Travis Manion Foundation Leadership Program

The Prep proudly partners with the Travis Manion Foundation (TMF), a non-profit organization that supports veterans transitioning out of the military, Gold Star Families, and the next generation of leaders.

At the Prep, TMF pairs veterans of recent wars with our students in a "leadership academy" in the fall and spring semesters. This program, the first of its kind in the nation, develops students' identities as leaders and their understanding of virtues-based leadership. Prep students also work side by side veterans in service events across the city in honor of the fallen.


APPLY NOW FOR THE FALL 2017 TMF LEADERSHIP ACADEMY

This selective program is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors and any upperclassman interested in learning about leadership and developing their leadership should apply. The program will be led by four Naval Academy graduates (two Navy veterans and two Marine Corps veterans), as well as an Army veteran, all professionals working in the Delaware Valley. Email Ms. Cook at scook@sjprep.org with any questions.

Applicants will interview with the veterans on 9/25 in Room 102 at 3pm and be notified of selection that week. Accepted students MUST commit to the following dates (mostly Monday afternoons, 3-5pm).

  • 10/2
  • 10/16
  • 10/23
  • 10/30
  • 11/6
  • 11/11 (Saturday)
  • 11/13
  • 11/20

Click here to apply online by Thursday, September 21.


News & Events

Click here to read some of the news and events about the TMF Leadership Program.


Read more below to learn more about the Prep's partnership with veterans, in particular through the Travis Manion Foundation Leadership Academy and Character Does Matter Programming.

How does the Prep fit into the context of TMF?

The Prep recognizes veterans young and old as our nation’s finest leaders, and as such recognizes the value of veterans in our classrooms as we work to form “men for and with others.” For the past four years, the Travis Manion Foundation has generously supported our mission through the Leadership Academy and Days of Service. These leadership workshops and events are part of the Foundation's Character Does Matter programming. TMF also serves Gold Star Families as well as veterans making the transition from military to civilian life through job training workshops.

What is the TMF Leadership Academy?

The Travis Manion Foundation (TMF) Leadership Academy is open to Prep sophomores and juniors during fall and spring semesters. The academy is run by Navy, Marine, Army and Air Force veterans who interview applicants and choose the cohort. The mission of the TMF Leadership Academy is to complement and inspire the Prep's mission to form "men for and with others." In the leadership academy, veterans facilitate activities that grow the students' identities as "virtues-based leaders." These leaders understand and act out of the fundamental principles of leadership: gratitude, generosity, hope, grit, resilience, physical and moral courage, ethical decision-making and integrity.

What topics does the program explore?

  • Courage (Physical and Moral)
  • Courage (Personal and Moral)
  • Service To Others; Integrity
  • Grit and Resilience
  • Gratitude
  • Hope
  • Students’ Culminating Project is Develop of Personal Leadership Philosophy

What is the basis for the Travis Manion Foundation Leadership Program?

The largest study ever conducted on the ethical beliefs and practices of high schools students reveals some noteworthy statistics. In 2012, The Josephson Institute found that: 51% of students admitted to cheating on a test, 55% to lying to a teacher about something significant, and 20% to stealing something from a store—all within the past year. And yet, interestingly, 81% of those same students agree that when it comes to doing what is right, they are better than most people they know.

Perhaps many of these students are correct in their self-assessments; perhaps, morally, the majority are “better than most people they know.” But this begs a few questions: Who are these seemingly less morally-evolved “most people”? And can we raise the ethical bar on them? How can we turn moral character that is “good enough” into moral character that is great and worthy of emulation? Who will take up this mission? “If Not Me, Then Who...” These are the questions that our Character Does Matter program asks.

Who better to teach leadership skills? Who better to model strong character? Who better to educate future leaders on the values of courage, integrity, and selfless service—than our veterans duty personnel, and families of the fallen, are civic assets in communities across the nation. This Leadership Program is one way that the Travis Manion Foundation ensures that such people will be recognized for the tremendous value they bring to this country. Through the Character Does Matter program, the heroes of today will help to create the leaders of tomorrow.

How do I apply to the program?

The Leadership Academy is open to sophomores and juniors in the fall and spring semesters. Applications are available online in late September and mid-February. Ms. Cook and the veteran leaders review the applications, and veterans interview each applicant. From there, veterans select the cohort for that semester.

Do I have to be part of the Leadership Academy to take part in SJP-TMF events?

