About

Chain Reaction is a teen leadership institute that offers service-learning opportunities that teach you important life skills through service and service activities that your passion and talent create. Chain Reaction is teen-driven, teen-directed, and teen-organized, which means you won't just be volunteering, you will be helping lead the projects you take on to inspire change within the community. Sound scary? Not to worry! We will be with you every step of the way guiding and shaping you with our groundbreaking curriculum and exciting volunteers.

Fundamentals of Chain Reaction

Chain Reaction believes that when service is combined with our four fundamental principles of discovery, uniting, believing and aspiration, you can change the world around and the world within. This ambition is tempered with our proven curriculum and success. We help teens to:

  1. Discover their innate strengths and untapped abilities
  2. Unite as a team of connected, committed citizens
  3. Believe in themselves to achieve more
  4. Aspire to see the good in all things

 

Service Projects

Chain Reaction has a variety of service projects that you can choose from with different causes that you can support. How do you want to make an impact beyond yourself? 

  • Human Jukebox: Do you love music? Human Jukebox aims to provide music entertainment through a band made up entirely of teen volunteers at the Palafox Market for the local community. During performances, people can donate money to Human Jukebox in a variety of jars laid out in front of the volunteers with song titles on each jar. Whichever song title they donate to, the volunteers will begin playing that song, like an actual jukebox! Teens who do not play instruments or sing are also welcome and can assist with decor preparations. Proceeds will go towards funding a child's music lessons through our partner organization, Big Brothers Big Sisters.

  • Leadership in Learning: Do you have a heart for children and encouraging them through learning? Being able to learn effectively at an early age is critical for development, according to research, as reading comprehension at an early age is a good indicator in predicting the probability of dropping out of high school. To help kids learn at an early age, Chain Reaction volunteers developed learning kits which have prizes for reaching learning milestones within the packets to put a fun and rewarding perspective on reading/math. Volunteers can make activities, bookmarks, coloring sheets, and prizes for the children benefiting from this service project. These learning kits are delivered to third graders at C. A. Weis Elementary School.
  • Get Grounded: Do you love painting and encouraging others? Get Grounded focuses on encouraging children in foster care and other unstable life circumstances. To symbolize growth, teen volunteers prepare kits in which they paint superheroes such as Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman on potted plants and pair them with encouraging letters that are delivered to children at Gulf Coast Kids House. Help someone feel like a superhero!

  • CR Science: Do you like science? Make an impact towards the future of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) field by creating science kits for children! These science kits will be designed by teen volunteers to be mini science projects for children to help them understand the world around them scientifically. Encourage kids to get more involved in science and realize the fun and amazing possibilities of STEM. The science kits will be given to the Pensacola Mess Hall to be used as templates for their activities.

  • Prisedemic: Do you love animals and saving the environment? Did you know that approximately 7.6 million companion animals (e.g. dogs, cats) enter animal shelters nationwide every year? Chain Reaction is providing comfort to animals awaiting adoption by creating dog and cat toys. Teen volunteers create and deliver dog and cat toys by re-purposing old shirts into braided rope toys for dogs and stuffed mice/fish for cats that would otherwise take up space in landfill. These fun toys will be donated to the Pensacola Humane Society. Help increase dogs' and cats' quality of life while also saving the environment!
  • Gifts of Hope: Do you enjoy being creative? Using donated LEGOs, volunteers in Gifts of Hope create mini Lego projects with step-by-step picture instruction booklets to benefit children in various community programs. Teen volunteers can help out by designing the kits, taking pictures for the manuals, and coming up with new ideas for the LEGO models inside the kits. These kits will go in backpacks full of food for children in need at Manna Food Bank, they will go towards children in Autism Pensacola to help with concentration and motor skills, and waiting rooms in Legal Services. 

  • Oldies but Goodies: Do you enjoy performing? Teen volunteers help provide social support and entertainment to the clients at Council on Aging's Retreat Center by planning and performing a variety show! "The Retreat" is a day center for elderly persons with physical and cognitive impairments such as dementia or Alzheimer's disease. Teen volunteers will plan out dance routines, pick songs to sing from the good ol’ days, and make décor for the event. Through dance and music, you can bring joy and happiness to the senior citizens at Council on Aging!

  • PSC Kids' College (Summer Only): Do you enjoy working with children? Kids' College is an event held at the Pensacola State College in which teens serve as junior counselors for kids who take classes in everything from fishing and sports to fashion design. Kids' College keeps kids physically and mentally active during their time away from school and allows teens to serve as positive role models for the kids. Volunteers for this event can select the weeks and times that they want to volunteer during the summer and is completely flexible.


What is a Teen Leadership Institute?

Chain Reaction is more than service, we are service learning. Our mission at Chain Reaction is to empower you to learn through service. In a safe, fun, and empowering environment, you can discover your innate strengths and untapped abilities; unite with other teens as a team of connected, committed citizens; believe in yourself to achieve more and aspire to see the good in all things. Through service learning, you can get a lot of benefits:

 

  • Learning the CR 24 Elements – Soft Skills: CR teaches 24 soft skills that we call the 24 Elements which are essential for teens to become leaders of their own lives. The 24 Elements are used for reflection in teens evaluating their service experiences.

