In July 2019, 18 high school freshmen began their journey as the second class of The Legacy Project. This group of ninth graders were gathered at The Ohio State University for their orientation into a “grit” and coaching-focused youth empowerment program, sponsored by The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation and The Hagedorn Legacy Foundation.
To conclude their time in the program, students got the chance to return to S-E-A in Columbus for their last Incubator Lab in April. Our students were able to learn about different engineering fields and even got to take rides in a self-driving car. Legacy Project student Cira will be majoring in chemical engineering at the University of Cincinnati. Cira stated “I already felt like I wanted to do material or chemical engineering but seeing real engineers really inspired me.”
Fast forward to May 2023, on a picture perfect spring day, this same group of students came together again, this time to celebrate their graduation from The Legacy Project. They returned to the ScottsMiracle-Gro world headquarters with friends and family to celebrate together. On returning back to Scotts nearly four years later, Legacy Project student Amarra said, “I thought it was cool going back years later. It made me realize how much older we have gotten and how much we have grown.”
During the day, students were provided with a time to reflect on their experiences within the program. It was a heart-filled time where the students shared their program highlights and takeaways. Students enjoyed the second half of their day at the Scotts Park. They played games, ate ice cream, and got to take rides in Jim Hagedorn’s helicopter!
A class with honors
This Legacy class has scholarship award winners, team captains, all-conference athletes, an award winning culinary artist, a class president, a salutatorian, two Award of Excellence winners given by the Whitehall Education Foundation, and many other examples of student success. All of the students from the graduating class have detailed career goals and plans to continue their education. Nearly all of the students are planning to receive education at 4-year universities across Ohio while others have opted to start full time employment.
Through individualized coaching and career mentor relationships, real-world career opportunities and immersive learning experiences, The Legacy Project develops students through a multi-discipline curriculum. During their four years in the program, students are challenged through character strength skill and entrepreneurial mindset development, financial literacy and customized goal-pursuit. The program culminates with students receiving a $20,000 scholarship toward post-secondary education.
As Amarra reflected back on her time in the program, she shared a bit of sentimental advice for the next generation of Legacy Project students: “Do not rush, take your coaching sessions, grit gatherings and incubator labs seriously. This program goes by faster than you think.”