Project Lead It Forward

As part of the Core Program of Scottsdale Leadership, members form teams to implement community service projects. The goal of each team is to identify a community need and develop a project that positively affects that need while gaining hands-on experience as community leaders. Each Spring, the teams present their projects to the public and alumni.

We are currently accepting project proposals for Project Lead It Forward.  To be considered, please fill out this form.  If you have any questions, please contact Dana at

Class 32 Projects:

Miracle League of Arizona:
Be a Game Changer!!!  The Miracle Makers from Scottsdale Leadership Class 32 were thrilled to support Miracle League of Arizona by creating tools to help recruit, engage, and train their volunteer coaches and “buddies”!  These one-on-one helpers that help provide support, safety and structure to the game are critical to the Miracle League experience as they provide friendship and encouragement for participants.

The project outcomes included 3 new high-quality videos that are used to promote and recruit volunteers as well as train buddies, volunteer groups and day-of volunteers.  The project outcomes also included recommendations for new volunteer management software, a sample marketing campaign (including a new tag line) to promote the need for volunteers and corporate contacts to source repeatable volunteers.

Scottsdale Historical Society:
Since 1955 the Annual Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show has set the pace in the Arabian horse world. It has grown from 50 horses to nearly 2400 horses bringing top owners, trainers and breeders from around the world competing for a chance at winning.  Between April 4 and June 1, 2018, the historic Little Red School House transformed into a beautiful, noble sanctuary of Arabian horse objects and photographs.  The Scottsdale Historical Museum, in partnership with Scottsdale Leadership – Class 32, offered museum guests views of unique saddles, native Arabian costumes, stud breeding books and a number of extraordinary pieces of artwork.  The exhibit kicked off with a special preview and reception on April 12, 2018 from 5pm – 8pm.

Maricopa County Animal Shelter:
Did you know that the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control East Shelter is a no-kill shelter? And that it is often at capacity? Many people don’t, and Scottsdale Leadership, in partnership with the nonprofit Arizona Animal Rescue Mission, helped to change that by implementing public relations and process enhancements to increase adoptions and save more lives. As part of Project Lead It Forward, the People for Pets team streamlined the adoption process to help visitors better understand how the shelter works. This included a Welcome Wall at the entrance of the building, signage and clipboards to guide visitors, animal-themed artwork and a video to recruit more volunteers.

Audrey’s Angels:
Audrey’s Angels is an interactive music and craft program that enriches the lives of the elderly living in small residential care homes in our community. Research suggests active listening to music may lead to improvements in areas such as depression and anxiety, sleep disturbances, thinking, pain relief, and relaxation. “Band of Angels” team centered their project on increased awareness, energy, and database contacts for Audrey’s Angels.  Knowing that the City of Scottsdale and Arizona Governor’s Office both have initiatives focused on the senior community, the team planned and hosted an event titled “Band of Angels – Enriching Our Senior Community” at the Granite Reef Senior Center on March 24th, 2018 to increase exposure while celebrating the lives of senior citizens.  This program was hosted over a lunchtime setting with food provided by Chick-fil-A, musical performances through Audrey’s Angels, several related senior vendors, and Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane giving an opening statement and announcing a Scottsdale City Proclamation to help enrich the lives of our senior community.  In addition, Governor Doug Ducey filmed a short video for the project which was played at the event and outlined Arizona’s commitment to enrich the lives of seniors.  Over 160 people attended the event.

Scottsdale Leadership’s Class 32 partnered with Phoenix-based Partners to Assist in Learning (PAL) Experiences.  Pal’s mission is to more successfully include people of all abilities in our communities. Pal produces videos in with local business like the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Phoenix Suns, and the Phoenix Mercury to show guests what to expect while at their event/venue. Guests can also access digital Pal Guides to assist with communication, getting around and on-site resources. Scottsdale Leadership and PAL were excited to collaborate on an event for Autism Awareness Month on Tuesday, April 3. The event showcased Pal Experiences and other local non-profits serving the autism community.  Families impacted by autism were invited to enjoy dinner, games, raffle prizes (including Diamondbacks dugout reserve tickets), Scottsdale Fire engine tours and more during the free, family-friendly event at Brat Haus.

