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JustWorld and Palm Beach International Academy Leadership Development Program

Students discussing topics in a group during the Leadership Development Program.

Listening closely to guest speaker Anne Caroline Valtin, co-organizer of the Great Charity Challenge.

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JustWorld and Palm Beach International Academy Leadership Development Program Helps Shape Future Philanthropic Frontrunners

Written by: Emily Riden
Client: JustWorld International
Release Date: 2015-03-30

Wellington, FL – March 30, 2015 – JustWorld International is committed to making positive changes in the lives of youth in developing countries around the world but also recognizes that change can begin with the youth here at home.

It was with that idea in mind that JustWorld International joined forces with Private Tutoring Services to launch their first Leadership Development Program. Held every Tuesday from January 21 through March 17 at Palm Beach International Academy, the Leadership Development Program hosted outstanding speakers, ran leadership exercises and organized fundraisers all in an effort to help educate the philanthropic leaders of tomorrow.

“The students who participate in this program need to have the opportunity to learn about leadership and philanthropy for many reasons – many will participate in their family's foundations, have their own foundations to supervise, or look to participate in philanthropic organizations,” said Joanne Weiner, Founding and Executive Director of Palm Beach International Academy and one of the brains behind the creation of the Leadership Development program. “We wanted to expose these young people and teenagers to what it really means to create, contribute to and understand the world of philanthropy through finding their own leadership styles and voices.”

Guest speakers throughout the seven-week course included Upendo Shabazz-Phillips, the Regional Vice President of the Palm Beach Region for Allegany Franciscan Ministries who spoke on community needs, Anne Caroline Valtin, co-organizer of the Great Charity Challenge who spoke to social perspective; Benjamin Durgan, Secretary to Florida State Senator Abruzzo who brought a political perspective to the group; Dan Malnecki, who shared the financial perspective; and John Greene, the Vice Mayor of Wellington.

“I had the opportunity to lead a group in the Leadership Development Program,” said JustWorld Ambassador Jenny Swanson. “It was a great experience for my group and I as we were able to hear from guest speakers and apply that knowledge to our own projects every week. Some of the guest speakers included Anne Caroline Valtin and John Greene, who talked to us about being leaders in our own community and how to take our own philanthropic ideas and turn them into a reality.”

Together as part of their philanthropic project Swanson and fellow group members Marissa Rice, Olivia Van Der Meer, Katherine Powers, Emma Packendorff and Jenna Buchan designed, created and sold bracelets, raising well over $600 for the JustWorld mobile library in Honduras.

“My group put forth a strong effort to organize decorating, buying, and then selling the bracelets to people in the horse community. As a group, I'd say that we all learned how eager people are to invest in JustWorld International when they learn what great opportunities it provides for children in third world countries. My group and I look forward to seeing how the money we raised helps the children in Honduras,” Swanson said.

Weiner added, “We all had a great amount of fun working with like-minded people who want to personally grow and learn about themselves, and who also want to help make the world a better place for those less fortunate than we are. The participants also learned so very much about taking on projects, asking for help and completing projects. They all got to see that they each have their own individual style of leadership, which made the group projects really fantastic.”

“Everyone was really engaged,” concluded Weiner. “I hope that the participants also walk away with a sense of their own leadership and the knowledge that they each can help impact and help other people, no matter how small or large the gesture, and that as the future (and current) leaders and philanthropists of the world, that when people work together, they can help create and realize visions for a wonderful world for everyone.”

The JustWorld and Palm Beach International Academy Leadership Development Program was created by Executive Director of Private Tutoring Services Joanne Weiner, JustWorld Strategic Development Director Mei Mei Newsome, JustWorld Ambassador Coordinator Amber Warren, JustWorld Ambassador Caitlin Ziegler, JustWorld Advisory Committee member Mary Ann Simonds and JustWorld Founder and Executive Director, Jessica Newman.

About JustWorld International  

JustWorld International is a not-for-profit, humanitarian organization that funds life-changing education, nutrition, health and hygiene, and leadership and cultural development programs for impoverished children in Cambodia, Honduras, Guatemala, and Colombia. JustWorld International is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization in the United States and a registered Association 1901 in France. Tax-deductible donations are accepted in Switzerland and JustWorld's supporters may send their donations to Fondation Philanthropia, a Swiss public-benefit umbrella foundation. Tax-deductible donations are also accepted in Canada. Canadian donors please visit: JustWorld International has no political or religious affiliation. Find JustWorld International online at


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