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State Farm

When Heather Campbell-Lieberman first applied to teach at Lakota East High School in Ohio, she had one request:

She needed the school to let her students give away a thousand dollars.

In her previous teaching position, Campbell-Lieberman had incorporated the values of Magnified Giving into her curriculum. The Ohio-based organization inspires and engages students around philanthropy by offering them a $1,000 grant to give away to the charity of their choice.Alumni of the program have even gone on to work in the Ohio State House.


But each school only gets one grant per year, which means the students have to work together to decide the best way to spend it. That's where the education part comes in.

[rebelmouse-image 19528205 dam="1" original_size="1200x581" caption="Butler County, Ohio, where Lakota East High School is located. Photo by S&Mj Adventures." expand=1]Butler County, Ohio, where Lakota East High School is located. Photo by S&Mj Adventures.

The celebrated stories of student philanthropy typically come from private schools and honor roll programs. But the students at Lakota East don't fit into those categories.

Cambell-Lieberman was hired to teach a course called English & Connections, which she describes as akind of applied hybrid of life skills and writing, reading, and storytelling that caters to at-risk students — those who come from low-income or undersupported families or who struggle with disabilities or other marginalized identities. (Other Magnified Giving programs have engaged students with autism as well.)

"Many of the population in my classes are students who are typically served by nonprofits, so it's a whole different mindset for them to get in a place to be on the giving end," she explains. "You get to kind of turn it around and say 'You have something to give,' whether that's your time, your talent, or your treasure."

Photo by Heather Campbell-Lieberman.

Magnified Giving allows Campbell-Lieberman's students to apply lessons from English and life skills in one project.

Each student in Campbell-Lieberman's three class sections spends four months working on a research paper about a charity of their choice. Then they pitch their case in a class presentation. In order to succeed, students need to explore things like overhead costs, operating budgets, volunteer arrangements, and more: Where is this money going, and what's it being used for?

Students vote on the best presentation in each class, and representatives from the three winning organizationsare then invited to an assembly to speak directly to the students and explain why, exactly, their charity deserves the funds.

"Whether or not their agency is selected by the classes, the students are informing their peers about the power and impact of that agency. So they take a lot away from that opportunity," Campbell-Lieberman says."It's something personal they can research and ultimately have an impact on."

A student activity involving empathy for people with disabilities. Photo by Heather Campbell-Lieberman.

The most remarkable part? The students almost always end up picking projects that have directly helped their fellow students.

A lot of Campbell-Lieberman's students spend their time at the local teen community center, and technically, they could put that thousand dollars toward a renovated basketball court or a cutting-edge computer lab for everyone to enjoy — you know, something fun and enjoyable and still technically nonprofit.

But that's not what happens, Campbell-Lieberman says. "Almost always, the students have ultimately selected a charity that one of the students has benefitted from."

She lists a cascade of examples: a student who pitched a homeless shelter at the local Ronald McDonald House, without telling the class they had lived there themselves; cancer charities that bonded the class through shared tragedy; mental health care initiatives; and this past year, a nearby support center for victims of domestic violence.

Campbell-Lieberman goes on to explain that, "The at-risk population sometimes has more experience with these things, and so it's a highly personal connection for them, and a huge shift to be able to give back to agencies that have impacted their lives in a significant way."

Photo by Heather Campbell-Lieberman.

The takeaway is clear: Teens really do care about their communities. They just need a chance to make an impact.

That's why, after eight years of success with Magnified Giving, Campbell-Lieberman is stepping out of the classroom and into the role of a teaching coach, helping other educators launch these kinds of interdisciplinary philanthropy curriculums in their own schools and communities.

"I think the real issue in creating new philanthropists is for people to understand that everyone can contribute to the betterment of their community and their society, and you don't have to be wealthy and you don't have to have money in your pocket to make that happen," she says.

"The more we can do that and connect with kids who would not volunteer for the philanthropy club, would not be in national honor society, the more difference we can make."

Interested in Magnified Giving? Learn more (or consider making a donation).

