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Leominster Public Schools

Frances Drake Elementary


2012 – 2013

Kylee’s Kare Kits for Kidz
After learning that many of her peers went home each weekend to a foodless house, Kylee could not rest until she started a plan to provide meals to those families. The group has gained momentum and now currently provides food every weekend for children in the Leominster public school system. Each Friday, the children receive a “kare kit” that includes cereal, juice, fruit cups, applesauce, pudding, macaroni & cheese, chicken noodle soup, granola bars, fruit snacks, or peanut butter crackers, varying week to week depending upon what is donated. With the support of family, friends and community, Kylee is now providing food to 40 children on a weekly basis.

2015 – 2016

Care and Play for AnimalsAnimal Drive
Care and Play for Animals is the first whole-school Venture Team, and remarkably is made up of entirely elementary school students! A self-selected team of fourth and fifth graders interviewed their peers, identifying animal care and sports as the primary passions of Frances Drake Elementary students. The Team collects critically needed supplies for Pat Brody Cat Shelter and others, while providing fun sport-related incentives to students for their support.







2001 – 2002

Leadership Venture
Seeing a need for more leadership opportunities at Leominster High, this venture Team creates and holds “Leadership Workshops” for school leaders.

2002 – 2003

Operation Photojournalism
This Venture Team creatively uses photos to publish school and community news in the school newspaper.

Project Launch Pad
This Venture team creates a newsletter for 8th grade students to help them have a smooth experience from middle school to high school. Project Launch Pad members also visit all 8th grade classrooms to hold discussions and question and answer sessions with the students.

Tech Awareness Venture
These Venturers take pictures and create videos of school and community events that are then showcased on the local cable station.

2004 – 2005

Community Outreach Mural Project (C.O.M.P.)
Using their magnificent talents in graphic design and art, this Venture Team paints murals for display at community events, as well as in the pediatrics wing of the local hospital.

Nature’s Den
This Venture Team has designed and created an outdoor classroom for the Leominster High School community. The classroom includes an amphitheatre, benches, landscaping and original mosaic murals. Nature’s Den hosts events for the arts, music and theatre students, and for all of the community to enjoy.

Students Taking Action in Massachusetts Politics (S.T.A.M.P.)
This Venture Team works to create awareness and promote youth activism at the local and state level.

2005 – 2006

Giving Back to the Community
This Venture creates a fun and safe outdoor sporting event for the special needs students in Leominster Public Schools.

2006 – 2007

Traveling Through the World
The diverse team members from Honduras, Brazil and Dominican Republic provide the many culturally diverse students in their school the opportunity to learn about different cultural traditions through after school activities involving dance, food and sport. Students who participate can learn dances such as the Samba and the Forro, sample foods from different countries, and can play soccer in the fall. The team also holds a student and parent social in May to celebrate cultural diversity with their families and friends.

Leominster Advocates for Nature’s Den (L.A.N.D.)
This team is made up of talented music students at the high school who want to further enhance the unique outdoor learning space of Nature’s Den classroom into an outdoor auditorium for band concerts and community events. They hold a wide variety of events in Nature’s Den auditorium including school committee meetings, benefit concerts, art exhibits, school barbeques, and student advisory meetings.

2008 – 2009

Teen Reach
The students within Teen Reach run leadership conferences. There first conference was based on the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, and opened up a leadership club for the students that were in attendance.

Devil Pups
These venturers created an organization focused on giving the younger Leominster population the opportunities to explore the robotics industry.

Arts for Random Kindness
Arts for Random Kindness, the first venture out of the CTE program at Leominster High School, hopes to create positive change by painting murals and offering free-of-cost marketing services for small businesses and other ventures.

Our Family To Yours (OFTY), (Upward Bound Program through Leominster School District )
Coming out of the Upward Bound program, OFTY hopes to donate backpacks and school supplies to needy families within the middle and elementary schools around North Central Massachusetts. By doing this they hope to reduce stress of both families and students so that attending school is a better experience.

2009 – 2010

SADD Members Involved in Lifestyle Education (S.M.I.L.E.)
The Venture Team SMILE was started by four girls of the popular persuasion at Leominster High School, who felt strongly about making good life decisions. With hopes to re-ignite the SADD group at their school while also promoting this positive lifestyle choices, such as not texting or calling while driving they have distributed more than 100 agreements to students and parents hoping to facilitate better communication. They also plan to hold an annual prom dress fashion show where they will give away collected prom dresses and speak on positive lifestyle choices for prom.

Nature’s Yard, Leominster High School and Fallbrook Elementary School
This idea was the brain child of 1st graders in Ms. Faris’ first grade class, at Fallbrook Elementary School in Leominster, who felt that the area behind the school where portable classrooms had been taken down was unsatisfactory and unsafe. It was soon a task that was taken on by two high school students, who volunteer in the school, to help all of the students be able to clean up the area, and create a nature yard where all students can go to learn. Students created books and posters of what the yard would look like and the official blueprints were written by one of the participating 1st grade students. To fundraise to make sure this yard is kept up each year students will sell handmade bookmarks, and have a book drive.

