Haynes Academy snags top spot in 2021 Mission Ignition volunteer challenge


Six area high schools create $12K in impact through virtual service

NEW ORLEANS – United Way of Southeast Louisiana on Friday named Haynes Academy for Advanced Studies the winner of the 2021 Mission Ignition competition, which pits area high school against each other in a race to collect the most volunteer hours. 

Students participating in this year’s challenge completed six virtual volunteer events held over three weekends. Activities included writing letters of encouragement to homebound seniors, creating Morse code bracelets for local elementary students and making face masks.

The 2021 competition’s six schools combined for 527 hours of service valued at more than $12,100 in community impact. 

A student-led board, consisting of students from competing schools, drives all aspects of the initiative.

2021 Mission Ignition board members include:

•    Jerry Chen, Haynes Academy
•    Rachel Guan, Haynes Academy
•    Allie Johnson, Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy
•    Diana Martinez, Thomas Jefferson High School
•    Zoe Marquis, Benjamin Franklin High School
•    Amy Ndiaye, Benjamin Franklin High School
•    Clara Templin, Lusher Charter School
•    Leslie Williams, Thomas Jefferson High School

Since its inception in 2013, Mission Ignition has grown from a handful of classmates to thousands of engaged young people responsible for over $500,000 in impact through 20,000 hours of community service. Mission Ignition schools currently include Lusher Charter School, Benjamin Franklin High School, Haynes Academy, Thomas Jefferson High School, Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy and East Jefferson High School.

For more information on Mission Ignition, please contact Haley Mack at haleym@UnitedWaySELA.org.


About United Way of Southeast Louisiana
For 95 years, United Way of Southeast Louisiana (UWSELA) has been a leader and trusted partner in improving lives and making a lasting difference. We fight to eradicate poverty by preparing people for quality jobs, growing incomes, and affording better health and education opportunities throughout Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington parishes. We have a bold vision of equitable communities where all individuals are healthy, educated, and financially stable – and we have a plan. United Way of Southeast Louisiana’s Blueprint for Prosperity guides all strategic investments in programs, initiatives, collaborations, volunteerism, and advocacy aimed at tackling poverty. For more information, please visit UnitedWaySELA.org. Find us on social: @UnitedWaySELA.