Leadership Projects: How Black Belt Students Bring Good to Their Communities

Diabetes research. The Humane Society. The Colorado Healing Fund. Canned goods for Longmont families. A book drive for Thompson School District. What do all these efforts have in common?

They’re all good causes, and they’re all spearheaded by kids. They’re also a leadership requirement for karate students earning their black belt.

Every Ripple Effect Martial Arts student—adult, teenager or child—takes on a leadership project prior to testing for black belt. (The ones listed above are just a sample of the latest crop.)

The requirements are broad: Choose a project that will benefit your community, and devise a plan to make it happen. The specifics are up to the students themselves.

Some kids love making bracelets. By selling the bracelets and donating the money back to local non-profits or any good cause, the leadership project takes bracelet making from hobby to community resource.

That’s the transformational power of the leadership project, and why it’s so essential for kids in karate—it gives them a sense of accomplishment and a level of challenge that goes beyond just themselves. You love to read? Share your books. Love food? Get your fellow karate students to bring in canned goods, so some kids in your community don’t go hungry.

It’s all part of stepping up, and it’s at the heart of what it means to be a black belt.

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