Images provided by Pacifico

Making waves in the best way

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At last, summer is here. And for many people, that means it's time for heading to the beach and maybe even catching some waves. Surfing is a quintessential summertime activity for those who live in coastal communities—it’s not only really fun and challenging, it’s also a great way to celebrate Mother Nature’s beauty. Even after a wipeout, the cool water mixed with warm sunshine offers a certain kind of euphoria. Or, you know, just hanging back on the sand is plenty fun too. Simply being outdoors near the ocean is its own reward.

pacifico quiksilver beach cleanupLet’s protect the places where outdoor adventure happensAll photos provided by Pacifico

However, it's well known that our beautiful beaches are suffering the consequences of overcrowding, pollution and littering. What was once a way of playing in nature is now slowly destroying it. And of course, this affects beachgoers everywhere. The sad truth is—without taking action to preserve all the natural joys the earth provides, we will eventually lose them.

But there is hope. Two popular brands that both have roots in surf culture have teamed up to help make trips to the beach a more sustainable pastime. The best part? You don’t have to know how to hang ten in order to participate.

Pacifico®, a pilsner-style lager originally brought to the U.S. by surfers, and Quiksilver, an iconic apparel company loved by both surfers and beach goers alike, have created a brand-new range of clothing and accessories with sustainability in mind.

Take a look below. These threads are great for all kinds of fun in the sun, without compromising the environment.

pacifico quicksilver beach cleanupsReady to make some waves

The collection launches on July 5 and includes tees and woven shirts, boardshorts, hats, flip-flops and a special beach towel and tote bag. The unique collaboration features the vibrant, colorful designs that are the hallmark of Quiksilver combined with Pacifico elements, created to make a positive impact.

Each item has been thoughtfully curated to minimize an environmental footprint and protect the outdoors. The hats, for example, are made from NetPlus® by Bureo®, a raw material created from South American recycled fishing nets. Additionally, the board shorts are made from recycled plastic bottles, and tees are made with 100% organic cotton. Pretty rad stuff, to put it in surfer lingo.

The prices on these pieces are equally rad, ranging from $28 flip-flops to $60 boardshorts.

In keeping with the sustainable ethos and protecting the places we play, Pacifico and Quiksilver will celebrate the products’ launch by hosting two beach cleanups. The first is on July 5 at Sunset Point in Malibu, California, from 4-5:30pm, and the second is on July 9th at Deerfield Beach in Florida from 8:30 – 10:30am.

pacifico quicksilver clothing lineCleaning up and looking good while doing it

Theses beach cleanups are open to anyone over the age of 21 who’s ready to have some fun while taking care of nature’s playground.

Those who can’t make it to the beach (bummer, dude) don’t have to miss out on all the fun. The new collection will be available on July 5th at www.quiksilver.com/mens-collab-pacifico. And even if you don’t surf, never plan to surf, have no desire to even be near a surfboard, rest assured, the apparel is still cool. Plus sustainable choices are always good fashion.

Our planet provides us with an endless supply of beauty and adventure. But without more mindful actions from humanity, its natural wonders will eventually diminish. Fortunately Pacifico and Quiksilver are making it easier than ever for people to enjoy the great outdoors without jeopardizing it. That’s a wave worth riding.

Paul Rudd in 2016.

Passing around your yearbook to have it signed by friends, teachers and classmates is a fun rite of passage for kids in junior high and high school. But, according to KDVR, for Brody Ridder, a bullied sixth grader at The Academy of Charter Schools in Westminster, Colorado, it was just another day of putting up with rejection.

Poor Brody was only able to get four signatures in his yearbook, two from what appeared to be teachers and one from himself that said, “Hope you make some more friends."

Brody’s mom, Cassandra Ridder has been devastated by the bullying her son has faced over the past two years. "There [are] kids that have pushed him and called him names," she told The Washington Post. It has to be terrible to have your child be bullied and there is nothing you can do.

She posted about the incident on Facebook.

“My poor son. Doesn’t seem like it’s getting any better. 2 teachers and a total of 2 students wrote in his yearbook,” she posted on Facebook. “Despite Brody asking all kinds of kids to sign it. So Brody took it upon himself to write to himself. My heart is shattered. Teach your kids kindness.”

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