this YouTube video with other parents and teens. In less than 7 minutes they will learn all the important things they need to know about Lion’s Heart.

3. Visit our store and order free brochures that you can give to your high school counselors, parents and friends.

Any questions? You can visit our website and use the chat function or call us at 800.894.8877, ext.108.

Top Ten Tips for Bullying Prevention

On January 16, 2017, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, seventy-five Orange County high school students joined with Lion’s Heart and Project Hear Us Foundation to become leaders in bullying prevention.  These students, who represented thirty local high schools, spent the day learning how to battle bullying and became certified to teach other students how to do so, as well.

So, what did we learn??? Here are ten powerful tips that students learned, and that you can use to prevent bullying in schools and communities:

26

 

1. Take a pledge. Make the commitment to prevent bullying and not tolerate offensive behavior.

LionsHeart-Anti-Bully (32 of 79).jpg

2. Be compassionate. Exercising compassion towards others is a great way to form friendships and earn the trust of others. These students from instructor Amy Smith’s class embodied this mindset, and became fast friends.  

50

 

3. Volunteer in your community. Join an organization, such as Lion’s Heart, to spread compassion and empathy while enriching the lives of others and discovering a new sense of self-worth.

35

 

4. Listen to the experts. Anti-bullying leaders, such as Leigh Steinberg, Making Caring Common, and Project Hear Us Foundation, can offer valuable advice on how to approach bullying prevention and stomp out harmful behavior.

73

 

5. Be informed. Knowledge is power.

67

 

6. Look at both sides of the situation. Understanding the perspective of bullies is a challenging, yet vital part of preventing bullying. If you can put yourself in their shoes, you may see someone who is dealing with personal pain. Bullies need someone to understand their issues, and you can be the one to help them through their struggles in a way that doesn’t involve bullying others. 

53

 

7. Pursue your dream. Fearlessly follow your passions and stand up for what you believe in. Being passionate about something gives you a sense of self and elevates your confidence and strength regardless of what is going on around you. Sharing your passion with others may give them the connection they need and the inspiration to pursue their own dreams.

43

 

8. Believe in yourself. YOU can make a difference! Bullying can be prevented by taking away the power the bully has to affect us. Each and every one of us can change the world.

74

 

9. Act without reacting. We learned that reacting online to cyberbullies makes them even more bold.  It gives them an audience.  But, you’re not powerless.  You can take action by printing the offensive screen (before it disappears), reporting them to instagram/snapchat/facebook/etc., blocking the person, or telling a parent or teacher.   

11

 

10. Never ever give up. There are always kids out there who need your help. Who knows, you could make a friend and save a life!

Giving teens a sense of community and belonging, while teaching them empathy and compassion, is a very important step in the fight against bullying. This program has empowered seventy-five high school students to teach bullying prevention in the middle schools- a great first step in eradicating bullying in the United States, one city at a time. Stay tuned!

Photos by Aaron Regnier Photography

Post written by our super amazing interns:

carly-blog

Carly Eubanks –

Lion’s Heart Team Blogger and Bullying Prevention Event Intern

Carly is a former Member of Lion’s Heart and currently a Lion’s Heart intern working on our National Bullying Prevention Campaign. She is a senior at Cornell University studying Human Biology, Health & Society, with a minor in Health Policy. Interested in biological/microbiological sciences and healthcare systems, with a passion for research and humanitarianism.

kaelynround

Kaelyn Lustig –

Lion’s Heart Team Blogger and Marketing and Graphic Design Intern

Kaelyn is a student at Chapman University in Orange, California with an interest in Advertising, Marketing, Graphic Design and Psychology. She has apprenticed for a freelance graphic designer at LynnRae Design doing projects such as logos, brochures, flyers, playbills and business cards. Kaelyn has an extensive background in the arts, including acting in theater, television, and film along with strong skills in mixed media, drawing, and painting.

 

Bullying Doesn’t Stop When High School Ends

Freshman year of college: I am eagerly sporting a gray hoodie and my favorite pair of ragged sweat pants- the official uniform of college students. I am sitting at a small circular table, surrounded by my three roommates. The smell of greasy pizza is complemented by roaring voices finding their foothold in this new environment of autonomy. I hear muffled giggles from the table next to us, and see a throng of girls hovering over a phone. The laughter seemed to reverberate across the entire cafeteria, as I see a wave of people pulling out their phones. Immediately, I know there has been another post on a popular mobile app that enables students to write anonymous comments about other people. Lately, the mobile site had been full of posts targeting a handful of specific students, whose names I came to know from the chatter revolving around this app.

I was shocked that at a university priding itself on a dogma of “any person, any study”, students were being targeting based on their differences. But, I also thought about how easy it would be to pull up the app on my phone, share a few laughs with my roommates, and go about my day. There were no parents around to scold me, and no teachers threatening to confiscate my phone. But, at the same time, if there are no adults to cast disapproval upon the bullies, who is there to protect the bullied? From a young age, we are taught to involve adults when we witness an act of bullying. But, what happens when we become the adults? And, what happens when adults are targeting other adults? By asking these questions, I began to realize the social responsibility that befell myself, my friends, and my peers.

As a college student, I believe that myself and most my peers are aware of what bullying looks like, and have been given resources to turn to if we find ourselves a victim of harmful behavior. However, in an age where increases in bullying are accompanied by rising numbers of mental illness among children and teenagers, we must act to stop bullying before it occurs. The power of prevention lies within our responsibility to be an active bystander- to take steps to prevent destructive situations, even when we are not the victims.

