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Elevate group group in Rockport Group praying Student speaking Group taking a selfie

Elevate 2018 Recap

Elevate 2018 welcomed 62 students from 15 states and 5 countries! Together, these high school students developed community projects that addressed tangible needs ranging from educating parents on the effects of excessive screen time among young children to creating healthy, co-ed conversations about gender stereotypes and biases. After interviews with experts and learning from key stakeholders, seven teams pitched sustainable projects to a panel of judges.

1st Place – Beautiful Mind ($1,500) 

Founder: Samantha Seal, Prestonwood Christian Academy (Plano, TX) 
Teammates: Gracee Wells, Micah Williams, Jenna Gile, Thais Ieal, Aaron Oh, Daniel Walters, Sheldon Jackson, Katy Ricker, Alex Tagliani

Based out of Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano Texas, Beautiful Mind strives to equip the key adults in teenagers lives—families, educators, and administrators— with practical tools and resources to know how to care for students throughout the school year.

2nd Place – Grace Connection ($1,000) 

Founder: Fayth Jones, 91st Psalm Christian School  (Phoenix, Arizona) 
Teammates: Ryan Johnston, Heyab Zeresenai, Sabeen Toranian, Kathryn Yarborough, Abraham Aguirre, Abigail Ng, Sam Ritz, Madelyn Weissman, Tanner Yasi, Luiza Napolitano de Arruda

The Grace Connection is an after-school volunteer-based project in Phoenix, Arizona equipping youth aging out of the foster system with basic job skills. In partnership with the Arizona Friends of Foster Children, the Grace Connection will host workshops lead by local volunteers on topics such as personal finances, resumé writing, job etiquette, and self-care, as well as offer school tutoring.

3rd Place – Better Friends ($500) 

Emerging Founder: Drew Martin, Black Forest Academy (Kandern, Germany) 

Friends is a mentorship training program to equip English speaking students to become effective mentors to their English language learning (ELL) peers. In partnership with the ELL department at BFA, upperclassmen mentors will be intentionally paired with incoming non-English speaking students and supported with basic English teaching skills to see real progress in their language acquisition in a shorter amount of time.

Honorary Mentions 

Cross the Line 

Founder: Jessica Davis, Mount Paran Christian School (Kennesaw, GA) 
Teammates: Emily Spencer, Anderson Crechale, Liz Hoeman, Elizabeth Cates, Nicholas Greene, Tommy Kline, Chaz Garcia, Jesslyn O'Reilly, Brody Humphries

Cross the Line, is an activity-based program in Kennesaw, GA, encouraging healthy conversation about gender bias, social pressures, and lack of mutual support between males and females in a co-ed community.

The P.E.P. Project 

Founder: Krysten McCartney, NorthStar Academy (New Providence, Bahamas) 
Teammates: William Wood, Lily Robinson, Katie Fuller, Grayson Epps, Hanna Bautista, Nate Bunger, Evan Dickerson, Faith Hanshaw, Alex Tan

The P.E.P. Project is a volunteer-based program in the Bahamas, seeking to teach ex-inmates reading, writing, and basic job skills, giving them the first step to finding a job and reestablishing their life. 


Founder: GuYe Chen, Orangewood Christian School (Winter Spring, FL) 
Teammates: Anyi Li, Drew Martin, Sarah Verheul, Michael Singh, Macie Rogers, Jack Baute, Martha Ann Langdon, Jimmy McGee, Paige Johnston

Crossroads is a cultural organization that will help forge lasting bonds between international students and their host families through family parties, pre-training sessions, global fairs, small groups, and ISO, student-led chapel.


Founder: Nate McGrath, Charlotte Christian School (Charlotte, North Carolina) 
Teammates: David Lee, Eden Macaraeg, Annie Sullivan, Tommy Packevicz, Eli Gooden, Gabrielle Johnson, Elysse Loyola, Sebastian Molina, Sofia Ortiz, Abby Prior

Funplugged aims to educate parents in Charlotte, North Carolina about the negative effects of excessive screen use and support them with easy, healthy, screen-free alternatives.