Class 31 Projects:

Adaptive Services (Team 1):
Team One transformed Scottsdale Adaptive Services Center’s outdoor area into an oasis, inclusive of a therapeutic sensory garden and recreational space that offers participants therapeutic benefits, sensory stimulation, tranquility, recreation, and full accessibility.  This includes a fully accessible turfed and shaded area for wellness, recreation, life instruction, and socialization opportunities. The garden provides a unique opportunity for people with disabilities to experience the food chain cycle of growing, cooking, and composting as well as to experience the tranquility and therapeutic benefits of gardening and interacting with nature.  The shaded recreation space allows participants a safe, structured outdoor space for socialization, exercise, exploration, skill building and wellness instruction.

The New Foundation (Team 2):
Team Two Infinity partnered with The New Foundation (TNF), which supports youth (11-17 years old) who are struggling with mental health and behavioral health disorders, to transform an existing dirt lot into a safe place for kids to play. The project encompassed the renovation of an outdoor space providing turf, lighting, sports equipment, a shed, and additional funding for multi-purpose media. Several fundraising events including community awareness of TNF’s programs and services served as the platform to connect and leverage resources. The space “Their Backyard” provides another outlet to relieve stress, an important part of therapeutic behavioral health treatment, and a space to just be a kid.

Operation Fix It (Team 3):
Team 3 raised awareness and funds for Operation Fix It, a signature program of the City of Scottsdale that provides assistance to Scottsdale home owners with exterior improvements to their properties when they are unable due to financial / physical constraints. Efforts included public relations, business planning, marketing strategy and tactics, and direct fundraising. OFI gained high visibility at the Mayor’s State of the City luncheon, with new brochures and giving envelopes at each place setting, a tug-on-the-heartstrings video highlighting an OFI client, an information table and raffle and mention in the Mayor’s address.  Already, significant funds have been raised, marketing materials updated and a business plan is in place, all of which will position OFI to grow, excel and continue providing a valuable service to Scottsdale citizens in need.

Fresh Start Women’s Foundation:
Team 4’s project gave the Fresh Start Women’s Foundation a vehicle to educate the community on their great work of helping women with education, resources and support to positively transform their lives.  A professional video was created by securing interviews with Fresh Start clients, resulting in a new marketing video for Fresh Start to use in marketing efforts and future promotions.  Team 4 successfully met the critical need for the organization to have the ability to share these transformational stories with the community, which will in turn build organizational capacity and sustainability.  Team 4 is thrilled to have had the opportunity to help Fresh Start share with the community how the women benefitting from their programs are creating stronger communities and families.

Class 30 Projects:

Open House at Gigi’s Playhouse for National Down Syndrome Day
Team Gigi’s Go Getters strove to raise awareness for the positive impact Gigi’s Playhouse has had on Phoenix and Scottsdale in the first year it has been open. Gigi’s Playhouse in Scottsdale provides therapeutic and educational programs for children and adults with Down Syndrome, as well as their families.

Beyond Autism Backyard Renovation
Team Beyond renovated Beyond Autism’s backyard to help provide a safe, soothing and fun space for kids with autism to learn academic, social and life skills. Beyond Autism is a non-profit school that fills a niche in Scottsdale by supporting children facing autism and their families.

Auction/Fundraiser for STARS (Scottsdale Training & Rehabilitation Services)
Hosted Painting with the STARS at the Scottsdale Art Walk. At this auction and fundraising event, attendees collaborated on a community art piece by painting a section of canvas for a small donation to STARS (Scottsdale Training & Rehabilitation Services). This collaborative piece will be displayed prominently in Scottsdale to continue to raise awareness of STARS and its art program. STARS mission is to improve the lives of individuals with developmental and cognitive disabilities.

Liberty Wildlife – Wild About Wildlife FUN FAIR
Team Wild Things partnered with Liberty Wildlife to host the Wild About Wildlife Fun Fair to showcase their bird ambassadors, provide arts & crafts activities for the kids, and host a Baby Bird Baby Shower, a supply donation drive benefiting Liberty Wildlife. The event helped educate and engage youth and their families on the importance of sustainability, preserving wildlife, and being good wildlife stewards.

Class 29 Projects:

TruForce: Development of Motor Coordination Skills
Team TruForce assisted in bridging the gap between children with low self-esteem who live a sedentary lifestyle and their desire for inclusion in extracurricular activities. The team assisted in the execution of a program created by TRUSport and worked with the Boys and Girls Club to develop a roll-out plan for permanent program implementation. This program directly addresses childhood obesity and sedentary habits through movement, mentoring, athletic development and social inclusion.

