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About Us

Whether you are new to leadership or have committed years to intentional practice, there is something for everyone at Strive.

What We Do

At Strive, we're dedicated to spreading the power of character-driven leadership.

At Strive, we believe that authentic leadership must be character-driven based on a foundation of social and emotional learning. By prioritizing self and building individual character, individuals can develop a solid foundation to lead others.  With over twenty years of robust researched based curriculum, we can build leaders who are prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Our Curriculum

To meet the ever changing landscape of leadership development Strive has multiple curricula designed to meet the specific needs of the people we partner with. From on-the-field leadership workshops utilizing our Strive Five sport curriculum, to our 21st century aligned Work Based Learning curriculum we have what your program needs to take it to the next level.

Our curricula are designed around seven core competencies: Grit, Empathy, Communication, Self Awareness, Culture, Motivation, and Energy. These competencies are part of knowing yourself and connecting with others, of being fair and honest, of sticking with it and growing from failure. We take the time to research and implement the most up to date practices in our associated fields. We align our work with organizations such as CASEL, Character Lab, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, and the Growth Equation as well as distinguished experts such Shira Evans – Director of Olympic Sports Nutrition at UNC-Chapel Hill, and Dr. Julie Amato – Sports Psychologist at Elite Mindset Sports Psychology.

A character-driven leader might be a coach or an athlete, a principal or a sixth-grader. Whoever they are, our curricula support leaders in setting the stage for others to become character-driven leaders too.

Our Core Values

Key to the process of character-driven leadership is the understanding that core values are actionable commitments. The Strive family embodies seven core values.

Know thyself

Know thyself is central to Strive’s philosophy; we practice what we preach by taking time to better understand ourselves.

Fill tanks

We build empowering, connected cultures in which leaders grow and thrive.

Brush it off and grow

Taking a risk and failing is an amazing way to learn. We brush it off, get a little wiser, build resilience, and keep moving forward.

Be fair and honest

In prioritizing play we maintain a commitment to fairness. Integrity is expected.

Choose laughter

Humor is an important part of Strive’s culture. We choose to take ourselves lightly, which allows others to do the same.

Stick with it

This is hard work. We know and embrace this. The Strive team is all in.

Find the best in yourself so you can inspire the best in those around you

This value comes from Kevin Morgan, Strive’s founder. When we live by these values and better ourselves, the effect is contagious. A rising tide lifts all boats and we send our participants, as well as ourselves, into the world leading by example.

Our Story

Strive: How You Lead Matters, originally known as Sports Challenge Leadership Academy, was first created in 1996 by founder, Kevin Morgan and co-founders, Jeremy Edwards and Kevin Small. These three friends, all coaches and educators, served as pioneers in identifying the need to intentionally teach core leadership skills to young leaders. Their decision to take action with the creation of Sports Challenge Leadership Academy (Sports Challenge) remains the driving force behind the various ways that we Strive today, impacting young leaders in sport, school and community organizations.

Today, Strive: How You Lead Matters is an educational non-profit dedicated to spreading the power of character-driven leadership. In Coach Morgan’s words, “we encourage young leaders to find the best in themselves so they can inspire the best in those around them.”

Since 1996, Strive has worked with over 40,000 coaches, teachers, students, and athletes.


In true character-driven leadership form, every Strive experience is adaptable to meet your specific needs.

Our History

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Sports Challenge Leadership Academy (SCLA) is founded by Kevin Morgan along with co-founders Kevin Small and Jeremy Edwards in Bala Cynwyd, PA.
The First Sports Challenge was held in the summer of 1997 at Babson College.
Sports Challenge expanded to include the first ever Leadership Workshop in the form of Captain's Clinic.
In its 10th year Sports Challenge Leadership Academy was awarded its 501(c)(3) non profit status and Headquarters were moved to Washington, D.C.
Sports Challenge Leadership Academy established the founding Board of Directors.
To address the continued need for leadership development SCLA hosted its first ever National Coaches Leadership Institute.
Through an organization makeover SCLA became Strive: How You Lead Matters to highlight the work we do in all spaces.
In the 20th summer of Sports Challenge Strive received a grant from the Dodge Family Fund to develop our Middle School Leadership Curriculum.
Strive launched multiple new programs in sport and school spaces including Counselor Corps and the Strive Coaches Network.

Curious what we were up to in 2021?

Our Team

We are a team of inspiring individuals, passionately committed to the process of character-driven leadership. Professionally speaking, we are coaches, educators, advocates and life long learners. Our knowledge, skills and engaging personalities are what make Strive unique. We care deeply about connection over content and we are here to serve as your guide.

Caroline Letner

Interim Executive Director

Melissa Hodgdon, M.Ed.

Director of Development

Whitney Raffo, M.Ed.

Director of Curriculum & Instructional Design

Tiffany Lockridge

Program Manager

Jalyn Powell, M.A.

Program Manager

Our Partners

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