Three years later, as I enter my last semester of college, I am still baffled by the amount of damaging behavior being targeted towards other students. However, I am confident that by learning to become an active bystander from a young age, we can combat these recent trends in bullying and cultivate an environment where children and teenagers can grow up with confidence, and enter adulthood without fear of discrimination.

To change this reality, we are encouraging all high school students in Orange County, CA to join us for a student-led bullying prevention training taking place next Monday, January 16th, 2017. For more information and to sign-up, please visit: http://whoozin.com/7VH-DR4-T7AE.

carly-blog

Written by Carly Eubanks, Lion’s Heart Team Blogger 

Carly is a former Member of Lion’s Heart and currently a Lion’s Heart intern working on our National Bullying Prevention Campaign. She is a senior at Cornell University studying Human Biology, Health & Society, with a minor in Health Policy. Interested in biological/microbiological sciences and healthcare systems, with a passion for research and humanitarianism.

November 2016 – Lion’s Heart’s Social Impact Amplified by Digital Strategy

LAGUNA HILLS, CA–(Marketwired – November 23, 2016) – Lion’s Heart, a national non-profit organization dedicated to mobilizing teens to volunteer, continues its 2016 technology innovation push with the help of many ‘Tech for Good’ industry leaders.

Earlier this year, Lion’s Heart launched the Volunteer Digital Portfolio, a web- and mobile-based platform that tracks each volunteer’s community service impact from middle to high school. Each portfolio prominently highlights the student’s top causes, Presidential Volunteer Service and Lion’s Heart Awards, and leadership roles. It’s designed to be compatible with both the Common App and new college applications, and can be downloaded and shared with college admissions officers, prospective employers, and scholarship or internship sponsors.

new-portfolio-green-01-copy.jpg

Throughout 2016, Lion’s Heart has worked with or received support from technology foundations and Corporate Social Responsibility programs within Atlassian, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce and Tableau. Taproot Foundation consultants have generously donated their talent and time to help the Lion’s Heart team maximize the impact of technology grants. Lion’s Heart plans to launch a new version of the Volunteer Digital Platform next year which will include location-based volunteer notifications and user-driven volunteer preferences. “We recognize the catalytic role technology plays in connecting and engaging teens with causes in need of their compassion and time,” said Terry Corwin, Founder and Executive Director of Lion’s Heart, “Our technology partners help us amplify our impact.”

About 70% of alumni Members utilized their experience with the organization on an employment or internship application. Additionally, 81% of the program’s alumni Members believed that Lion’s Heart was a positive factor in helping them get accepted into college. The new Volunteer Digital Portfolio offers volunteers a valuable tool to showcase their volunteer and leadership experience and utilize these accomplishments in their professional and academic pursuits.

Lion’s Heart currently has thousands of Members nationwide serving in over 81 cities and 17 states. Lion’s Heart Members have completed approximately 600,000 hours of community service since the organization’s inception in 2004. Lion’s Heart’s mission is to inspire teen volunteerism and cultivate a new generation of leaders dedicated to creating a positive social impact. In addition to providing Members with meaningful volunteer opportunities, Lion’s Heart also aims to prepare its volunteers for higher education and future careers.

About Lion’s Heart
Founded in 2004, Lion’s Heart is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit teen volunteer organization available to 7th through 12th grade students. The organization instills the value of community service in its Members, providing meaningful life skills through leadership opportunities and philanthropic experiences. Since Lion’s Heart’s founding, Members have performed approximately 600,000 volunteer hours, which equates to more than $12,000,000 in societal value. Corporations interested in supporting teen service learning through technology or other grants can visit www.LionsHeartService.org/CorporatePartners for additional information.

Lion’s Heart, headquartered in Southern California, has grown to more than 81 chapters across 17 states and is actively expanding its reach by regularly adding new chapters across the country. Groups have between three and twenty teens and are organized by gender, grade, and location. Though each group has a parent Class Coordinator, the Members elect their own officers, lead their own meetings, and decide how to serve their community – with no fundraising commitment. For more information, please visit the Lion’s Heart website or Facebook page.

When does the college application process really start?

Many assume that the college application process begins the fall of senior year. That’s when you should start writing your essays, prepare for any required standardized testing, and visit the universities you’re interested in. While that’s true, most of your college application has already been completed before senior year even begins.

Your college application is a summary of everything you’ve accomplished in high school academically and personally. The AP classes you’ve taken, or the IB courses you’ve selected, give an indication of the field of interests you may be attracted to. Your extracurriculars reflect what your personal interests are, and where your passion lies. In other words, when senior year rolls around, picking up additional extracurriculars or stacking up volunteering hours won’t add any substance to your applications. Just like you shouldn’t lie about who you are in your personal statement, don’t do anything just to impress the admissions officers.

For Lion’s Heart members, your dedication to volunteer work and the support you provide to your community will immediately be clear to the admissions team at any university. Demonstrate the impact it has had on your personal and professional development. What has it inspired you to do? What have you learned by volunteering at an animal’s shelter? Or at a hospital?

It’s easy to fall into the trap thinking that the “volunteer work” personal statement topic is overdone, but if that’s what best reflect who you are, you shouldn’t let that stop you. Take a look at how other’s have done it before you and be inspired to craft the best version of your application. We have curated 3 different packages of 5 successful application profiles that feature personal statements written on volunteer work.

admitsee-package-better-to-give-than-to-receive admitsee-package-entertaining-your-altruism admitsee-package-sharing-is-caring

 

Choosing which university to apply to is difficult. Make an informed decision by using AdmitSee’s searchable database of successful application materials, including essays, test scores and advice.

Written by Frances Wong at AdmitSee. AdmitSee is a peer-to-peer college and grad school admissions platform. Access our crowd-sourced database to read applications, essays and advice direct from the students who got in. Find out how you compare.