Leadership is something you learn. If you have love in your hearts, if you have compassion,
you can change lives. - Mr. Salva Dut, speaking to Penfield High School Leadership Seminar students on
November 8, 2006
December 6, 2006
The first half of Leadership Seminar has flown by, and I've thoroughly enjoyed working with each
student. I'm inspired by my students' insightful reflections on the course content, their engaging
personalities, and their willingness to challenge themselves. We've focused on topics that include
creating a personal vision statement, learning how to face and overcome fears, defining integrity in
leadership, and many others. But study and reflection is only part of the process. In order to learn
leadership, one must practice being a leader. That's why my classes have recently undertaken the
“Rosa Parks Make a Difference Project.” This project is designed to offer hands on leadership
experience. Whether we succeed or fail, the objective is to learn by doing.
In order for this project to be authentic and for students to feel invested, it's crucial that the classes
brainstorm, discuss, and ultimately choose their own project. Please continue reading the project
description by seniors Tim Hogan and Emily Mozingo and juniors Josh Frizzell and Nikola
Lahcanski to see how you, too, can become involved.
Christopher Kantz Leadership
Seminar Teacher (Christopher_kantz@penfield.monroe.edu)
The PHS Class of 2007 & LEADERSHIP SEMINAR
Project to support
This semester, after debate and discussion of 17 brainstormed ideas, our classes chose to engage in
a project to support a Penfield based non-profit organization called Water for Sudan
(www.waterforsudan.org). After making this choice, we developed the following mission:
To raise at least $5,000 to pay for the construction of a clean water well that will transform
the lives of the residents of a village in Southern Sudan.
To raise awareness about the Penfield based, non-profit organization called Water for
Sudan in order to encourage others to generously support its work.
To undertake a positive, team and spirit building activity that all members of the Penfield
High School Community can take pride in.
To promote “rolling generosity” by offering funds raised beyond the $5,000 goal as
matching fund money for another school that is willing to commit to funding a well.
Besides learning that the cause of helping to supply access to a regular source of clean water is
unquestionably worthy, we were attracted to Water for Sudan for a number of reasons. First, it
offers both a local and international focus. We are excited about the unique opportunity of having
direct access to the organization's founder, Mr. Salva Dut, a former “Lost Boy” of the Sudan. In
1996, under the auspices of the U.S. State Department and United Nations, Mr. Dut was taken in
by a Penfield family as refugee of war. As he shared with us when he visited our classes on
November 8, he considers himself a very lucky man. Most of his countrymen are not as lucky.
Without access to clean water, diseases in Southern Sudan run rampant, the infant mortality rate is
high, and living lives of dignity is nearly impossible. However, by forming a non-profit
organization that digs clean water wells in Southern Sudan (seven have been created so far,
affecting the lives of over 26,000 people), Mr. Dut is one man determined to make a difference.
In addition to our direct exposure to a courageous, determined young leader, this project offers an
opportunity to establish contact with two of Water for Sudan's key partners, including Penfield
Rotary and Monroe Community College. We are excited by the prospect of learning from both of
Finally, we are hopeful that our project will inspire others to support this great cause. We think it
offers an opportunity to build spirit in our own school, and also the chance to challenge other
schools to embark on similar character and community-building efforts.
We are very pleased to announce that the senior class officers have offered a $1,000 matching
challenge grant from their class treasury to motivate our fundraising efforts. We will be raising
awareness and asking the student body to help us earn those matching dollars by conducting a
“donate a dollar” campaign in school soon. We will also be collecting returnable cans and bottles
in several neighborhoods, organizing some special events, and possibly selling t-shirts and water.
We’re hoping to fulfill our mission before heading off to our December break.
If you would like to assist in our fundraising or awareness efforts, we welcome your help. If your
workplace makes charitable donations and you are willing to make a contact for us, that would be
great. We may also be in need of printing assistance for posters, t-shirts, and water bottle labels.
If you’d like to make a financial contribution, we’d welcome your generosity. Water for Sudan is
a registered non-profit 501(c)3 organizations, so all donations are tax deductible. Should you wish
to make a donation by check, please make it payable to Water for Sudan. Finally, if you’d like to
offer other ideas about how we can raise awareness about this cause, please contact us. In the
meantime, please take a moment to look at www.waterforsudan.org to learn more about this
Timothy Hogan Emily Mozingo Josh Frizzell Nikola Lahcanski
Members of PHS Leadership Seminar & “Rosa Parks Project” Directors
Water for Sudan, Inc.
to prevent water-borne disease
and eliminate the need for
annual migrations by drilling
fresh-water wells - to transform
lives in south Sudan.