2024 NLC Class Challenge kicks off March 4

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The National Leadership Conference community is a prime example of serving humbly. Each summer, dozens of dedicated volunteers staff the American Youth Foundation’s longest running program. Hundreds more support through financial gifts and by encouraging new young people to join the next NLC class.

Now, this community will answer the call again this March during the second NLC Class Challenge, a fundraiser that supports scholarships for teens to attend the 2024 conference.

The Class Challenge began in fall 2022 and raised more than $10,000, supporting 10 full scholarships to NLC 2023. NLC Co-Director Erin O’Brien said it was so successful, they knew they wanted to go even bigger this year.

“We were so impressed at our community’s enthusiasm and passion for this project,” O’Brien said. “We knew that if we moved the challenge to the spring and gave people more time to prepare, then we’d be able to support even more NLC participants through scholarship and financial aid.”

The NLC Class Challenge kicks off Monday, March 4 and runs through Thursday, March 14. As in 2022, this year’s challenge is two-fold: Which class can raise the most money, and which class can get the most donations? The winning classes will receive NLC-branded prizes.

Serving Through Action, which graduated in 2010, took both categories during the first challenge. Co-Director Beth Wilson believes several classes will give them a run for their money this year.

“The NLC community is a competitive bunch,” Wilson said. “We’re confident they’ll rise to the challenge.”

To build community across the country, O’Brien said alumni and fundraisers can join a virtual 5K via social media anytime on Saturday, March 9 and Sunday, March 10. Participants are encouraged to gather in person or simply slip on their walking shoes to take a stroll and a selfie.

“We want everyone to step out, exercise their physical fold, and share their photo on Facebook or Instagram,” O’Brien said. “Be sure to use the hashtag #NLCClassChallenge so we can all cheer each other on!”

Anyone who donates $40 or more during the fundraiser will receive a medal to commemorate their participation.

Though the challenge is focused on NLC alumni, Co-Director Michael Harter said the entire AYF community is encouraged to contribute and help young leaders discover their best at NLC 2024.

“If you don’t know a class or person associated with NLC, you can donate in support of the future class of 2025,” Harter said. “Though we’re sure there are plenty of alumni who’d love to get to know you and welcome your gift on behalf on their class!”

The NLC Class Challenge winners will be announced Thursday, April 11 at 8 p.m. ET during an informational Zoom call about NLC 2024. For more information and to receive the Zoom link in your email, sign up for the AYF email list.