Day One

GivingPoint’s Social Innovators Academy is our social entrepreneurship training program, which combines workshops with industry experts and hands-on experiences to help students find their passion and build a social impact project of their own. This year, we are lucky enough to be hosting two cohorts, based on geographic location.

Our North Fulton cohort kicked off with our retreat weekend on Friday, August 17th. The retreat helps the students get to know each other, participate in a service project and team building activities together, and learn from our first three presenters of the year!

On Friday, we met at the Century 21 Connect offices in Roswell. While the students ate pizza, they got to know each other’s names, schools, and areas of passion. GivingPoint’s Director of Programs, James, led the group in their first activity, “Just what does a Social Entrepreneur look like?”

James says this activity is like going back to kindergarten, as it requires our students to get creative and draw out the characteristics they believe a Social Entrepreneur to have, and then they have to go around and act like the character they just drew!


Our presenter on Friday night was Rony Delgarde, the founder of Global Paint for Charity (GPC), which collects leftover cans of paint and distributes them all over the world to communities who could use them. Rony’s topic of presentation was what it means to be a Social Entrepreneur.

Rony walked us through the history and mission of his organization, and they ways that social entrepreneurship has benefitted his life and his organization. Rony was actually a presenter this summer at our Gwinnett Tech workshops, and we are so glad he came back to share again with our students.


Day Two

On Saturday, August 18th, we spent the day at the Chattahoochee Nature Center (CNC), first while volunteering, and then with our workshops and team-building in the afternoon. For our service project, we helped clear out weeds and prune plants and feed chickens at the garden at CNC.

It was a hard, but rewarding, morning!

Afterwards, we got a short tour of the 127-acre park. And then we took a quick break for lunch before diving into our afternoon topics.

We had visits from two members of the GivingPoint Board of Directors. Doug Curling stopped by to meet the group and share a little bit of the GivingPoint backstory and inspiration.

And Dr. Darian Jones was our first presenter of the day, sharing about the importance of goal-setting, in addition to strategy and techniques. Thank you both for sharing your time with us!

After Dr. Jones’ presentation, the students participated in two team-building activities, which got the students innovating to find solutions. James really challenged the students to work together and think outside of the box, and it payed off in the end.

As we wrapped up the weekend, James led an informational meeting for the parents and we reflected with the students.


This is only the beginning of their Social Innovators Academy experience, but we can’t wait to see what this amazing group of students (and all the students who couldn’t make it this weekend!) will achieve this year. Check out the rest of the photos from the retreat on our Facebook page, and make sure you follow along on social media to see updates as the year continues!