LA PUENTE, CA – Bassett High School leadership management students assembled 150 care packages at La Puente’s Louis of France Catholic Church containing homemade burritos, bottled water, juice, pastry snacks and clothing, and brought the items to homeless men, women and children in downtown Los Angeles on Oct. 29.
“It was heartwarming to see the reaction of those who received the packages,” Bassett High School senior Jennifer Ascencion said. “I am thankful for the chance to be part of the solution.”
Bassett High business teacher Charles Lynch inspired his students to use their leadership skills through a community service activity with the help of Lead2Feed, an organization specializing in providing project-based leadership lessons for schools. For the effort, Lynch has been recognized as Lead2Feed’s teacher of the week.
Lynch spent 18 years in the finance industry before beginning his teaching career in 2017 at Bassett High. He wanted to bring students the idea that business success is tied to participation in charitable service learning projects.
“I want to use my business experience to help students learn the benefits of communication, working collaboratively, and being a force for good within their community,” Lynch said. “Lead2Feed provides project management curriculum that allows students to gain access to the tools that will put them in a position to succeed in the real world, to become real leaders.”
Lynch’s Leadership Management students received a surprise early in the school year when the first-year teacher separated them into project teams with unfamiliar classmates. For Lynch, this is a lesson that students need to learn quickly.
“When you are in the real world, you don’t get to pick your co-workers, but you are expected to produce results,” Lynch said. “By getting to know each other and learn each student’s strengths and weaknesses, the student teams have learned valuable lessons in developing plans of action, delegating responsibility, and communicating effectively with team members and clients.”
Lynch’s students responded with fervor, taking on multiple projects and reaching out to neighborhood groups, businesses and charities.
Ascencion knew only one of the six classmates on her team prior to the school year, but said the diverse personalities bonded, with team members sharing contact information and organizing chat groups before assigning roles based on what they had learned about each other.
“Mr. Lynch’s enthusiasm in bringing these project challenges to class inspired us to work quickly and effectively,” Ascencion said.
Lead2Feed was founded in 2012 by David Novack, co-founder and former CEO of Yum! Brands, Inc. Novack is the author of “Taking People With You: The Only Way to Make Big Things Happen,” which outlined business and leadership principles that formed the basis of the Lead2Feed project-based and service learning curriculum.
“Thanks to Charles, our students are strengthening their leadership skills while learning and being empowered to make a difference in their community,” Bassett Unified Interim Superintendent Debra French said. “Bassett’s business courses are one of the many opportunities our students have to expand their academics while learning real-world skills.”
111717_BASSETT_LEAD2FEED1: Bassett High business teacher Charles Lynch (right) guides senior Jennifer Ascencion through an emotional intelligence quiz, outlining interpersonal business skills needed to be a successful leader. Lynch was recognized as Lead2Feed’s teacher of the week for integrating project-based leadership lessons in his business courses.