Community News Old - DO NOT USE - The Coast News Rancho Santa Fe

Program helps students be the best they can be

CARLSBAD — On April 19, students in Stella Doncouse’s fourth-grade class at Jefferson Elementary School participated in the Who I Am Makes A Difference Blue Ribbon program, sponsored in part by the Carlsbad Rotary. This acknowledgment program is designed with the vision of creating a global Difference Makers community where all people feel appreciated, respected, and loved, and are valued for their unique talents and empowered to reach their true potential.
Volunteer and Jefferson parent Lori Johnson presented the Difference Makers International program. Johnson had attended the Difference Makers International Standing Strong Together Leadership Training program in March 2010, and learned that the average child hears 432 negative messages a day to 32 positive ones. Those statistics encouraged her to offer this acknowledgment program to her child’s class at Jefferson. Doncouse had already heard about the program and agreed without hesitation.
Johnson needed a sponsor to cover the cost of materials to implement the new program, and decided to send an e-mail to a total stranger, Lorraine Wood, president of Carlsbad Rotary. Within hours, Wood had set into motion the funding of the blue ribbons. Immediately Carlsbad Rotary had approved the donation, and by April 1, Johnson was presented with a $210 check to cover the cost of the 600 ribbons that children and adults will share with each other in the community.
“The Carlsbad Rotary members are already making a difference in our community in so many ways, I really appreciate that they found this important and sponsored it for the kids,” Johnson said.
Each blue ribbon is printed with the words “Who I Am Makes A Difference.” Each student was given a ribbon to acknowledge a classmate, and then they receive two additional blue ribbons so they can acknowledge someone else who has made a difference. The student then gives the person they acknowledge the third ribbon so that person can honor someone.
For more information on how you can make a difference where you live, work and learn, visit, call (760) 753-0963, or e-mail