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Teen Servant Leadership Award

The nomination period has CLOSED.

The 2018 winners have been notified and will be posted online in September after the award ceremony at HSLDA's National Leaders' Conference.

All applicants will receive an email announcing the winners the week of Aug 20.

Questions? Email us at SLAward at homeschoolfoundation.org.


In 2017, the homeschool community responded enthusiastically to our second annual Servant Leadership Award, created to encourage homeschooled students’ involvement in community service. Community leaders and parents nominated over 80 teens, whose selfless service ranged from quiet, faithful work in food banks and thrift stores to founding service organizations now impacting multiple states.

These leaders of tomorrow have shown that they are already leaders today, sometimes bringing together nearly 100 volunteers of all ages to make a difference in the lives of the hurting or vulnerable.

Three winners were selected, each receiving a cash prize. The awards were presented at the Home School Legal Defense Association’s annual National Leaders Conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in September 2017.

**Scroll down to see 2017's winners!**


Promoting love of neighbor among homeschooled students
through community


Ellie Rutan

Ellie has a passion for instilling in this generation a gratitude for the veterans who have fought for our freedom and a commitment to protect the liberty we have inherited. She is working to show these veterans that the sacrifice they made will not be forgotten. Over the past four years, she has interviewed over sixty WWII veterans and is editing the video interviews for a DVD as part of her “Legacy of Our Fathers Project.” For many families, Ellie’s interview is the first time they have heard in detail of their relative's service. For some veterans, it is the first time they have spoke about the war.

Also in the past year, she spearheaded the formation of a new Young Marines unit for youths and received the Young Marine Achievement Award in 2016 for her efforts. Ellie has brought multiple WWII vets to the local Marine Recruiting office to share about their service with the next generation of soon-to-be Marines. She has volunteered as a musician, photographer, re-enactor, speaker, coordinator, and more at numerous events honoring veterans including the USS Indianapolis Reunions. Ellie's project Facebook page is: www.facebook.com/legacyofourfathersproject.

In her own words:

“The veterans I have been around have shaped a large part of who I am - they taught me to view my freedoms as a priceless treasure that must be defended at all costs. They have shown me what courage, honor, and leadership look like. They have inspired me to be all that I can be. They are my heroes and have forever changed my life for the better.”  ~Excerpt from Ellie's application

Esteban Merkt

When a 7.8 scale earthquake devastated Ecuador in April, 2016, Esteban sought how he could help address the lack of suitable housing and basic shelter. He assembled a team of seven youth and three chaperones and coordinated a 12-day service trip to build houses for people in the poorer neighborhoods of a town called Rio Chico and three surrounding villages. After working on construction by day, the team spent their evenings connecting with underprivileged youth in the town. In addition to planning each day’s schedule and logistics both beforehand and as situations arose throughout the day, Esteban served as the team’s translator.  

In his own words:

I was challenged to become a good leader often times having to struggle with changing situations and unexpected illnesses. The Ecuadorians showed me more about how to make do with what was at hand than I would have been able to learn on my own. Their humility and kindness even in the midst of their poverty is a great source of reflection to me as I review our stay in Ecuador. This service has changed my life, in that I was forced to mature and learn to adapt to situations as they come. Living in Ecuador even for a brief time taught me about the simplicity of life and the brevity of our time on earth. The Ecuadorian people taught me and my Company to live a simpler life, not wrapped up in the things of this world which can easily be lost or taken away. ”  ~Excerpt from Esteban's application

Wiley Skaret

Already an international award-winning pianist, Wiley leads a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable foundation called "James 1," which directly benefits children of Colombian police officers who have died in the line of duty. International organized crime groups and a violent remnant of a 50-year civil war have made the role of police officers in Colombia, South America, a vital but dangerous one.

Wiley and his foundation are working to raise a $500,000 university scholarship endowment for children of these fallen heroes. Wiley performs at benefit concerts and has secured private and corporate donors for his project, but his primary work is serving as the pianist in a series of music videos to raise awareness. His videos are set against beautiful Colombian landscapes and seek to pay homage to the ultimate sacrifice of Colombian officers and the lives of widows and children left behind.

In his own words:

“While I’ve been blessed to give many concerts in many beautiful halls, like Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, etc…, the most gratifying concerts for me have always been those that benefit others in some way.

Colombian police officers that are dying here in Colombia are the tip of the sword against our world’s fight against narcotraffickers and international organized crime. They do, and have done, so much to make this country great. And so when they give the ultimate sacrifice, giving back to their children also just seems right. So many of the officers dying in the line of duty come from humble circumstances….

What can I do? Well, I play the piano. And I’m doing what I can to support Colombia’s finest families. 
~Excerpt from Wiley's application

To learn more about Wiley's project, donate to his cause, or see his videos, please visit www.james1.net or visit him on Facebook @james1piano.

(alphabetical by last name)

Isabella Albert, 15, Collerville, Tennessee
Since the fifth grade, Isabella has been devotedly serving her community. For her latest project called Isabella’s Blessing Box, she created a sustainable outdoor food pantry in an underprivileged area.

Chloe Cholet, 17, Fort Worth, Texas
Chloe founded the Porcorn Joy Project as a means to coordinate teams of local teens to both encourage and serve the homeless and underprivileged in their community in various ways.

Kayleigh Cunningham, 15, Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Kayleigh is co-founder and Co-Executive Director of the Treasure Coast Hope for the Homeless charitable foundation which focuses on helping needy families and shelters throughout her area.