2010 – 2011

United We Stand for All
This Venture team would like to help many organizations throughout the Leominster community as well as inspire their peers and members of their community to collaborate with their Venture, volunteering with them! Some of the volunteer activities they are involved in include, serving breakfast every Saturday at the Pilgrim Congregational Church, through the Daily Bread program (leftover food is donated to Ginny’s Thrift Shop and Food Pantry), helping a school-based program called “GIVE”, by volunteering at various events throughout Leominster High School, and last, but certainly not least, supporting Ginny’s Thrift Shop & Food Pantry by volunteering at her fundraisers, including her annual yard sale, pancake breakfast, and food drive.

Life Skillz 101
A group of Venturers decided that they wanted to show support for their fellow peers in the special education program by spreading awareness of the Life Skills program to the students of Leominster High School, as well as the the community of Leominster. This program is designed to assist special needs students in developing essential “life skills”, including but not limited to, cooking, cleaning, working, and academic competentcies. As a whole, the Life Skills program helps prepare its students with their future transition from school to the “real world.” Moreover, the Life Skillz 101 United Way Youth Venture team is purchasing T-shirts to fundraise for this program as well as constructing phamplets to inform their school and community of how they can support the Life Skills program, and ultimately, the special needs students who attend Leominster High School.

2011 – 2012

Mama Africa
Mama Africa aims to eliminate starvation and hunger that is widespread throughout Africa. Mama Africa reaches out to those who are less fortunate in order to cure the disparity these people face. First, the Venture aims to be innovative in order to help those that are impoverished in Africa. So with this in mind, the goal is to create gardens throughout each community, and people can plant fruits and vegetables in the garden to supply themselves and their family with fresh food. Also, The major aspect of Mama Africa’s mission is to establish tuck shops, which are community stores located within each town. These tuck shops are imperative for the mission to succeed – they will provide an adequate amount of food for those that are need.

Friends of Rachel’s Challenge
This Venture plans to encourage the end of bullying throughout the entire community of Leominster. In accordance with this goal, member of this Venture want kids to feel comfortable in their own skin and to enjoy all of their adolescence without harsh bullying. To achieve this, Venturers aim to create fun and informative workshops for middle school students and 9th graders.

2012 – 2013

LEAD (Let’s Empower, Advocate and Do!)26 Angels Candlelight Vigil 007
It’s nearly impossible to find someone not affected by the tragedy that shook Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. Members of LEAD were no exception, and wanted to do everything in their power to educate the public about the mass shooting that occurred in December of 2012. The team’s solution was to host 26 Angels, a fundraising event that aimed to raise awareness of more than just the horrific event in CT, but also delve deeper into other issues, including mental illness, gun control, school security and thoughts on how to prevent future gun-related tragedies. The team’s event featured 26 guest speakers from the local community, including U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern, Leominster Mayor, Dean Mazzarella and Fitchburg Mayor, Lisa Wong, Leominster native Miss Massachusetts Sarah Kidd, Leominster Police Chief Robert Healey, Kandace Coe, president of the National Alliance on Mental Illness North Central Massachusetts Inc., and Angus McQuilken, one of the principal organizers of the newly-formed Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence and a board member of States United to Prevent Gun Violence.

LHS Football
Players of the Leominster High School football team brought up a valid point when they asked their coach, “How are we supposed to learn from past mistakes if we can’t see what we did wrong?” It was this problem that inspired the LHS team to start a Venture to purchase video equipment as a way to record practice and actual games and get a visual representation of their playing techniques. In addition to taking notes and criticism on their form players, family and friends will be able to purchase DVDs of past games, with proceeds going toward new video and football equipment for the team.

Teens Helping Teens
Jeans too big, too small? Teens helping teens would love for you to donate to their cause. This team is determined to collect gently worn or new jeans for those students and children who are unable to buy their own. Collection boxes will be located in the guidance office of the high school and sporadically placed throughout the community. With the help of their peers, a pair of jeans can be donated to those who need them most.

2013 – 2014

STRIDE is group of determined students who are committed to gathering support for the LGBTQ community throughout their school and Leominster. As they raise awareness, the Venture Team also plans to fundraise to support the Waltham House, which provides safe housing and counseling for LGBTQ youth who have met mental and physical abuse for their sexual orientation.

10563022_10152767627871833_3499303413510529543_nGo Make A Difference!
Inspired by a presentation on homelessness and the need for volunteers in the earthquake-stricken country of Haiti, the students of GO Make a Difference created their Venture as a way to battle the homeless issue both locally and abroad. Through their efforts, these Venturers will be raising funds to help feed the homeless in Leominster as well as throw birthday parties for those children who would otherwise miss out on the joy of having a birthday celebration. The team also plans to support local efforts to provide affordable homes for families in need by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. Through this journey of giving back locally, the team hopes to raise enough money to eventually travel to Haiti for a service trip, putting their local experience to use.

