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Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy Students Win $10,000 Award in Lead4Change Challenge

The award will be donated to the students’ charity of choice, Zaman International

A group of students at Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy (MGLVA) — a full-time, tuition-free, online public school for grades K-12 — have been named first-place prize winners in the national Lead4Change Challenge, earning a $10,000 award for their charity of choice, Zaman International.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

Student advisor Danielle Stoops, pictured on the right, presents the award to Zaman International founder Najah Bazzy, pictured on the left. (Photo: Danielle Stoops, teacher, MGLVA)

Student advisor Danielle Stoops, pictured on the right, presents the award to Zaman International founder Najah Bazzy, pictured on the left. (Photo: Danielle Stoops, teacher, MGLVA)

In May, four students from MGLVA — also known as team ENHANCE — submitted their project for the national Lead4Change Challenge, which allows student teams to submit a service-learning project for the opportunity to earn up to $10,000. The project, focused on enhancing the living conditions of Michiganders in metro Detroit, was reviewed and passed through three levels of evaluation and judging before eventually being named a first-prize winner in June.

“It has been such an honor to have worked closely with these students over the past few months. Their dedication and commitment to this project and to giving back to their local communities is inspiring to everyone at MGLVA,” said Danielle Stoops, student advisor for the ENHANCE team and teacher at MGLVA. “Zahraa, Ayah, Raiah and Marwe have bright futures ahead and I look forward to seeing how they continue to grow their team and get more students involved.”

As a winner of the challenge, the ENHANCE team was able to select a non-profit organization to receive their winning award of $10,000. The team selected Zaman International — a Southeast Michigan-based organization working towards creating change by advancing the lives of marginalized women and children by providing them with essential needs, such as food, clothing and household staples.

“ENHANCE is just one example of how MGLVA students are connecting outside of the classroom and exploring their passions and hobbies,” said Kendall Schroeder, head of school at MGLVA. “We are so proud of what these four students have achieved and applaud all of their hard work. They have worked diligently to create a positive impact on their communities and now their efforts will help reach an even broader community by supporting Zaman International.”

Since forming the group this past school year, ENHANCE has raised funds and collected donations for various non-profit organizations including Gleaners Community Food Bank, Ennis Center for Children and Samaritas. The student-led group is run by four MGLVA high school students, including:

  • Zahraa Asfar, a ninth-grader from Dearborn, MI
  • Ayah Alheyasi, a ninth-grader from Canton, MI
  • Raiah Potter, a tenth-grader from Detroit, MI
  • Marwe Saleh, an eleventh-grader from Dearborn, MI

MGLVA ENHANCE is based on Lead4Change’s Leadership Curriculum, a free leadership program for students in grades 6-12. The program focuses on teaching proven leadership skills and arming students with the practical tools needed to effect change and make a difference in their communities. Through Lead4Change’s national challenges, students have the chance to win money for their club, school or organization of their choice.

For more information about MGLVA, visit


Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy (MGLVA) is an online public school program of the Manistee School District, serving students across the state of Michigan. MGLVA is tuition-free, giving parents and families the choice to access the engaging curriculum and tools provided by Stride, Inc. (NYSE: LRN), the nation’s leading provider of proprietary K-12 curriculum and online education programs. For more information about MGLVA, visit


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