On January 20, St. Andrews Optimists welcomed Samantha Huff from the Multiplying Good organization as its featured speaker. Huff’s official title is Manager, Community Events and Special Programs.
Multiplying Good was founded in 1972 as a collaboration between Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Senator Robert Taft Jr., and Sam Beard. The idea was to train and mobilize difference-makers during a period of public unrest and discord. The three were convinced public service to others and selflessness would create sustainable positive change in communities. It annually recognizes such efforts through the Jefferson Awards program.
Huff described a particular initiative called Students in Action (SIA), whose emphasis is to equip high school students for higher education and for ultimately launching professional careers. Wherever those students end up, they are ready to live out the intent of the program. SIA is a 17-week curriculum that has, to date, trained more than 77,000 students to be those change makers. The four areas of focus are:
Service learning through student-planned projects
When surveyed, 77 percent of those students respond the SIA program has improved their skill sets in the key areas of leadership and communication. Locally, Lexington High School actively participates in Multiplying Good and SIA, and has earned national recognition through that participation.
Pictured are Optimist Club President Larry Blosser, Samantha Huff, and speaker sponsor David Chao.