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Georgia Teacher Wins 2018 Leavey Award Honoring Free Enterprise/Entreprenership Education

CARRIE SETTLES-LIVERS, of Brookwood High School in Snellville, Georgia, has been named one of eight recipients of the prestigious 2018 Leavey Awards for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education.

Settles-Livers is being honored for her creation of “STEMpreneurship with Brookwood Aquaponics,” which combines the teaching of next-generation science standards alongside the free enterprise system.

The Leavey Awards, administered by the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation and Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, were created in 1977 to encourage and thank teachers whose expertise and creativity was leading to innovative ways of teaching students about entrepreneurship and the free enterprise system. In the more than four decades that the two foundations have partnered to find, select and honor educators from around the country, more than 600 teachers – from middle school to college level – have received almost $4 million in prize money.

The Leavey Foundation, begun in 1952 by Farmers’ Insurance co-founder Thomas Leavey and his wife Dorothy, has donated more than $200 million to educational, medical and Catholic institutions. Freedoms Foundation, founded in 1949 by Dwight Eisenhower and others, offers educational programs on the nation’s founding, the Constitution and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, starting with courses for fifth graders up through graduate programs for teachers.

In STEMpreneurship with Brookwood Aquaponics, students are tasked with creating a business idea that incorporates sustainable agriculture. Students design logos, web pages and slogans, and learn how to create a startup and sell products, from planters to bug repellants, to candles in reused jars and sustainably sourced soaps. Students craft business plans and “elevator pitches,” procure investment funds, make cold calls, consult market analysis on pricing and sell online. As in real life, leadership and teamwork are vital to success. The project’s aquaponics lab system is capable of producing three tons of food in its deep water beds, and students give half of their produce away to a local food co-op. Profits from sales of the other half of their crop are donated to a charity of the students’ choice.

“More than ever, our nation and its economy need entrepreneurs, small-business owners, and business visionaries,” said Jason Raia, executive vice president of Freedoms Foundation. “These leaders are coming from the classrooms of Leavey Award recipients. People are now realizing what Thomas and Dorothy Leavey knew 41 years ago – teaching future generations to develop an appreciation, knowledge and enthusiasm for the American free enterprise system is essential to ensuring our nation’s continued success.”

This year’s class of Leavey Award recipients will be honored at a dinner and award ceremony from 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, July 26, on the campus of Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, 1601 Valley Forge Road, Phoenixville, PA 19460.

For more information, contact Carolyn Santangelo, director of Educational Programs, at 610-933-8825, ext. 234, or