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To donate
•To make a donation to the FACES Leadership program go online to or contact the Center for Nonviolence at 456-4112.

Leadership fundraiser aims for $9,000

The Center for Nonviolence on Monday kicked off a 45-day online campaign to raise $9,000 to train the next class of young leaders through the FACES Leadership program.

FACES: Transforming the Image of Leadership is an elementary school program designed to inspire students ages 5 to 11 to become leaders of their schools and communities, said Tasha Sare, Center for Nonviolence youth coordinator.

The program also helps students develop self-esteem and teaches them skills to be successful both in and beyond the classroom, Sare said.

The FACES Leadership program involves about 100 students in two Fort Wayne Community Schools.

Levan Scott Academy has about 30 students enrolled in the program and Fairfield Elementary School has about 70 participants.

Students participate in groups of 10, usually during a lunch period or recess so the program doesn’t interfere with classroom time, Sare explained.

“We don’t pick the typical leaders,” she said. “We go into the schools and ask for the kids who are falling through the cracks and we build up from there.”

The program costs $4,000 per school for a full year, or approximately $400 per student.

The money is used for programming, props for team-building activities and supplies for learning activities.

The $9,000 goal will cover Phase I of the three-phase program, which begins by getting students thinking about leadership and then keeps them involved, Sare said.

The program was previously funded by the Peyton Manning Foundation, but since his departure from the Colts, most of the foundation’s funding has been concentrated to Indianapolis leaving the program short on money for the 2013-14 school year, Sare said.

“We know that this is so effective and we’ve seen the power in it, so we didn’t want it to fall by the wayside,” Sare said.

The Center for Nonviolence has picked up the tab for the FACES Leadership program until enough money can be raised, according to Maureene Meinert-Riethmiller, development co-coordinator for the Center of Nonviolence.

To help offset the cost of the program, the Center for Nonviolence has set up an account through online fundraising site IndieGoGo. Individuals can donate anywhere from $1 to $4,000 to the fund.

As of Monday afternoon, $230 had been donated toward the coal, according to the website.