The Devil’s Advocate
The Devils Advocate of LHS is determined to enlighten the LHS student body by bringing back the school newspaper. As a result of their diligent reporting, their school peers and community readers will be better informed about all that’s happening around them and be driven to do their part for the school and community!

2014 – 2015

Protecting Law Enforcement and Youth (PLAY)IMG_4334
After seeing all of the recent stories on the problems between police and minority relations, the members of PLAY took an innovative step to ensure that nothing like that happens in North Central Massachusetts. In a two-fold effort, this Venture has taken on the mission to both educate youth on the best practices when encountering police as well as increase the lines of communication between the youth of the community and the local police through various events.

The Children’s Education Fund
The Children’s Education Fund is transforming the meaning of educational scholarships. This spirited group has created a scholarship designed for current or past foster youth, a population that consistently has trouble getting into higher education due to lack of finances. Through the use of mentoring, tutoring, and financial scholarships, this group is committed to helping foster students continue their education past high school.

2015 – 2016

Peer Initiated Tutoring (PIT)
Inspired by their own personal growth as students through the help of their peers, the boys of Peer Initiated Tutoring decided it was about time that there was a formal tutoring program at Leominster High School. This team believes that not only will their Venture help many students begin to pass classes in which they previously struggled, but that this program will strengthen the feeling of community in the school bringing together students who rarely have class together. They hope to grow the program to become a cornerstone of the school in the coming years.

Dance TeamDance Venture
Feeling excluded and not understanding why Leominster High School didn’t host any dances for underclassmen (only Junior and Senior proms), some first year LHS students decided to form a Dance Venture to be able to encourage school administration to allow them to hold dances for Freshmen and Sophomores. This Venture Team hosts a Freshmen Fall Dance and a Sophomore Snow Ball, so that all LHS students can participate in and enjoy a fun night with their classmates.

Black Heritage Club
Already being a part of an established and successful group at Leominster High School, members of the Black Heritage Club decided to grow even more. They wanted to turn their club into a Venture so they could continue doing what they have already doing so successfully – yet, on a larger scale. This Team hosts a very popular and well-attended annual Black Heritage Gala each February to commemorate Black History Month. They also hand-create and sell traditional African jewelry, T-shirts and other items to help sustain their Venture, and to celebrate and bring awareness to their culture and heritage.





2002 – 2003

Mums and Muffins
This group of special needs students practices their skills by running a bakery for school staff and often visits the local nursing home with their baked goods.

2003 – 2004

Classroom Learning Activities for Samoset Students (C.L.A.S.S.)
Students at Samoset started this Venture in order to provide more learning activities for their 7th and 8th grade classes. Since the extracurricular activities that their school offered were too few and too exclusive, CLASS formed to elicit greater participation from their fellow classmates in more activities.

Learning Environment Activities for Students (L.E.A.F.S)
This Venture Team designed and built a greenhouse with the help of the Center for Technical Education students, to make environmental activities exciting for all students.

2004 – 2005

Wildcat Wares Wagon
This group of special needs students opened a school store to promote school spirit and raise money for school activities.

2005 – 2006

Willing to Help Venture – Queriendo Ayudar
This multi-cultural Venture works with diverse elderly citizens making monthly visits and engaging in a variety of activities.

2008 – 2009

Positive Pre-School Pals
This team is comprised of eight lead Venturers, and encompasses their entire E.L.L. (English Language Learners) class. As a group of students with English as their second language, they have quickly learned how important it is to know how to read. Their venture has been working to partner with a pre-school within the Samoset Middle School and serve as mentors to the pre-school students there. The team reads and performs crafts with the students, and has also held book drives throughout the year to benefit the pre-school.

2009 – 2010

Samoset Gazette
The Samoset Gazette is a school newspaper, that focus’ on reporting news for the kids of Samoset Middle School, that is written specifically by the kids. All stories are also developed and thought up by the students as well.

Teen Generational Service Venture
Students at Samoset Middle School work with Kindergarten students to create Bio-poems and using technology to print and display them.

Walking Around the World Venture
This venture aims to promote health and fitness by giving the students at their middle school a chance to walk to the country of their choice in their free time before and after school. Participants who walk enough miles to get to a specific country receive a stamp in a homemade passport, as well as a sheet of paper with facts about the country. The countries that have been chosen for this venture are based on the diverse population of the school.

2010 – 2011

Book Critique Clan
This group of young people love to read and share their love for books with others while encouraging their peers to read for pleasure. As a way to give back to their community, members read to elementary students within their school and host various events and fundraisers throughout the year, including a workshop from the Eric Carle Museum’s, The Whole Book Approach, a school-wide book swap, and a Barnes and Noble Book Days event. Many of these activities offer exceptional learning opportunities, not only to help the Book Critique Clan learn new skills and better their Venture, but for all students at Samoset Middle School.

