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2016 Winner

The Wall Street Journal Courageous Leader Award was presented to Karianne Lesperance, Co-Director of Healthy Youth Coalition of Marinette & Menominee Counties, at the Courageous Persuaders Awards Celebration on May 11, 2016.

We are so grateful to have Karianne as our advisor. She is one of the sweetest most encouraging teachers we know. She always makes sure to listen to any ideas we have and she always puts her students first. We are extremely happy that she is being recognized for how much she does for her students and the community. We just want her to know how much we love and appreciate her. She’s our Ray of sunshine.
– Daisy Vandenberge and Kajsa Rye, students at Stephenson High School, nominated their teacher for the Wall Street Journal Courageous Leader Award

“I want to thank the Wall Street Journal for investing in the Courageous Persuaders program and offering the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Courageous Leader Award. When I first learned about the Courageous Persuaders program back in 2009, I felt very strongly that this was something that our youth in our drug-free coalition needed to be a part of.  We brought it to one of our schools to see what the response would be, and the students were 100% all in.  The video they created made it as a finalist and was ultimately an award winner.  Our youth members couldn’t believe they won a NATIONAL competition! Since then, we have brought it to all 9 schools we are currently active in and submit over 10 entries annually.  This is a project our youth look forward to every year and I love to see their creativity come alive on a topic they feel so passionately about. I always say that it’s brave to stand up in front of others and say they are drug-free but it’s courageous to persuade others to live the same healthy lifestyle.  I whole heartedly believe in the Courageous Persuaders mission and I know it has saved lives during its existence and will continue to do so. I would like to thank my students who nominated me and also my colleague, Erin Viau, for her continued support in assisting me with this program and making the trip happen for us every year!
– Karianne Lesperance, Co-Director, Healthy Youth Coalition of Marinette & Menominee Counties

How To Nominate

Did your teacher, friend or community leader make a major contribution to Courageous Persuaders® Nominate them for the 2017 Courageous Leader Award, and tell us how they did it.