Category Archives

#RocketWednesday…Emily is cooking!

Emily is cooking!This week we are highlighting Emily as our ‪#‎RocketWednesday‬! She received a scholarship in cooking classes and made three different dishes that she was very proud of! Her mother sent over pictures for us to share!  We loved all of the comments and kudos she received yesterday and if you’d like to give Emily some kudos, leave them in the leave them in the comments below or on her campaign. Check out some of her dishes!

If you’re interested in helping more kids like Emily find their spark be sure to sign up for our newsletter to stay connected with our program!

Remember, there is no limit to your spark so get out there and create something amazing! #Extracurriculars matterScreen Shot 2016-06-30 at 10.46.49 AM


Introducing our first Astronaut! #WishfulWednesday

What is the Astronaut Program?
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Two and a half years ago LaunchPad was just an idea that we weren’t sure would actually even work! As it grew we were able to see the potential impact it could have not only on the children and sponsors, but the schools and communities at large!
When it finally began as a project to see if the model worked, we were so giddy with excitement that we let kids go through as many times as they wanted! We thought “Hey, this our goal! We want to expose kids to different activities so let’s not make a limit!” We were accomplishing the mission and the process was working, we could see that!
We found that many of the funds were going to repeat children rather than providing the opportunity for even MORE kids to experience that exposure. We had to make a pivot so that we could scale the program to serve more children that could use our help!
Enter The Astronaut Program!
Who is it for? 
The Astronaut program is the second level of LaunchPad for the children who have already completed three different activities and written their thank you notes! This shows us that they are dedicated and grateful for the scholarships they have already received. Since the Astronaut program is a commitment of one year of uninterrupted participation in an activity they chose to “stick with”, we only take children who have been through our program for the first year as we ask a bit more from them during this second year!
How does it work? 
Astronauts are added to our website, just like every other child with the annotation of “Astronaut program” in the heading.  We ask for a bio and letter about why they are choosing the activity and how they hope to use it in the future. We will add this to our blog to let sponsors read and learn more about this amazing child and their goals! We want to share the transformations of these children with others to show the impact from the child’s perspective!
The child is also required to send in a quarterly update so that we can track their progress. This is to replace the thank you note piece in the first year.
What happens at the end of the second year?
Once a child has completed the second year of the program, we send them a LaunchPad t-shirt and a certificate of completion of all of the activities they have experienced in the program! Our goal is to highlight their achievements rather than the exit from the program. Our sponsors will always have the opportunity to sponsor the child for another year if they are interested!
This is not a long term fix for the children entering our program.  However, with just two years of activities under their belt we believe that this is a great way expose these children to more opportunities. To name just a few, it gives these children the opportunity to tryout for high school teams, boost self-confidence, gain new friends and feel a sense of pride in their accomplishments.

#WishfulWednesday! What if Gabby Douglas never got the chance to do Gymnastics!

We all know the story of Gabby Douglas, the olympic gold medalist who, against all odds, was scouted by one of the top gymnastic trainers in the country! What’s even more powerful though is how! Gabby’s mother was a single mom who worked tirelessly to keep Gabby in gymnastics at all costs.  Just when she could no longer afford to send her, another family with five children stepped in to scholarship Gabby so she could continue.

With all of these people working together, her mother, her coach, and her sponsor, Missy Parton working Missy-Parton-and-Natalie-Hawkins-celebrate-Gabby-Douglas-gold-medal-Good-Morningtogether they literally changed the course of her life! Gabby put in the work, Missy put in the funding and support along with her mother and her coach!

Can you imagine if Gabby didn’t get her chance! The Parton family helped launch Gabby into a new life that had so many positive outcomes and benefits and she is still reaping them today. You never know how these scholarships can really change the perspective of someone’s life! That’s why LaunchPad’s goal is to connect more people that want to help, like Missy Parton, to kids that need it, like Gabby Douglas!

Read more about Gabby’s here.



LaunchPad’s very own wish comes true!

YOU’VE helped make 40 wishes come true since 2013 and today LaunchPad’s wish came true!
We just received OUR VERY OWN 501C3 status!! What started out as an idea, turned project, is now officially deemed a bonafide nonprofit! Kids will now have the opportunity to get sponsored so much faster with your help! Thank you to all of you who have supported LaunchPad and helped make it a dream come true! Thank you Pam Ikuta and the (NVMAA) North Valley Medical Association Alliance for giving the project it’s own “LaunchPad” to get started and of course thank you to all of the sponsors and teacher referrals who are the true Rocket Fuel behind launching these kids and impacting lives! Check out our infographic to see what we’ve done together over the past 2 years! ‪Launchpad 4 kids, inc.-2