2011 – 2012

P.A.W.S (Powerful Adolescents Working for Shelters)
P.A.W.S. Venture Team was launched in January 2012 to support local animal shelters in North Central Massachusetts. Research has shown that millions of dogs and cats are euthanized in U.S. shelters every year, and there are shelters without funding to pay vet bills. P.A.W.S. addresses these problems by creating awareness of the importance to adopt from shelters through “Adoption Awareness Day,” and hosting annual fundraisers including a “Dog Beauty Contest” and “Hat Day” at their school, donating 50-75% of the proceeds to local animal shelters. This Venture Team plans to host recruiting events every year and continue their Venture as they enter high school in Leominster, MA.

LEAFS centers on the idea of providing bird houses for the Venture team’s community. Venture team members will construct the bird houses in their Technology Education class and provide the houses for several locations, such as Samoset Middle School, Sunrise Assisted Living and potentially the walking trail at Barrett Park, all in Leominster.

Samoset Spirit Squad
This group of students plans to help their school become a community through a spirit squad. The “Spirit Squad” wants students to feel welcome and enjoy being a part of Samoset. Acceptance and belonging will be their main goal, as well as making the school a “bully-free” zone.

2012 – 2013

Beat Out Bullying (B.O.B.)
If you ask members of B.O.B what the biggest problem affecting their school on a daily basis, it’s bullying going unnoticed in theIMG_6633 hallway, after class or at lunch. Determined to not stand idly by, these middle school students chose to stand up, speak up, and beat out bullying at Samoset Middle School. By doing research to define bullying, educating peers on its effects and raising awareness on prevention, B.O.B hopes to be the voice of victims who deserve a safe, fun environment to learn and grow.

2013 – 2014

Leominster Sports & Recreation Club (LSRC)
As students of Samoset Middle, the boys of LSRC right away noticed the state of neglect that the school’s outdoor baseball field and basketball court. As enthusiastic sports-lovers, these Venturers decided to do something about it so that future students can enjoy outdoor sports with improved facilities. Working with the City of Leominster’s Recreation Department, the students are determined to bring these athletic areas back to their former glory and help make Samoset sports great.

2014 – 2015

Let’s Evolve a Friendly Society
Ten years ago, the original LEAFS crew built a greenhouse at Samoset Middle School. Unfortunately, as members of the group graduated the greenhouse fell into disarray and most recently has been used as a supply shed. Thankfully, our new LEAFS team jumped into action to not just bring back the greenhouse, but make it even better! By cleaning and upgrading the greenhouse, they will be able to use it a source of education for Samoset students as well as donate plants to local senior centers to help bring cheer and beauty to the Leominster community.

2015 – 2016

TIME (TransformStudents from the Youth Venture program react as they learn they have won a $500 grant from the United Way on Thursday afternoon at Samoset Middle School in Leominster. From left are Kimberly Frahey, Justina Vivo Amore, Justice Reynolds, Andrew Chevarie, Anthony Morin and Brenden Joyce. SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE / Ashley Green, Inspire, Motivate, Engage)
Inspired to want to help the vulnerable populations living in the city of Leominster, this team of dedicated eighth graders has decided to start a Venture in which they created a pen pal program with the local senior residence program and are working with students at Fall Brook Elementary to create a mentoring program between the two schools. They believe that by connecting these different generations they can not only help these populations, but that they will develop a stronger community within Leominster.






2004 – 2005

Little People’s Literature

2005 – 2006

The Buzz Literary Magazine
The new literary magazine at Sky View gives all students the opportunity to have their voice heard and an outlet for sharing valuable information with students, staff, families, and community.

2007 – 2008

Hawk’s Nest
This team of 8th grade students is pursuing their dream to design and build an outdoor classroom that will leave a lasting legacy at Leominster’s Sky View Middle School. Attending a school that overlooks an “amazing” scenic view, these students are working to design and carry out an outdoor classroom that they themselves and every student that succeeds them will always appreciate. Once the classroom is complete, the team intends for classes to be held there during warm weather days, and for functions to be held there in the evenings. The team is working very closely with their Ally, Mr. Paul Healy, to incorporate Geometry lessons into team activities. Their community partner, Matt Bernard of LandPro Landscaping Inc., is also playing a vital part in helping to guide their Venture and plans to make a large in-kind donation.

Backyard Group Venture
This team of 6th graders at Sky View Middle School is planning to build an outdoor learning lab for science classes. They believe that in order to properly learn about the environment they should attend class outside and have liberal access to the eco-system that they are studying. The team is working with Dr. Robert Bertin of Holy Cross College’s Department of Biology, as well as representatives from the Nashua River Watershed Association.

2008 – 2009

Freedom Venture
This venture supports our troops by packing and sending boxes to local soldiers overseas. One of the first soldiers to get a box was one of the daughters of a school board member.

