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CHARLOTTE — Chick-fil-A Leader Academy, a national high school leadership program, is kicking off for the 2019-2020 academic year in more than 1,050 high schools nationwide, including 26 high schools in Charlotte and 67 in North Carolina.

Through Chick-fil-A Leader Academy, students build tangible leadership skills to help them make an “Impact through Action.” The seven-month program is a combined effort between educators and local Chick-fil-A restaurant Operators. Charlotte students will join more than 31,000 other students in 40 states to learn key leadership skills and complete service projects throughout the school year.

“Chick-fil-A Leader Academy is such a valuable opportunity for students to get involved and make a true impact in their communities,” said Rodney Bullard, vice president of corporate social responsibility for Chick-fil-A, Inc. “We’re excited to see how these students grow and develop the skills they need as the next generation of leaders.”

Chick-fil-A Leader Academy students across the country started the year with a service project with Operation Gratitude. Through the project, students sent over 10,000 care kits for actively deployed U.S. service members. Each kit was filled with essential items and personal letters of gratitude and encouragement.

Beginning this month, Chick-fil-A Leader Academy students will participate in monthly “Leader Labs,” which are led by a faculty member in the school. This interactive curriculum will cover essential leadership principles and equip students to put the principles into practice. The program will culminate with a creative, end-of-year Impact Project that the students will plan and execute in their school and community.

The program is funded through generous sponsorships from local Chick-fil-A restaurant Operators, Chick-fil-A, Inc., and Coca-Cola. Chick-fil-A Operators often serve as business coaches to the students involved as they implement their service projects to better their communities. Since inception, more than 110,000 students have participated in the program.

The area schools participating include:

Independence High School, Hickory Grove Christian School, South Mecklenburg High School, Charlotte Catholic High School, East Mecklenburg High School, Charlotte Christian School, East Forsyth High School, Levine Middle College High School, West Mecklenburg High School, Cato Middle College High School, Mallard Creek High School, Central Cabarrus High School, Jay M Robinson High School, South Rowan High School, J.C. Carson High School, Merancas Middle College High School, Hough High School, United Faith Christian Academy, Providence High School, Carmel Christian School, Langtree Charter Academy, Lake Norman High School, Mooresville High School, Hopewell High School, Weddington High School, and Albemarle High School.

Learn more about Chick-fil-A Leader Academy at www.chickfilaleaderacademy.com.

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