No! All students are encouraged and invited to participate in two school-wide service events each fall and spring. In the fall, the Prep works with the Foundation in a National Day of Service for Veterans Day, on that Saturday before Veterans Day. In the spring, the Prep takes part in Operation Legacy, a national service event run by the Foundation. Both of these events are open to all students, in addition to any service event that the TMF Hawks organize.

Any student and family, too, can create their own volunteer project directly through the Foundation’s web page and resources. For more information on this way to engage with service through the Foundation, visit http://www.travismanion.org/get-involved/volunteer/.

Students who participate in these events earn service hours from Mission and Ministry for their work.

The Foundation offers plenty of opportunities to honor the fallen even beyond these. For instance, every September around the weekend of 9/11 there is a national series of 5k events called “9/11 Heroes Runs.” For more information, check out www.travismanion.org/911-heroes-run/.

Who is Travis Manion? What does the Travis Manion Foundation do?

Travis Manion was a Doylestown, PA, native who attended Lasalle College Preparatory High School, where he graduated as a standout scholar-athlete in 1999. Travis moved onto the Naval Academy where he studied and wrestled before his commission as a United States Marine in 2004. The Manion family created the Travis Manion Foundation in the wake of Travis’ death in Iraq in 2007, when as a Marine he died protecting his unit in a sniper attack. The Foundation serves Gold Star Families through service trips that honor the legacy of the fallen, and also provides job training to veterans making the transition to civilian life. The Foundation is also committed to schools in building a future generation of virtues-based leaders.

Travis represents a generation of men and women who have selflessly served, putting their lives on the line in doing so. The Manion family is one of countless military families who embody what it means to honor. With gratitude, the St. Joe’s Prep community has been a recipient not only of the Foundation’s resources but also of this spirit of generosity and commitment that American military families embody as we work to form our country’s next generation of leaders.

How do our missions align to form one mission?

The Prep’s mission is to form “men for and with others.” The Foundation’s mission is to “develop character in future generations”(www.travismanion.org). This language reflects the one mission we share: to shape the leaders of tomorrow, leaders who are virtues-based and bent on building community through service work that unites and empowers all. The Foundation’s mantra, “If Not Me, Then Who?” embodies the idea that there is a unique call to each of us to form ourselves as leaders, and that we have a duty to heed that call to lead and serve in our communities in order to uphold the democratic ideals of this nation that so many have sacrificed their lives to defend and protect. Meanwhile, we at the Prep work to build leaders who are “competent, conscientious and compassionate,” men who live by the Grad at Grad, that is, men who are “open to growth, loving, committed to justice, religious and intellectually competent.” Veterans who volunteer at 17th and Girard, with their backgrounds as leaders and humanitarians, value our mission and animate it through their unique set of experiences and personalities; in similar fashion, we at the Prep value veterans as civic assets, and find the Foundation’s commitment to young people in a fashion that is service-based and intentional one we share.

Together, in this spirit of gratitude and generosity, we unite in the one mission to build communities through service work that honors all who have served.

When did the SJP-TMF partnership begin and why is it significant?

St. Joe’s Prep is the national model for this sort of partnership. In the fall of 2014, St. Joe’s Prep was the first high school in the nation to host such a leadership program. Three years and six cohorts of veterans working with over 150 high school students later, this model has now spread to North Jersey, York PA, Chicago and San Diego.

In that first fall in 2014, the first cohort met. Over eight Wednesday afternoons that fall, eight veterans--three Marines, a Navy Seal, a Navy vet, two Army vets, and a Coast Guard veteran, all professionals living and working in the Delaware Valley--volunteered their time in working with 20 select sophomores and juniors in discussions about virtues-based leadership qualities like integrity, moral and physical courage, grit and resilience, gratitude and hope.

As Prep ‘99 Prep grad Paul Fischer, a Navy grad and Marine veteran who worked in the first Travis Manion Foundation leadership program at the Prep in 2014, liked to say, “this is mission alignment at its best.” Three years and six cohorts of veterans working with over 150 high school students later, Fischer’s words continue to prove and animate a model that continues to develop in dynamic ways across the country.

Who are the veterans who have worked the TMF Leadership Academy

St. Joe's Prep would like to thank the veterans who have worked with our students since the Travis Manion Foundation leadership academy started here in September 2014. The following veterans have generously donated their time in this shared mission to grow virtues-based leaders who are "men for and with others." The Prep also thanks the Manion and Looney families for inspiring the "If Not Me, Then Who" movement at 17th and Girard.

