Monday, April 27, 2015

Quarter Frenzy Fundraiser A Success!

Thank you to everyone who came to the Quarter Frenzy Fundraiser to benefit the Wade Edwards and Elizabeth Edwards Foundations.  We raised over $600 and had dozens of school supplies donated just in time for high school finals!  The money will go to providing resources and activities for the achievement of Wake County high school students.  We also want to thank the wonderful organizations who donated prizes for the auction.  These include:

The Durham Bulls
Empire Eats Restaurants
Massage Envy
Adventure Landing
Autobell Car Wash
Rocky Top Hospitality
Carolina Hurricanes
18 Seaboard

Thank you everyone for your generous contribution!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Fellows Go To Washington D.C.!

The Junior Elizabeth Edwards Fellows took a trip to Washington D.C. for Spring Break.   For many of us, it was the first time in our nation’s capital.  The trip was a great opportunity to learn about American history, politics, and the importance of social activism.  Although our feet were definitely tired by the end, we had a great time visiting the famous D.C. sites.  Read on to learn what we did!

Ty'Shae' at the Woolworth's Lunch Counter

We started the trip with a visit to the Smithsonian museums.  Some favorite exhibits included the Edgar Degas sculptors at the National Art Gallery and the Woolworth’s Lunch Counter at the American History Museum.   Of course everyone was excited to see Dorothy’s red slippers from the "Wizard of Oz" too!

 Meaghan, Mercedes, and Ahyanna go undercover at the Spy Museum

We learned what it takes to become a spy and complete a mission at the International Spy Museum.  The museum features the largest display of international espionage artifacts ever exhibited, as well as, details behind the history of espionage and its impact on important world events.  
Meaghan and Ms. Peabody at the Holocaust Museum

We were extremely fortunate to hear a first person account from a Holocaust survivor at the Holocaust Memorial Museum.  Ms. Halina Peabody was a Polish Jew who was forced to live in a ghetto with her mother and little sister after the Germans invaded the Soviet Union.  Her family survived the war by purchasing false papers declaring them to be Catholic.  This presentation was truly a one of a kind experience!     

The Fellows at the Kennedy Center

One of the fellows’ favorite activities was seeing the show “Shear Madness” at the Kennedy Center.  This comedic play allows audience members to participate as detectives to help the police solve the mystery surrounding a murder at the Shear Madness Hair Salon.
Ty'Shae' with the pandas at the National Zoo

Mercedes and Ahyanna paddle boating in the Tidal Basin

We had a great time seeing the animals at the National Zoo.  The highlight was seeing the adorable panda bears, Mei Ziang and Tian Tian.  We also had a lot of fun paddle boating around the Tidal Basin where we had a magnificent view of the Washington and Jefferson monuments

The Fellows at the White House

Of course no trip to D.C. is complete without a trip to the White House and Congress.  We were able to walk through the elaborate rooms in the East Wing of the White House, and take a tour of the Capital with its impressive rotunda and statues.  

The Fellows at Cantina Mexicana 

Lastly, you cannot go to D.C. without eating some amazing food.  We had dinner at Hard Times which features world famous chili and chili macs.  We also had some tasty Indian food at Merzi, and finished up the trip eating delicious desserts at Captain Cookie and the Milk Man. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Step-It-Up-2-Thrive: Helping fellows to reach their full potential

Thriving is defined, as “a forward, purposeful motion towards achieving one’s full potential.”  This idea is central to the Step-It-Up-2-Thrive curriculum created by the Thrive Foundation For Youth (  Using the curriculum, schools and youth organizations can help young people develop positive development skills and assets that will challenge them to evaluate their lives, yet support them in finding their place in the world. 

