Leila Champion got big a surprise visit from FOX59 and Community Health Network. As a senior at Tindley Accelerated High School she attended Harvard University for a spring/summer semester where she took college level classes. To get to Harvard, Leila raised 13-thousand dollars by holding different fundraisers. Appropriately, she got a B in a graduate level course on Financial management and non profit organizations. She got an A in philosophy. While attending classes with college and graduate level Harvard students she noticed something. “While I was there, I didn’t see enough students that looked like me, and I feel like we have this mindset where we can’t go to these schools, or nobody tells us about them so we don’t apply. So I was like, I want to change that.”
Leila took what she learned in that Harvard non-profit class and started a non-profit of her own called the Champion Project. The mission: to expose underrepresented minorities in 8th -11th grades to elite institutions. “It’s important for my friends to see Ivy League schools so they won’t limit themselves,” said Leila.
One of Leila’s friends Morgan attended Leila’s first college tour to Penn, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and Columbia. It’s changed the trajectory of her life. “I went and I thank you Leila so much, because I met four mentors –two from Columbia and two from Yale – and they got me into a bunch of programs through Columbia and Yale so I may be going back real soon and I may have my chance to go to an Ivy League school.”
It’s that determination to inspire greatness in her peers, and her commitment to encourage excellence for generations to come that FOX59 and Community Health Network honors Leila Champion as the June Community Hero of the Month! Congrats and good luck to Leila who will be attending the University of Notre Dame on an academic scholarship in the Fall. We are so proud of you!
For information on the Champion Project and how you can attend, volunteer, or chaperone go to www.champion-project.com