Seeds For Success
Venturers in Seeds for Success hope to harvest pumpkins so that they are able to imitate the city of Keene, NH by having Leominster community members carve and light pumpkins to line the streets of Leominster. They also hope to harvest other vegetables as well so that they can donate them to a local food pantry and their school cafeteria.

Hawks Safety Crew
Hawks Safety Crew came out of one students experience in the Leominster Junior Police Academy. During this time this venturer learned a lot about safety and wanted to bring this idea to his school and to the rest of the Leominster community.

Nature’s Perch Venture
Imitating the Extreme Makeover Field Edition venture team in Winchendon, Natures Perch hopes to re-do their field and put in places to sit, batting cages, and flowers to allow the Sky View community the opportunity to enjoy the field and the baseball and softball games.

2009 – 2010

4 Paws
Because of their undying love for their pet dogs, this Venture hopes to raise pet owner awareness, especially dog ownership. To do this, they will post dog waste receptacles around Leominster parks so that owners are encouraged to pick up after their pets. By doing so, they believe that this will cut down on the spread of illness that comes from pet waste and that it will make their parks cleaner. To raise money they will engage local pet stores in hopes that they will distribute pamphlets and will make dog treats and sell them at local events.

2010 – 2011

Make it Clean. Keep It Green
Make It Clean. Keep It Green. Youth Venture was inspired to clean-up their community after visiting a heavily polluted local park. Their Venture idea is to encourage their school and community to keep the local parks, rivers, and brooks clean, not only for its residents, but for all habitats that are affected by pollution (fish, birds, plants, etc). Ultimately, the Venture plans to hold an annual field trip with their peers at Sky View Middle School, where they will hold a “Make It Clean. Keep It Green Clean-up Day,” picking up trash from heavily polluted areas around their community.

Get F.I.T (Fitness Is Timeless)
This Venture promotes fitness through volleyball and other physical activities. The Venturers encourage young people to be active by introducing fun and interactive sports skills they can do to keep moving. Ultimately, Get F.I.T. hopes that through their program, other young people will have the opportunity to build valuable life skills such as teamwork, leadership, and communication.

Expressions of a New Generation
Venturers from Sky View Middle School plan to put their innovative, artistic talents to work distributing a magazine created by the students, for the students. After an overwhelming response from their peers, Expressions of a New Generation was inspired to offer Sky View students the opportunity to creatively express themselves through writing and art, using a magazine as their vehicle.

2011 – 2012

Turtles in Trouble
Turtles in Trouble Venture Team was launched in March 2012, and works to raise awareness about the potential extinction of local marine turtles, specifically the Kemp’s Ridley and Loggerhead Sea Turtles. Research has shown that, as of 2012, local marine turtles are rated among the top 13 sea creatures to become extinct, placing them under the “Endangered Species Act” (NOAA Fisheries, Office of Protected Resources). Turtles in Trouble Venturers plan to host presentations in schools around North Central Massachusetts and hold fundraisers, donating 50-75% of their proceeds to STRP (Sea Turtle Restoration Project). STRP is an organization that participates in the rescuing of sea turtles. Turtles in Trouble plans to recruit new members as they transition to Leominster High School, and continue their mission to help save sea turtles in the future.

Kitz for Kids
Kitz 4 Kidz was launched in March 2012. Lead Venturer, Isabella Serrano, was inspired to start Kitz 4 Kidz after she recognized that her family and other foster families in her community found it difficult to provide their foster kids with everything they need before they arrived to their homes. Isabella shared that there were times when her family has housed up to five foster kids at once, all of them arriving on the same date. Kitz 4 Kidz will create a “kit” which includes clothes, shampoo and conditioner, a tooth brush, body wash, a hair brush, and towels. These “kits” will then be distributed to foster families in the Leominster community. Kitz 4 Kidz aspires to manufacture 500 kits in the next year, and potentially expand their services year after year, producing more kits and serving more foster families in the Leominster community and other communities in Massachusetts.

Art for Animals
The Arts for Animals Venture launched in March 2012, with the purpose of supporting animal shelters in Leominster, MA, and demonstrating how easy it is to turn recycled items into art. Currently, four million catsand dogs—about one every eight seconds—are put down in U.S. shelters each year (www.humanesociety. org). Arts for Animals Venturers plan to spread awareness of the importance of adopting from a shelter and spaying and neutering pets. The Team will sell wristbands and recycled art, host an annual “Animal Shelter Awareness Event,” and fundraise through a 50/50 Raffle, tie-dye t-shirt event, and other efforts.

Don’t Waste, Donate
This Venture will collect reusable items and donate them to people who are in need. Collected items include electronics, clothes, shoes, toys, school supplies, nonperishable food, water (still packaged), and personal hygiene items (still packaged). Donations will be made to homeless shelters in Leominster, Fitchburg, and Worcester.