Christina Relich, 17, Richmond, Kentucky
Christina renovated a run-down childcare area at a local church that serves as an open refuge for community children. She founded a book publishing company to allow her to self-publish a children’s book related to her mural in the childcare area. All book proceeds go to charities benefiting poor children.

Adam Stacko, 16, Medina, Ohio
Adam founded a homeschool student council that offers teens education in how to become a servant leader and opportunities to implement their team leadership skills in service projects in their community.

Benjamin Wright, 17, Fleetwood, North Carolina
Despite many medical challenges, Benjamin serves joyfully for a special needs ministry at his church and volunteers weekly at a local place that provides a hot meal for struggling or homebound families.

Past Winners


Contribute Non-Cash Gifts
Giving for the Future

… Because lack of resources should never hinder a family from pursuing their passion to homeschool well.


What will be your legacy? You can leave a bequest or estate gift through planned giving to the Home School Foundation in your will and help families homeschool through hard times for years to come.

Just a few sentences in your will or trust are all that is needed. You can structure the bequest to leave a specific item or amount of money, make the gift contingent on certain events, or leave a percentage of your estate to us.

If your estate is subject to tax, your gift is entitled to an estate tax charitable deduction for the gift's full value. 


To make a charitable bequest, you need a current will or revocable living trust. Simply add these words to it: 

“I give and bequeath to the Home School Foundation, a non-profit organization in Virginia (currently located at P.O. Box 1152, Purcellville, VA 20134), the sum of $________.”

Your gift can also be made as a percentage of your estate rather than a fixed amount. This allows your gift to remain proportionate no matter how your estate’s value fluctuates over the years—so your family is always taken care of first.

Please contact us if you have any questions or wish to make estate donations that are not listed here.

Volunteer: Ambassador Program

HSF Ambassador LogoYOU can make a personal difference in your homeschool community!

The Home School Foundation’s volunteer Ambassador Program offers personal, tangible assistance in the form of grants and service projects to help families homeschool through hard times. Families are encouraged to serve together. Volunteer today and change lives! 

Ambassadors Program Mission
To meet the various needs of struggling homeschool families through grants and the resources of the local community.

Become an Ambassador
Donate to Your State

What Does an Ambassador Do?

  • Find and help struggling homeschool families in their communities

  • Refer families to HSF for assistance

  • Represent HSF at homeschool events and government workplace giving campaigns

As an ambassador, you serve as you are available with your talents and your heart. We know you are busy. We know you cannot do everything, but you can do something. We provide guidance and materials to help you!

Here are some examples of how you can serve:

Fundraise for a local family Do repairs for a single homeschool mom Tell others about HSF at state conventions  Represent HSF at government workplace campaigns
Build an Ambassador team like the
one in Arizona
Mobilize local organizations and churches to provide clothing and food for a recently widowed homeschool family  

HSF Ambassador Team

The Ambassador Network

When you give just 5 hours a month, you make a difference in families’ lives! You can become one of three types of ambassadors:

  • State Ambassadors—Build a team, represent HSF at state and local events, nominate struggling families for assistance, do fundraising and service projects

  • Community Ambassadors—Engage others to join the team, represent HSF locally, participate in fundraising and service projects, nominate struggling families for assistance

  • Youth Ambassadors—Serve alongside Ambassador parent/guardians, create and implement projects with their guidance
Become an Ambassador OR Donate to Your State

Your financial support helps, too! Donations to your State Ambassador Fund are tax-deductible and will be earmarked to assist families in your state. 

Become a fan of the Ambassador Program's Facebook Page! Then you can follow our activities and know how to pray for families in need. Thank you!

“Many hands making a difference in your homeschool community”

Other Ways to Help

Shop using Clicks for Homeschooling

Use Clicks for Homeschooling as the portal to shop all your favorite online retailers (like Amazon, Wal-mart, Target, Christianbook.com, eBay, and many others). When you do, the retailer will give a percentage of what you spend to HSF. Be sure to bookmark Clicks for Homeschooling for easy access.


Buy, Sell, or Donate Homeschool Curricula

Below is a list of websites and Facebook groups where homeschoolers may swap, sell, or donate curricula to families in need of affordable schoolbooks. Please note: listing on this website does not represent an endorsement by HSF or HSLDA.

Homeschool Curriculum Free for Shipping – This group is dedicated to connecting those with curriculum to donate and those in need to exchange curriculum for only the cost of shipping the materials.

Homeschool Curriculum Exchange and Homeschool curriculum & book swap – Public Facebook group where homeschoolers can buy and sell discounted used curriculum

Homeschool Classifieds – This is one of the larger sites on the web for buying and selling new and used homeschool curriculum. (Note: This is not a curriculum donation site.)


Employer Matching Gift Programs

Many employers have a “Matching Gift Program” which will match your donations dollar-for-dollar within certain guidelines. This is an easy way for your gift to be multiplied! Check with your employer today about such a program.

Buy the Homeschool Cookbook

Filled with over 300 mouth-watering recipes, hints, and insights from homeschooling cooks of all ages, our colorful cookbook will brighten your kitchen and delight your family for years to come. In addition to delicious recipes and cooking hints, Family Favorites from the Homeschool Kitchen features “Words of Wisdom” from homeschoolers. All profits from this book go to HSF, so you can discover new dishes and help needy homeschoolers at the same time.  Order your cookbook now.

Corporate Giving

Another creative way to support homeschooling families in need is by offering discounts on your product or services to these families—for example, extending discounts on curriculum to homeschooling widows or offering discounted testing for families of children with special needs. If you are interested in participating in such an endeavor, please contact us.

Helping families homeschool through hard times

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