Step-It-Up-2-Thrive is made up of four important parts or stages of development.  The first stage is the identification of youths’ sparks or what they're passionate about. When youth develop and grow their sparks, they can drive their personal growth and thriving.  The second stage focuses on the idea of a growth mindset where skills, intelligences, and personality qualities can be developed.  This idea teaches young people that they can continue to learn and improve even when responding to challenges, by developing new strategies and asking for help.  The third stage has young people reflect on twelve indicators of thriving or skills they can develop to help them reach their full potential.   Finally, the fourth stage focuses on goal setting and management that grows one or more indicators of thriving. 

The sophomore fellows have been exploring the first and third stages from the curriculum.  They have identified their sparks and how spark champions can help them develop and grow those sparks.  They have also reflected on the six main domains of thriving indicators or the 6C’s.  Here are some of the ways the fellows have identified as ways to achieve the six thriving indicators.

Competence: developing healthy habits, love of learning, social skills and life skills
Character: being respectful, honest, dependable, and accountable, and living by your values
Confidence: developing persistence, resourcefulness, self-esteem, and pride
Caring: caring about family and friends, helping others, having compassion
Connection: developing positive relationships with friends, family, and mentors, and developing spiritual growth
Contribution: having a purpose, doing service, helping others, caring about your community 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

January Is National Mentoring Month!

January is National Mentoring Month.  We love our mentors at the Elizabeth Edwards Foundation! We are extremely lucky to have such devoted, caring individuals who have a passion for positive youth development.  National Mentoring Month focuses national attention on the need for mentors as well as how we can work together to increase the number of of mentors to assure positive outcomes for our young people.  Here at the Elizabeth Edwards Foundation, we recognize the importance of mentors in impacting our fellows' lives.  Mentors serve as a personal support system and advocate for their fellow.  They provide key advice on academic issues, going to college, professional opportunities, and social and family life.  Together mentors and fellows develop tools and assets to be successful in high school, college, and beyond.  As one mentor puts it "I realize that many young people may lack stability and inspiration, or anyone to look up to.  Mentoring programs can serve as the connecting factor between youth who may feel lost or broken and adults who want to inspire them and build them up."  So if you have a mentor, be sure to thank them for being that inspiration in your life!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New Year's Welcome for New Elizabeth Fellows!

Welcome New Elizabeth Fellows!

We are so excited to welcome 11 new sophomore fellows and 3 new junior fellows into the Elizabeth Edwards Foundation.  Read on to learn a little bit about each fellow’s unique skills and goals.

Tianna Alston (Sophomore)- “I see myself as a determined student.  I hope that after finishing high school, I will be able to continue on to college.  Since I was five years old, I have wanted to be a nurse.  I love the thought of being able to help people in need.”

Mohammadi Amena (Sophomore)- “I am a hardworking student.  I always look for opportunities that are valuable for my future.  I want to go to college because it will create a better future for me.  I admire Malala Yousafzai, the girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban.  It makes me realize how important education is for all people.”

Carlos Bautista (Sophomore)- “As a student, I would describe myself as a curious, motivated, trustworthy, and a hardworking pupil that wishes to contribute to his school and community by doing his best.  I enjoy learning because I am very curious, and enjoy learning concepts and principles that make the world function.”

Kerri Brodie (Sophomore)- “I love learning new things in areas that interest me like science, interior design, and child development. I would like to attend NC A&T on a full scholarship majoring in Child Development and Early Education.  I learn best by working hard and learning from my mistakes”

Sophia Caron (Sophomore)- “I really hope to go to NC State and eventually become an FBI agent.  I like the idea of helping the government and protecting people around me.  The two people that I admire most are my mom and grandmother.  My mom always tells me to give one hundred percent and never give up.”

Zahra Fatima (Sophomore)- “I hope to be a doctor when I grow up, because I am really interested in biology.  I also want to be a doctor, because I like to help people.  I think this field will make me happy.”

Ahyanna Griffith (Junior)- “As a student, I am enthusiastic, out-going, and a good learner.  I love learning because knowledge can give you experience to craft the person who you want to become.  One day, I do hope to go to college and study medicine.”