Possibilities 5.0: Multi-Sensory Environment
Team Possibilities 5.0 partnered with Scottsdale Adaptive Recreation Services to build out a multi-sensory room in the Adaptive Recreation Center. The room will serve to conduct therapy for people with a variety of disabilities, disorders and conditions including dementia, autism, intellectual disability and brain injury. To unveil the room and kickoff the fun for future users, Team Possibilities 5.0 held an open house in April. Fun, snacks and prizes were provided with an official ribbon cutting by Mayor Jim Lane. This was a free event, with community members of all ages encouraged to attend.

The Victim Next Door: Domestic Violence Aid
The Forensic Nurse Examiner Unit (FNEU) provides personalized comprehensive care to patients who are victims of interpersonal violence, such as assault, domestic violence, child abuse and elder abuse. The Victim Next Door supported FNEU with collection of clothing and personal hygiene items packaged as Victim Care Kits, as well as a comprehensive fundraising effort to purchase forensic lighting and cameras. A high profile domestic violence awareness campaign was also part of the team’s strategic plan.

Green Jardin: Rebuilding Supai Middle School Garden
Supai Middle School had a dormant garden and amazing students just waiting for an opportunity to help. Now they have a HARVEST for the community! Team Green Jardin, in partnership with students, created a garden to unite the community while providing specific nutritional, educational and scientific resources for the students and families. Green Jardin worked with the kids on three separate days and secured donations from local businesses to create a place that is Healthy Accessible Recreational Visually-appealing Educational Sustainable & Thriving.

Trailblazers: McDowell Sonoran Preserve Awareness
Team Trailblazers raised awareness of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve through the Grand Opening of the Kovach Family Nature Trail. They are passionate about this Scottsdale treasure and point of pride for Arizona. The opening of the Kovach Family Nature Trail brought accessibility to all ages and physical abilities showcasing the amazing beauty of our natural desert and wildlife. The Trailblazers led the logistics, planning, marketing and sponsorships for this free public event. They are working with the Conservancy staff and their volunteer program ensuring stakeholder involvement while ultimately building upon the legacy of the Preserve through Volunteer Stewardship opportunities.

Class 28 Projects:

Victorious Secret: Caring to the Corps
Foothills Caring Corps (FCC) provides in-home and transportation services to older adults in Scottsdale and the North Valley who are home bound or disabled. Volunteers are needed to help program participants with basic tasks and errands needed to live an independent lifestyle. This team helped FCC thwart a volunteer shortage by providing the non-profit with a detailed volunteer recruitment and marketing strategy aimed at fulfilling short and long-term needs. In addition to providing a wide range of recruitment tools and collateral, the team forged partnerships with local businesses, associations and individuals committed to making a difference.

Tavan Digital Literacy Program
Most Tavan Elementary School students live at or below the poverty line. This project provided Tavan’s teachers and students with devices, knowledge and support to become digitally literate. The Tavan Technology Fair showcased resources and connected business partners to improve Tavan’s technology prowess and launched the Tavan Digital Literacy Program. This team provided all project marketing, research, sponsorship and support. Business leaders have pledged long-term financial aid and support.

Quest for College
Attending college is one of life’s major milestones and a decision that impacts a student’s entire future. This project provided Paiute Neighborhood Center students with comprehensive, manageable guidelines to navigate selecting and applying for college. Through this awareness, middle school students understand the importance of having a plan to succeed in high school and the value of graduating from college. Electronic files were developed for students and families clearly outlining reasons, processes and other resources to successfully guide them from eighth grade through their senior year and onto college.

Amplif(i) it Bash
Today’s headlines are bursting with topics about bullying, drug abuse and other challenges facing kids. This team partnered with notMYkid to address these issues and provide positive reinforcement to kids ages 11-14 by celebrating their good life decisions at the inaugural “amplif(i) it bash”. Over 120 youth attended the free event at Scottsdale Gymnastics and Trampoline, which included zipline, foam pit, parkour, raffle, dance and music. 70 parents watched presentations on bullying, substance abuse, unhealthy relationships, eating disorders, depression and internet safety.

