Silent Servant Winners – Benjamin Kagan

After an effort over several weeks last year to help book coronavirus vaccination appointments for his Grandparents, Benjamin Kagan, a 9th grader at Francis W. Parker School in Chicago founded ChicagoVaccineHunters.com. The website now has a waitlist of 250 people asking for his help. “The vaccination system is just so complicated,” Kagan said. “If you don’t understand the technology, you are just going to lose out and not be vaccinated. And that’s difficult. People were sending me private messages saying ‘Benjamin, I can’t figure this out — can you book it for me?’”

Kagan realized many elderly people, his grandparents included, were not familiar with the “refresh” button on an internet web page, which allows the browser to reload online content for new updates. “Plus, every country, state, even pharmacy has its own online maze,” Kagan says. Kagan first joined the “Chicago Vaccine Hunters Facebook group, but was inspired to create his own group called “Chicago Vaccine Angels,” where he and a team of 50 volunteers respond to a Google form to assist a growing list of senior citizens who are asking for help.

Thousands of people have joined the group on Facebook where members share information with one another about where they might be able to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in Chicago using leftover doses that presumably would have to be otherwise discarded.

About Jim Warford

Jim Warford is the author of, The Chemistry of Culture: Strategies You Can Use to Create a Culture of Learning. For 15 years Jim Warford was Senior Advisor and Keynote Speaker for the International Center for Leadership in Education. Jim is an author, speaker, Leadership and Instructional Coach. He was named in March 2003 as Florida’s first Chancellor of K12 Public Schools. He stepped down in September, 2005 to become Executive Director of the Florida Association of School Administrators, representing over 10,000 Florida school leaders. As a Senior Advisor for the International Center for Leadership in Education, he works with states, districts and schools to provide coaching and executive training and support to school leaders and their staffs. As Florida’s Chancellor, he led the creation and state-wide implementation of Florida’s Continuous Improvement Model, FCIM, which resulted in that state’s dramatic gains in student achievement and an 80% reduction in the number low-performing schools. FCIM remains Florida’s required intervention for all low-performing schools. As Superintendent of the Marion County, Florida Public Schools, he first implemented the Continuous Improvement Model district-wide. As a result, school grades went from three “F”, eight “D” and only one “A” school in 1999 to twenty “A”, 16 “B” and no “F” schools in 2003. Under his leadership the high school dropout rate was cut in half. He taught applied technology courses at the high school level for 17 years and created a Computer Graphics/Video Production program that won many national and state awards. He was named Vanguard High School Teacher of the Year three separate times.
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