TMF Veterans      

Brad Adams '07 USMCFrancis X. Adams & Sons
Eric Adelsberger ArmyFBI Academy, Quantico
Walter Avalos USMCTemple Grad Student
Josh Black ArmyTemple Grad Student
James Brobyn  USMCCo-Founder/CEO, CauseEngine
Tom Cahill '03 USMCStrategy Specialist, TJX
Kristi Desmaritis USMCTemple Physical Therapy
Charlie Elison ArmyProgram Director, TMF
Terrence Fenningham '00 NavyCEO, CrossfitT1, Crossfit UCity
Paul Fischer '99  USMCReg. Sales Manager, Boston Scientific
Mike Gravelle
 USMCMBA Candidate, Fuqua School of Bus.
Blaine Guenther
 Air Force
DMD Candidate, Penn Dental
Josh Jabin
 USMCChief of Staff, TMF
Mike Lahiff
 Navy Seals
Man. Partner at Horsemen Partners
Hugo Lentze
 ArmyDir. of Strategic Partnerships, TMF
Steve Softly
 U.S. Marsals
Owner, Crossfit Lifeforce
Shawn Soto
 ArmyCybersecurity Associate at PwC
Anthony Williamson
 ArmyJd. Candidate, Villanova Law School
Darrell Wisseman
 USMCCitizen Diplomacy Internationa
A special thanks to Liz Fischer, Molly Boyle, Thomas Cochet and Charlie Elison at the Travis Manion Foundation for their work in making this powerful partnership not just possible, and not just good, but great--and essential.

TMF Hawks

The TMF HAWKS is a student group composed of all the students who have graduated from the TMF Leadership Academy. This "alumni" group meets monthly. The mission of the TMF HAWKS is "to catalyze the application of leadership in every SJP student through active service."

For instance, the TMF Hawks organized a school supplies drive for the George Meade Elementary School in North Philadelphia and organized a Leadership Awareness Week.Each Veterans Day, the TMF Hawks organize a massive service project to honor veterans. Each April, the TMF Hawks join the rest of the nation in TMF's Operation Legacy service project in honor of the fallen. In all of these events, veterans guide the TMF Hawks and often work alongside of them.

TMF HAWKS 2017
Gavin Fox '17

Jack McCormick '17

Paul Ravelli '17

Dominic Bitterman '18

Ryan Breslin '17

Robert Saldutti '18

Andrew Oleyar '18

Alexander Smith '18

Andrew Clevenger '18

Brendan Heffernan '18

James Johnson ‘17

Taron Hampton '17

Frederick Goodson '17

"T. Mack Grey '17"

Ryan Bryce '18

Luke Holsopple '18

Gaelen Kelly '17

Liam Pie ‘17

Patrick Dever '17

Meade Tolen '18

Jonathan Erdy '17

Nathan Coulibaly '18

John Feehery '18

Jonathan Procopio '18

Michael Enright '18

Anthony Scott-Naji '17

Michael O'Neill '17

Michael Maransky '17

Enrique Feliciano '17

John Nguyen '17

Luis Nunez '17

Jake Howard '17

Eamon Gallagher '17

Charles Nugent '17

Joseph Viggiano '17

Joseph Hauck '18

Kyle Rae '17

Andres Adames '18

Michael Canal '18

Louis DiRenzo '18

Marcus Dreux '18

John Figge '18

Benjamin Frazier '18

Daniel Guinan '18

Blaze Hutkin '18

Logan Kellerman '18

Dominick Leuzzi '18

Patrick Morrison '18

Cole Plachter '18

Adam Russell '18

Ronald Spaide '18

Alec Spaide '19

Patrick Stack '18

Nathan Stuhltrager '18

Stephen Tambussi '18

Nolan Ziemniak '18

Tahron Bryant '18

Kevin Lunney '18

Who is the contact for this club? And how do I find out more about the Foundation?

Email Ms. Cook with questions and for more info at scook@sjprep.org. Go to the website to find out more.

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Questions?

Susie Cook
Prep TMF Moderator
scook@sjprep.org

St. Joseph's Preparatory School
1733 West Girard Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19130
tel: 215.978.1950
fax: 215.765.1710
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