United Skaters Foundation
United Skaters Foundation was launched in March 2012 by Naji and Derrick in order to teach their peers about skateboarding safety, start a skateboarding club at their middle school, and construct a new skate park in Leominster, MA. Lead Venturer, Naji Ryan, recognized that youth in his community are opting to skateboard in dangerous areas, such as directly in the streets, on narrow sidewalks, and in parking lots. U.S.F. wants address this issue by spreading awareness of the importance of skateboarding safety and to create a place where youth can safely skateboard. This Venture team plans to form a Skateboarding Club at Sky View Middle School, where they meet 2-4 times a month to learn new, safe, skateboarding skills and be active together. Additionally, this Venture team plans to hold annual fundraisers including a “Create Your Own Skate Board Design Contest”, apply for grant funding from both the Tony Hawk and Rob Dyrdek Foundations, as well as ask for support from their community and local businesses to ultimately construct a skateboarding park that can be easily accessed by youth who live in Leominster and Fitchburg, MA.

2012 – 2013

Birds for BostonDSC_0044
After the horrific bombing at the Boston Marathon, 8th graders at Sky View Middle School knew they couldn’t sit idly by and not help those affected. The team felt inspired after reading stories of children making paper cranes, a symbol of peace in the wake of tragedies, and decided to do the same at their school. The Venture has made mountains of paper cranes to sell to fellow students, parents, and community members. All proceeds from the sales go to the One Fund, a victim relief fund that provides financial assistance directly to the individuals who were most seriously injured and to the families of those who were killed at the marathon.

Colors for a Cause
Thinking about putting highlights in your hair? Want them for a cheaper price? Come stop by a Colors for a Cause fundraiser and receive salon highlights for a cheap price! If you’re not interested in hair products, they have headbands and hair bows for sale! All proceeds from this Venture will benefit The Cancer Foundation. Help them color the world pink!

Kids Against Mean People (K.A.M.P)
K.A.M.P, a Youth Venture based out of Sky View Middle School, is eager to stop bullying. To bring their town together against bullying, these students will be hosting movie nights and walk-a-thons. With the snow-cone and popcorn machine rentals, their events will be successful in helping to raise money for Rachel’s Challenge.

2013 – 2014

DSC_0070Holiday Spreaders
The Holiday Spreaders team realized how little their generation knew about Alzheimer’s Disease and decided they should make a difference. Along with raising awareness to this disease within the community, this Venture helps those who are struggling with Alzheimer’s in Leominster by bringing them holiday joy every month through festive visits to assisted living facilities featuring games and gifts.

Kissing Scars
The Kissing Scars Venture team is a group of dedicated students hoping to end the problem of students in their school resorting to self-harm through cutting. Not only do they raise awareness of the issue to fellow students and adults, but they show their peers that there is another way and that they always have a fellow student they can turn to in times of need.

Confidence Crew
The Confidence Crew promotes change in the mentality of their fellow peers by helping all students raise their confidence and promote a positive self-image through confidence-boosting activities and special events. The Confidence Crew hosted their signature event, a talent show at the middle school, which provided an opportunity for fellow students to showcase the skills that make them unique, all the while giving them an opportunity to share in the empowering experience of speaking or performing publicly.

The project-based Water.Org Venture Team is changing the way their peers think about drinking water by raising awareness and funds to help those who have no access to clean water. Inspired by Matt Damon’s Water.Org non-profit effort, the students of Water.Org raised almost $500 through marketing campaigns at school to send to those in need!

Saving Evergreen
Saving Evergreen wanted to help out the local community when they saw Leominster’s public Evergreen Cemetery neglected and in disrepair. Wanting to honor those who we’ve lost, they committed to support the city with help cleaning the grounds and repairing headstones.

Sky View Mentors
Sky View Mentors know firsthand that getting through middle school isn’t always easy. This group of students is dedicated to helping their peers through the tough times , knowing there is someone they can turn to for support, while also creating a network of continuing support and resources for themselves.

Changing Lives
The Changing Lives founders have firsthand experience of sharing a battle with cancer with a loved one.  This knowledge has compelled them to help other youth by creating an in-school support system so their peers have someone to lean on if they need it.

FAST (Fitchburg Animal Shelter Team)
The members of FAST are revved up and ready to help the local Fitchburg Animal Shelter do all it can for the animals by raising money, donations and awareness for these family-less animals!

2014 – 2015

ABC – (Accepting other’s disabilities, Believing in change, Compassion for others)
Seeing all the times that students with special needs were bullied by their peers for their mental and physical disabilities, the students of the Venture Team ABC decided it was time for them to take a stand. By creating this new Venture Team, these students will help start a culture of understanding within their school to let students with disabilities know that they have a friend they can turn to for support. ABC will also be raising funds to buy inspirational gifts to help lift the spirits of these students and to show them that change is possible.

Activism AssemblyIMG_0936
Activism Assembly is changing the way we see debates as we know it. These Sky View Middle School students not only bring the debate club atmosphere to a middle school level, but they also meticulously pick debate topics that are hot button issues in our nation today. In addition to the debates they hold, they have challenged the group to add a second level to their mission – turning their debates into civic action. This team gives students the chance to both be a part of the conversation on the pressing issues of the year and create solutions that the team can implement within their school and community.