Ayesha Jaleel (Junior)- “I feel if I want to be successful, it’s important to constantly be making new goals, and setting the goals higher by working hard.  This summer, I would like to volunteer at REX hospital and work with people who are suffering from cancer.”

Kadiejatu Johnson (Sophomore)- “In my future career, I want to work with computers and do graphic design.  I developed my love of learning from my dad.  I definitely hope to go to college to advance my potential for working in the real world.”

Ty’sean Judd (Sophomore)- “The idea of expanding my mind on a daily basis inspires me.  Chemistry is by far my favorite subject.  My first choice for a career is play basketball, but I also think about doing something in chemistry.”

Ketsia Liteli (Junior)- “Ever since I was little, I found myself fascinated with the jobs of doctors and nurses.  Hospitals were seen as these busy centers brimming with people who, I thought, had an unimaginable amount of knowledge.  If I was going to be somebody, it would be somebody in the medical field.”

Samantha Messie (Sophomore)- “I do my best both inside and outside of school to ensure that I understand and can apply what I have been taught.  I do all I do in school just to achieve two goals: successfully finish college and begin a profession in which I excel and enjoy myself.”

Juan Reyes Ortiz (Sophomore)-“When I grow up, I want to be a professional soccer player.  I would also like to study in the fields of mythology and history.  I love learning about mythological creatures and gods as well as ancient civilizations.”

Cristian Tompkins (Sophomore)- “Right now I’m striving to be a nurse in a pediatric ward.  My children development class has made me realize my love for small children.  Every kid deserves a good childhood and I want to give that to a sick child.”


Monday, December 15, 2014

Fellows Give Back For The Holidays

Founder and President, Cate Edwards, has said "when kids are engaged in their community and the community engages with those kids, a vital exchange can happen."  Through community service, fellows are able to use their unique talents to enrich the community and empower them to make a change.  Fellows also learn the importance of giving back through service.  Check out some of the great organizations the fellows are giving back to this holiday season.

Backpack Buddies provides children from food insecure homes with healthy weekend meals during the school year.  The fellows packed food into bags to be distributed to children and their families.

Feed the Pack is a community based initiative sustained by NC State University to combat food insecurity experienced by members of the Wolf Pack community.  The fellows sorted and organized food donated to the food pantry, and created a display full of quotes about hunger written by NC State students.

Brighton Gardens is an assisted living facility specializing in an active, dedicated approach to senior living.  The fellows taught the residents how to make snowman pottery for the holidays.

The Jingle Bell Run is a 5K dedicated to raising funds for arthritis.  The fellows helped to set up before the run, and passed out running chips to participants.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

College Application Season in Full Swing!

The college application season is in full swing for our senior fellows.  They have been hard at work researching and applying for colleges.  We also have had the chance to visit some amazing colleges including NC State, Appalachian State, Elon, Salem College, and Eastern Carolina.  While visiting, the fellows took campus tours, talked to current faculty and students, and even had the chance to attend a college class.  What a great opportunity for the fellows to imagine what it will be like to be a real college student!

Our junior fellows had a great time volunteering for Boo Bash, a Halloween event for elementary school students at Lake Lynn Community Center.   They worked the haunted bus and had a blast dressing in scary costumes and being with the kids.   They also learned about other great volunteer opportunities available at the Parks and Recreation Department. 

The fellows were also very fortunate this month to join other students at the Wade Edwards Learning Lab hear Dan Bullard from Wells Fargo present about the importance of money management and budgeting.   He focused on what it means to budget, tips for teen money managers, and creating a budget that helps you reach your goals.  

Finally, we are so happy to announce we have accepted a new class of fellows.  Eleven sophomores and three juniors will be joining the Elizabeth Edwards fellows community.  They will kick off the program with a party for all fellows and their families.  Welcome new fellows and congratulations on being accepted into the program!