 

  • Internships: As a teen leadership institute, we provide the opportunity for you to take up leadership roles within our service projects as an intern. Interns lead other volunteers to get excited for the project, critically think of ways to improve the project, and work with staff to meet the needs of what needs to happen for each season’s goals. This offer is extended to teens who are shown to be committed and driven to grow as leaders.

 

  • Work Resumes: It’s important to be able to put skills that you’ve learned over high school into a resume for potential jobs or applying for college. CR has dedicated days to help you every step of the way in constructing a solid resume and have it checked by employers who regularly hire teens.

 

  • Scholarships: Service learning opportunities make way for scholarship opportunities. Serving in CR is a great way to accumulate hours for Bright Futures, the Florida Medallion Scholarship, and many other service scholarships. In 2015, our teens accumulated about $1.4 million total in scholarships thanks to CR.

Making An Impact Beyond Yourself

CR helps you identify your passions, discover purpose, and propel personal growth and leadership skills to help you become the best version of yourself.  Meet two of our CR alumni:

Dina Eldawy – Dina joined Chain Reaction as a high school freshman when her friend brought her to a meeting. She fell in love with the passion she witnessed in other people, which inspired her to use her own passion with the community.

 “I used to be so eager about growing up because I thought that the only way I could help my society was if I was an adult. But Chain Reaction showed me that every single person had the power to change the world.”

 During her time of service, Dina created her own service project with the help of CR staff called Leadership in Learning with a focus on motivating young children to love reading and learning. Leadership in Learning was developed from her own interest in learning when she read Magic Tree House books by Mary Pope Osborne. This idea snowballed into putting together learning kits based around the Magic Tree House series with rewards and prizes for reaching learning milestones like reading up to a certain page in the book. After a year of planning, Dina helped CR partner with C. A. Weis Elementary School to drop off learning kits for the third grade children. At the end of her membership, she graduated and received a full ride to Syracuse University.

 

Markus-Daniel Jones – Markus-Daniel joined Chain Reaction during his sophomore year of high school. Drawn to how much fun CR members were having, he was inspired and quickly found his niche in Chain Reaction. Full of energy and ideas, he helped improve one of CR’s service projects, Get Grounded, and came up with a completely new service project with the help of CR staff called Prisedemic. Taking his love of animals and combining it with recycling, he worked with CR staff to come up with the idea of using donated, un-wanted t-shirts and making them into dog/cat toys. To this day, CR donates braided rope toys and sewn stuffed mice/fish to the Pensacola Humane Society.

“The more you open yourself up as an individual towards CR and trust the process, the more change you will see. Not only will you see the change in yourself but in the communities that you are helping and I think that’s awesome.”

Through his excellent service towards the community and with the help of CR’s college prep program, Markus-Daniel was given a full ride to Stetson University through the Bonner Scholars Program valued at $250,000. He is the third graduate of CR to receive this scholarship.When you become a member of Chain Reaction, you are held to our standards of excellence. These are non-negotiable aspects of our organization and we expect every member to follow them to the best of their ability. Read more about our standards below.

What are the Requirements?

To be a member of CR, you have to be in high school or at least the summer before going into 9th grade. To get the full benefits of the CR membership, we have a set of minimum requirements expected to be completed by every member:

1. Complete a 6-Week Service Project

Chain Reaction has a variety of service projects to choose from that rotate in and out depending on the season. Each project lasts 12 weeks and you only need to attend 6 weeks of a single service project. You can pick and choose which weeks you would like to come, we’re completely flexible!

 

2. Complete Two Leadership Courses

You should complete any two of the following leadership courses:

  • Attend a Quarterly Meeting (gatherings of up to 50 teens celebrating past season accomplishments and getting excited for the next season’s service projects)
  • Complete a work resume
  • Request and receive a letter of recommendation
  • Attend a logistics training day during a service project
  • Be an intern for a service project

 

3. Attend Orientation

Orientation is a first look into how you can be involved as a CR teen, see which service projects fit you the best, and what you can expect to gain as a CR member. This is also a great opportunity to meet other members, new and old, within CR.

 

4. Attend Senior Friday (for high school juniors and seniors only)

We know prepping for college can be a hassle for many teens. That’s why we’re here to make it worry-free! We will work with you to come up with a plan of action on upcoming college applications and scholarships. There’ll also be other teens just like you who you can share ideas with. Free snacks and drinks will be given at every meeting!

If positively impacting the local community while developing real world applicable skills with friends sounds like your cup of tea, Chain Reaction is for you! You just need your parent or guardian's permission to join. Once they fill out our form, schedule an appointment to see the sights at our headquarters. We can't wait have you join our Chain Reaction Family.

 

 

Connect With Us:

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Contact:

P: 850.202.0691
E: info@mychainreaction.org
1301 E. Gadsden St. Pensacola FL, 32501
Join Us