All Stars
After learning about the growing number of homeless families residing within the Leominster community, the members of All Stars decided it was time to step up and make an impact in these people’s lives.  Through their Venture work, All Stars plans to run monthly movie nights and dances at their school as a means to purchase gas and grocery gift cards for the homeless. By supporting these homeless families, the All Stars hope the families will have an easier path to find their own home.

Furry Friends
Furry Friends mission is to help stray animals find homes.  They plan to work with no-kill shelters by volunteering their time to support the animals and raising money to donate items the shelters desperately need.  Along with fundraising at their school, they want to educate their community and bring awareness to the problem of homeless animals.   They hope to make a world a better place for animals with no voices of their own.

Generations of Buddies
Seeking their own role models to look up to, eighth-graders Mairead and Jordan are creating a buddy system within the city of Leominster to benefit middle and elementary school students. They pair middle and high school students with younger students in an after school mentoring program that provides homework help and a support system that reaches across ages and schools.

Lift Up Foster Hearts
Inspired by the 2014 Fall Kick-Off Speaker Marquis Cabrera and their own personal connections to foster youth, the members of Lift Up Foster Hearts created their Venture Team to support foster youth as they go through personal struggles within the system. By putting together care packages that will contain toys, hygiene materials, and other necessary items that will help foster children not only be healthier, but also feel like someone out there cares for them. Working with Department of Children and Families, and other foster oriented nonprofits, this team will be able to brighten the lives of youth around the state.

Optimistic for the Autistic 
Believing that people with Autism should be thought of differently and deserve help and guidance at all stages with this disease, the boys with Optimistic for the Autistic were moved to make a difference for kids inflicted with Autism.  Their focus is to help the Lurie Center for Autism at MGH by raising funds to not only help the treatment for this disease but also to help with the research to find a cure.  They will be running an annual themed dance with hopes to get Leominster and surrounding towns to attend while also raising awareness around Autism.

Pause for Claws
This group knew they wanted to help with animals but weren’t really sure how.  After doing some research and finally contacting Animal Adventure in Bolton, MA, they realized the need to help exotic animal rescue.   Their work to support this non-profit and the animals they protect will include raising money for a new roof for the building, as well as buying new cages for the transportation of the animals.

Project Identify the Veterans
The members of Project Identify the Veterans show us that you don’t have to join the military to help do something good for those who have served your country. Motivated by the great work that members of the armed services have done and the staggering number of them who are in need of support when they return home, this Venture Team has decided to help make Leominster as supportive of veterans as possible. They will succeed in their goal by hosting appreciation dinners for the veterans, raising money for local veteran support groups, and helping spread awareness to the statistics of veterans who are struggling.

DSC_0083Project Paw
Inspired by their desire to help shelter animals, the girls of the Project Paw Venture joined together to create a project that supports the needs of the Sterling Animal Shelter. Seeing how little these animals have at the shelter, the team will be running a variety of fundraisers to raise donations of pet food, toys, beds, and blankets to ensure that these animals will feel cared for until they get adopted.

SAFE – (Save Animals From Extinction)
With so many animals on the brink of extinction, the Venture Team SAFE is doing all they can to give a voice to these animals and help them to survive for generations to come. By raising money for the World Wildlife Fund, the members of SAFE hope to not only put their fundraising dollars towards the protection of endangered species, but also help educate the community of Leominster on the dire need to protect these animals before it is too late.

Save Us Girls
Wanting to follow in the footsteps of Michelle Obama and Malala Yousafzi, the girls of Save Us Girls wanted to ensure that all girls their age have the right to education worldwide. After seeing the troubles that the girls of Nigeria go through on a daily basis, the Team decided to both raise funds and create educationally based care packages to send to girls in Nigeria. They want to work towards every girl around the world having the same educational experience as they do at Sky View Middle School.

Smashing Good Cause
Seeing the pain their friend’s brother had been going through with his cancer treatments, the students of Smashing Good Cause took their talents in the realm of video gaming to support their friend and all youth who suffer with terminal illnesses.  Through their Venture, they are raising money for Camp Sunshine in Maine which supports youth with terminal illnesses by providing them with support, joy and hope all free of charge. Together the Team uses their video game skills to host video game social fundraisers and competitions to ensure no child with terminal illness is forgotten.

Teens Being Strong
Sky View Middle School students, Jackie and Natalia, used their own personal strife as a source of inspiration to create a Venture that will help students who struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts. They want to help these young people overcome their obstacles and live a happier and healthier life by providing a safe in-school space for teens and donating items to a local institution that helps youth with mental health issues.

