Hudson -- Three students, each armed with $100, produced a project to improve the community, and Jr. Leadership Hudson rewarded them for their efforts May 1.
Jr. Leadership Hudson awarded first place to Hudson High School sophomore Andrew Schulman, second place to Western Reserve Academy sophomore Catherine Berry and third place to Hudson High School senior Ben Tiemann.
Jr. Leadership Hudson teaches high school students from Hudson High School and Western Reserve Academy about government, business, economic development, philanthropy, health and human services, education, leadership and quality of life.
This year's class developed the community project, "100 for Hudson," and asked students from HHS and WRA to develop proposals for improving Hudson with only $100.
They selected four students and funded each one with $100 to bring their projects to fruition.
The "100 for Hudson" was to motivate students to make big and efficient changes in Hudson, said Abbey Griffith, a junior at WRA and member of Jr. Leadership Hudson.
"In Junior Leadership Hudson we learn how to work in groups and to create something bigger than ourselves," Abbey said.
All three finalists said if they could change anything, they would start planning the projects earlier.
First place winner Andrew organized a special needs bowling event. He was awarded a $100 gift card and the rights to name and create a sundae at Hershey's Ice Cream, 50 W. Streetsboro St.
The biggest challenge was getting everything together, Andrew said. He waited until the last minute to order pizza and had to call around the Saturday before the event to find someone who could provide food on a Sunday.
Andrew said he learned how to plan, organize and execute a small event. He said he was confident he could run a larger event in the future.
"I learned how to be a leader and distribute the work," Andrew said.
Catherine organized a Hudson Iditarod in which students decorated grocery carts, dressed in costumes and raced across the WRA campus to gather donated canned goods. Jr. Leadership Hudson awarded her a $75 gift card and a Nicky Nicole gift bag.
Catherine said if she could do the project again, she would reduce the number of people per team and publicize the event sooner.
"There's a ton of people to talk to," Catherine said. "Get help. Don't do it all yourself."
Catherine said everyone had a lot of fun with the race and would like to do it again.
"I realized sometimes I doubt my abilities, but I felt I did a good job and silenced my doubts about my capabilities," Catherine said.
Ben developed a Hudson History Walk through downtown for a future date. Kids will fill out a worksheet by finding answers to history questions about Hudson in different shop windows and redeem it for ice cream or a prize. Jr. Leadership Hudson awarded him a $50 gift card for third place.
Ben said he learned a lot about the history of Hudson while researching the project, and the community was very supportive of his idea.
"Liz Murphy [Destination Hudson] helped a ton to contact them [stores] and most donated items," Ben said.
The Junior Leadership Hudson students raised funds and prizes from the Rotary Club of Hudson Clocktower, Hershey's Ice Cream, The Kiwanis Club of Hudson, Destination Hudson, Merchants of Hudson, MJ Lehman of Nicky Nicole and Janet Rhodes of Janet Rhodes brings you Fair Trade.
For more information, go to www.juniorleadershiphudson.org.