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Take Off went from the drawing board to real life between May and December 2018! The Take Off event went middle school viral and they had over 100 girls registered within 48 hours. Their evening with speaker Katie Smith (OSU basketball star and WNBA coach) gave young people confidence to be themselves and take off the pressures of middle school. It's exciting to see how these efforts have met real needs.

The first ever group of O2 participants and mentors completed their six months of working together in 2018. The students gained valuable lessons and skills from the journey of moving an idea off the drawing board and into real life. Five of the eight ideas actually happened and part of the journey for others was learning that their solution needed more development. The team working on the Fitness Group for Women Immigrants secured a location and held their first swimming classes. Similarly, the team planning the Senior Prom networked a number of nursing homes together so they could collectively attend the event. A beautiful dinner and full evening of activities was held in Hilliard.

“The one thing I consistently hear from the students is that their mentor has made all the difference in developing their idea and their own skills. The funding doesn’t hurt either.”

— David A. White IV
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The second group of O2 ideas wrapped up their mentoring in August 2019. It proved to be a fruitful six months! For example, plans unfolded for a Crescendo Project concert with the OSU Men’s Glee Club. The CBUS app broadened its leadership team and was considered for use by local agencies. The Hilliard School Food Pantries idea was quick to progress and launched a second pantry before the school year even ended. Margaret has launched multiple pantries in 2019-20 and was featured on NBC4. You can see the story here. Great student and community teamwork led to this second food pantry being launched at Hilliard Davidson.

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