2015 – 2016

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Having seen how many of their fellow peers cannot afford brand new high quality clothes and are often ostracized for it by their classmates, the girls of Fancy for Free decided to take action and help those in need get the wardrobe they desire. These girls are now working to collect clothes on a regular basis, including upcycling any donated clothes that may not be in the best of condition, and have students who are in need come by their closet anonymously to collect the clothes they need.

Helpers for Helpers
Deciding that they wanted to support more than just one cause, the members of Helpers for Helpers created their Venture to help other Venture Teams in their school, and the community as a whole. This Team organizes and recruits volunteers, and acts as volunteers themselves, to provide assistance at community events, such as the Johnny Appleseed Festival, as well as events that are held by other Venture Teams. They have created a Volunteer Board that resides in the school lobby listing upcoming events and ways in which a Venture Team could use help, as well as a sign-up form for interested volunteers.

Project Under the Sea
Motivated by their love of the ocean and of marine life, Team Project Under the Sea started their Venture to help raise money for organizations who support their passion, such as the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. It is their hope to hold sea-animal-themed fundraisers such as Fish Bowl Frenzy, a fun way to get fellow students involved, learn about the issues their Venture is trying to combat, and to collect money to support their cause. They will also be holding cool marine-related events on Earth Day.

Wild Hearts
This Venture Team shares a huge love of all animals and wants to ensure that those animals that are struggling to survive have the help they need. They joined together to help raise money for animal shelters by hosting a “Little Fair” fundraiser which includes a petting zoo, and hosting an animal-themed school dance. They also have committed to learning as much as they could about animals and have created a plan to share what they’ve learned with their community.

Supporting for Cancer (SFC)
Each member of this team has had a friend or family member who was affected by cancer in one way or another and knows how tough the struggle can be on both the patients and the families. They decided to take action to make it easier for others who are going through cancer treatments by bringing ‘treats’ and baked goods to cancer patients in hospitals. They also hold fundraisers such as car washes and cancer walks, to help support cancer research organizations get closer to finding a cure.

Hand in Hand
The students in this Venture Team wanted to do something to support children in Foster Care. They learned that when foster kids move from house to house, they often bring their belongings in plastic garbage bags and often do not have the basic supplies needed to succeed in school. They wanted to change this and held a ‘Backpack Drive’ to collect gently used backpacks to distribute to these children while raising funds to stock these backpacks with school supplies and games.

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After learning about the Holocaust and how Norwegians wore paper clips as a silent protest and symbol of resistance against Nazi occupation during World War II, these eighth grade girls decided they should find a way to help those still struggling today. Knowing they would be visiting the United States Holocaust Museum on their 8th-grade trip to Washington, DC, the Clipped to Our Hearts Team decided they could still make a difference by raising money to give a donation to the museum.  They decided to raise this money by creating and selling paper clip necklaces and charms that each hold the name of someone who died in the Holocaust.

Musical Notes
Combining their love of music with their passion of helping those who are sick, three Sky View Middle School students created their Venture Team, Musical Notes, to help lift the spirits of those in the hospital.  Each of these students are musically gifted, yet each have been affected by seeing ailing family members and want to be sure that others who are sick and in the hospital can be lifted up by music and special gifts. They will be raising money and support to bring gifts for kids in the hospital, as well as play music and sing for them as a way to brighten their days.

Understanding that not all children are as fortunate as they are in being able to play their favorite sports due to high user fees, this group of girls banded together to start a Venture to raise money to help financially disadvantaged children join local teams. Not only will this help these students learn what it takes to be a part of a team and get some necessary exercise to stay healthy, but it may make the difference between these students doing well in school and getting the support necessary to get into college. They will be hosting sports camps that allow younger children to experience new sports, as well as host sports-themed carnivals.

2016 – 2017

Hope 4 the Holidays
The six girls in Hopes 4 the Holidays wanted to make the holidays better for families in need. They are making care packages to give to families who may not be able to celebrate the holidays because they don’t have the money to make that happen. They raised money at a bake sale and donated $50 grocery store gift cards to several families before Thanksgiving so these families could have a turkey and a true Thanksgiving meal. They are working to make upcoming holidays special for even more families.

H.O.T.C. – Helping Out the Community
These two students couldn’t understand why their apartment complex wasn’t recycling. They care deeply about the environment and how much pollution is caused just from waste. Their Venture is working with their apartment complex and the Leominster Housing Authority to get a recycling program going at their complex as well as others in the city.

Jars of Happiness
This Venture Team’s mission is to spread happiness to those who are ill. They create and sell jars of candy and chocolates to help spread happiness to all. With the funds they raise they will make donations to Boston Children’s Hospital. They will also volunteer there, and create an art contest to send the winning entries to BCH to brighten the rooms of the patients.

Sharing Smiles
This group of students wants to bring smiles to the faces of children in the hospital. They understand how hard it can be for a child to have an extended hospital stay and these Venturers want to brighten their time there with care packages. These packages include games, toys, crafts, and some fun gender-specific items. They are partnering with the Boston Children’s Hospital and the Massachusetts General Hospital to help get these packages to those in need.