HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - The FBI Director's Community Leadership award is often bestowed upon individuals and organizations that fight against terrorism, crime, drugs, and gang violence - all worthy causes.
But this year, a foundation focused on turning kids into stand up citizens won the honor.
"We thought this was unique, this was different, this was broader," said a FBI spokesperson.
Liberty Learning Foundation got its start in 2010. Today it provides free educational programs and a ten week civic-minded curriculum to local 5th graders.
The projects focus on character education, career development, and financial literacy.
"I tell the story, 'Would you get on the airplane if the pilot didn`t know how to fly it, or have a procedure by a doctor who didn`t go to medical school?' The answer would be no. So why do we think kids will know how to be good responsible engaged citizens if we`re not teaching them how to do that," said Patti Yancey, founder and President of Liberty Learning.
Yancey says their goal is to not only break the cycle of crime, but of apathy.
“We’ve all got that common denominator of being a citizen, and we’ve all got that responsibility. We also have great opportunities."
They are partnered with around 270 schools throughout Alabama, as well as a handful of schools in other states.