Project CANdo! procured donations of non-perishable canned food items and created a prominent canned food pyramid to raise awareness of Vista del Camino Food Bank; ultimately, all food items were given to the organization. In partnership with Salt River Fields, the Arizona Diamondbacks and local architects/structural engineers, the final product was a sight to be seen during three Spring Training games.

Class 27 Projects:

Bigs 4 Littles – A Mentor Recruitment Event Connecting Boys to Big Brothers
In partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Arizona, this team was to created an annual program focused on recruiting critically needed male mentors (Bigs) to help reduce waiting list of more than 250 boys (Littles) in the Greater Phoenix area. The inaugural Bigs 4 Littles free event included food, prizes, and autograph/photo opportunities with major league sport celebrities, mascots and cheerleaders.

Doggie Drive-In: Raising Awareness of Homelessness with Pets
Homeless shelters don’t accept pets …until now! Family Promise, which serves Greater Phoenix, wanted to launch an annual event to bring awareness to the importance of accommodating families with pets. This team created the inaugural Doggie Drive-In at Scottsdale Community College to provide the experience of being homeless in your car with your beloved four-legged family members. The team provided all logistics, event planning, marketing, public relations, sponsors and support for this free event (donations were accepted).

Give Kids a Smile: Free Dental Screenings
This team partnered with Arizona Dental Foundation and the Barker branch of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale to make a difference in the lives of school-aged children, by offering free dental screenings. This fun-filled event gave children the opportunity to be examined by several top dentists, receive fluoride and varnish, and have X-rays taken, allowing for an internal view of the child’s overall oral health.  Participants enjoyed education on oral hygiene, character appearances, and prizes.  For those children who were in need of additional care, Arizona Dental Foundation will provide further service, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.

TLC  (Teen Lifeline Central): Mobile Site for Teens
This team identified a disconnect between the vast services available to Scottsdale’s youth and their awareness of these services. The mission of this group was to literally put these services at teens’ fingertips by  developing Scottsdale’s first mobile site geared specifically towards youth. The TLC mobile site, backed by the venerable Scottsdale Prevention Institute as stakeholder, is a free, one-stop shop for youth which links them directly to those who can, and will, help.  Depression, eating disorders,    crisis support, and job opportunities are just a few of the issues teens can gain information about via this mobile site. You can access the site from your smart phone at:

Plant the Seed: Interactive Garden Program
The focus of this project was to build and create an interactive garden program and curriculum for the Rose Lane Branch of the Boys & Girls Club of Scottsdale with future potential implementation at other clubs. The project included a complete redesign and unveiling of a garden space for youth and a teaching art mural focused on seasonal planting of local produce. They also developed an interactive online curriculum with an annual timeline for how, what and when to plant, and various kid-friendly activities.  Ongoing, the project 1) teaches children about the importance and benefits of a healthy, balanced lifestyle; 2) instills responsibility and pride in the children who see, maintain and harvest the garden; and 3) encourages children to take the knowledge of how to grow and prepare fresh food into their homes and establish home gardens.

Life in a Box: Teen Life Skills Workshop partnered with the Piper branch of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale to launch “Life in a Box”. 
This project was a one-day workshop with local experts to empower youth with real-life skills they will need as they enter adulthood. Topics included financial literacy, self-defense, dangers of social media, interview skills and healthy eating habits. The keynote speaker was Andrew Walter, former NFL quarterback and Arizona State University star athlete.

Class 26 Projects:

Play it Forward implemented getting musical instruments out of retirement and into the hands of students, particularly to those in low-income areas who might not otherwise have access to musical education. The team, in partnership with Ear Candy Charity and Arcadia High School Contemporary Music and Sound, is conducting an instrument drive benefiting schools in the Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD). For more information visit Project Play it Forward Group was featured on Channel 12 news at:

Everybody Dance Now! is a youth-run nonprofit dedicated to inspiring students through positive opportunities that promote healthy and active lives. This project team started a local chapter and partnered with the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale to provide weekly dance programming to middle and high school youth who would otherwise not have access to such opportunities. The program was created to enhance the lives of youth through dance, leadership and community involvement. For more information email

Paiute Community Garden partnered with the Paiute Neighborhood Center to create a multifaceted edible garden with raised planting beds and an art-inspired seated reading area. The Paiute Community Garden will be a beautiful place for children and adults to grow an edible garden while layering an educational curriculum to inspire healthy food choices. For more information as posted in the Arizona Republic visit

