Get Fit, Stay Fit

"I cannot wait to continue my relationship with these students in the coming year.”

- Braden McPhail

Background Information

Braden McPhail, of Charlotte, North Carolina, attended the Fall 2015 semester of the Alzar School. During her sophomore year, she got involved with tutoring middle school girls through AG Bulldogs Matter. When asked to identify an issue in her home community, she knew that she wanted to address the issue of the lack of availability of exercise within the participants of AG Bulldogs Matter. For her Culminating Leadership Project, Braden worked with Freedom School to create “Get Fit, Stay Fit” and hosted afternoon activities with the theme of sports and the importance of staying active. By participating on multiple teams, exercise has always been an important part of Braden’s life, and she thought that this would be a good way to teach the students the importance of it.

“I knew how beneficial sports had been to me and I wanted to share the sense of community and the confidence that I had gained through sports with these students.”
– Braden McPhail

Implementation of Project

Braden started her project by contacting Rebekah Bowen, who she knew from AG Bulldogs tutoring. She was able to work with Braden to figure out the logistics such as dates and times that would fit within Freedom School’s summer schedule. After finding a week in June that worked for Freedom School, Braden began to reach out to people that might be interested in joining her action team. She reached out to fellow classmates, teammates, and friends in order to get a well-rounded action team. Braden received a tremendous amount of support from all of her friends and hosted several meetings in order to plan out the two action days with her action team. On the day before the first action day, Rebekah informed Braden that less students would be attending the sessions and that they would have to be shorter in order to accommodate Freedom School’s other activities. Braden did not let this affect her plan, and she modified her schedules accordingly.

On the first day, Braden and her action team led a game of kickball for the sixth and seventh graders. All of the students were very into the game and did not want for it to end. It was awesome to see them all motivating and cheering on their teammates. On the second day, the eighth graders played wiffle ball and then played a game of water balloon toss. Wiffle ball was a huge hit as many of them had not played it in a while and the water balloon toss was a great way to finish the day. In order to finish up her two action days, Braden gave the eighth graders popsicles as a way to wrap up the day and to cool down from the heat. The students loved the popsicles and it was a great way to finish up the two days spent at Freedom School.

“It was amazing to see how much my action team members enjoyed helping with my CLP. They were all so eager to help out with every step of the process, and they are already asking me how they can help in the future.”
– Braden McPhail

Results of Project

Braden felt very satisfied when walking away from her second action day. All of the children had huge smiles on their faces and they did not want to stop playing. At the very end, all of the students gathered to have popsicles and it was amazing to see them thank Braden for the past two days. They all shared their favorite moments and asked her to come back at the end of the summer. Many of the students even said that they had gained more confidence to try out for their school’s sports teams in the fall.

“It was awesome to see how excited the students were when they heard that my action team members and I would be returning to tutor them in the winter. I cannot wait to continue my relationship with these students in the coming year.”
– Braden McPhail

What’s Next?

Braden plans to continue her work with Freedom School and AG Bulldogs tutoring in the coming year. Next winter, she will tutor the same group of girls that she tutored during tenth grade and the ones who participated in her CLP with Freedom School. She plans to continue mentoring these girls during their last year before they enter high school. Two of her action team members are interested in tutoring with her, so it will be inspiring to see how they work together again with these girls. Next summer, she hopes to work with Freedom School again with an activity similar to her CLP. Braden will graduate from Charlotte Country Day School in the spring of 2017 and hopes to continue her leadership skills wherever she attends college.

“I look forward to continuing my relationship with AG Bulldogs tutoring and Freedom School in the following years. I cannot wait to see where I land for college and how my leadership skills are used.”
– Braden McPhail