Synergy & Leadership Exchange: Helping Minnesotans be their best through collaboration, education and celebration.

Synergy & Leadership Exchange (Synergy), is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering collaboration to advance the development of ethical citizens, providing educational resources, and celebrating achievement and best practices in Minnesota schools, businesses and communities.


  • Character Recognition Awards - This program celebrates the statewide achievements of schools and community programs in their efforts to improve achievement, behavior and climate. Awards presented include the Minnesota Schools of Character, Minnesota Promising Practices and Minnesota Ethical Leadership Award.

  • Gathering of Champions - Each year K-12 students who are consistent top academic performers; have shown significant improvement in achievement or have overcome barriers to academic achievement; or are local, regional or state champions in a Minnesota Academic League Council approved event are named Minnesota Academic All-Stars and recognized at a free event hosted by Synergy and its partners.

  • WEM Outstanding Educator Awards Program - Synergy administers the WEM Outstanding Educator Awards Program on behalf of the WEM Foundation in support of teachers and their important role in helping all students achieve academically and seeks to bring recognition to the often "unsung heroes" who meet the challenges of teaching in a variety of settings. Educators, administrators and academic challenge coaches from Minnesota public or non-public schools and educational institutions are eligible.


  • Minnesota Academic League - Synergy & Leadership Exchange provides administrative support for the Minnesota Academic League Council, which reviews and approves programs and activities that meet the criteria to appear in the Reach for the Stars catalogue, as well as advocates for academic enrichment opportunities.

  • Reach for the Stars catalogue - a resource of more than 100 statewide academic enrichment programs and activities for K-12 students, approved by the Minnesota Academic League Council. It is created, published and distributed as a public service by Synergy & Leadership Exchange with generous support from Lifetouch Publishing and other partners.

  • Minnesota Character Council - The role of the council is to promote and celebrate positive character and ethical leadership development in Minnesotans through advising, assisting and advocating for Synergy & Leadership Exchange.

How Will Your Support Make a Difference?

From celebrating student academic success and exemplary achievements in character and ethical leadership to providing resources, tools and training, here is how your support is “helping Minnesotans be their best”:


Gathering of Champions

“I was honored to receive an award today from my teachers. I was surprised when my name was called. Thank you for naming me as an Academic All-Star! I can’t wait until August to go to the Mall of America!”    

–Mark B., 2nd Grader, 2013 Minnesota Academic All-Star


Minnesota Schools of Character & Promising Practices Program

“I am here to testify that following the 11 Principles of Effective Character Education will yield much more than positive results in student behavior, school climate and academic performance. Following the 11 Principles will positively transform every facet of your school and district.”

–Karen Rusthoven, Founder, Community of Peace Academy, St. Paul, MN, 2003 National School of Character

© 2017 GiveMN | A registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.