Healthy Packs Program was created to to aid children in Title 1 schools experiencing weekend hunger by sending them home from school with food on Friday afternoons. Good weekend nutrition ensures the children arrive to school on Monday well-nourished and ready to learn. Project partners included Vista Del Camino Food Bank, SUSD, Police Officers of Scottsdale Association, Scottsdale Sunrise Rotary Club, Bethany Lutheran Church, and Concerned Citizens for Community Health. The project will continue to need volunteers and donations. You can volunteer with the Vista Del Camino Food Bank to help pack bags, deliver bags or collect funds for the program. You can also donate online at for the Healthy Packs Program.

Dream Fair was created to inspire Coronado High School students entering 9th and 10th grade and their parents to be more involved in school to help them realize their dreams for graduation and beyond. Increased student and parental involvement are key contributors for better educational performance and decreased dropout rates. The 1st annual Dream Fair on March 24 featured former White House Doctor Connie Mariano and Craig Jackson of Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction and a former Coronado High School graduate. Both shared how school helped them reach their dreams.

Class 25 Projects:

P.E.T. Pantry implemented a platform to keep pets with their owners during times of financial crisis through a collaborative effort between Vista del Camino Food Bank, Animal Guardian Network and Scottsdale Community College. This project embraced public awareness, direct donations and practicality for food banks. A panel of judges selected P.E.T. Pantry as the winning project. For more information:

Come Take a Stand created awareness campaign educating youth in understanding effective bystander strategies to apply when witnessing cyber-bullying. School curriculum was developed to support Scottsdale’s eighth grade students. For more information:

Seeing Is Believing provided under-represented children with the gift of vision. Striving for all children to have eye-exams and glasses, the team raised funds and created community collaboration between individuals, businesses and schools. For more information:

Growing Greatness at Camelot Therapeutic Horsemanship transformed an unused plot into a special spot for children and adults who face physical challenges and obstacles. The project team recruited contributors and constructed a wheelchair accessible, raised bed garden. For more information:

Foundation for Sustainable Senior Centers created a nonprofit foundation serving Scottsdale’s seniors and senior centers and bridging the gap between city services and community needs, including health, safety and medical. For more information:

Bridging Generations created a platform for sharing, learning and interaction between seniors and elementary school students. The project was designed to enhance the curriculum for children and quality of life for seniors through interviews related to history.

Class 24 Projects:

OlymPALooza! ConnectinGenerations created bridges of communication, appreciation and mutual respect during a fun day of sharing between seniors from Granite Reef Senior Center and youth from the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale. The closing ceremony generated smiles, “Aha” and even tears of happiness as the circle of new friends connected during their shared special moments. A panel of judges selected OlymPALooza! ConnectinGenerations as the winning project.

Project It’s Your Turn’s increased awareness of prostate cancer, fundraised, and informed men to be responsible about their health. Team It’s Your Turn appeared at the Fiesta Bowl Art Walk, Parada Del Sol, Scottsdale Healthcare, WM Phoenix Open; finishing with a MLB baseball game where March 20th was proclaimed as Scottsdale’s Prostate Cancer Awareness Day.

The Meet Green created a platform to provide information on how community and/or business groups can conduct “green” meetings. The team selected Appaloosa Library and the events planned for their building as their ‘pilot’ to make available supporting materials and tracking processes for conducting environmentally–friendly meetings.

The Classroom Wishes team created a project to provide the necessary tools to maximize the educational experiences of local K-5 students. The team developed a plan where local businesses can “adopt” area schools and assist in fulfilling educators’ unmet needs. Tavan Elementary School served as their model.

Team Check the Box project raised awareness and funds for the Scottsdale Cares program. Scottsdale Cares supports non-profit agencies and is funded by the City of Scottsdale’s utility customers. The team developed marketing strategies which included streamlining the online donation process. The long term goal is to raise awareness and contributions by a minimum of 20% by 2012.

Project Scottsdale STARS focused on raising awareness and funds for Scottsdale Training and Rehabilitation Services (STARS). The team worked to increase attendance for STARS Annual Fiesta de las Madrinas Charity Ball, surveyed the Ball participants will hold an open house for them to see first-hand the work of the agency. The team also consulted on the creation of a donor tracking system.