Of course there is a National Handshake Day!

Since it is celebrated in June we decided it is a great time of year for a Handshake America Celebration too!

Join us for a FUN evening at the Franklin Park Conservatory on Thursday June 20th at 6:00-8:30 PM.

National Handshake Day
Presented by Designer Brands
Franklin Park Conservatory
1777 East Broad Street
Columbus, Ohio 43203

Please join Handshake America for fun evening of food and drink, inspiration, at the beautiful Franklin Park Conservatory to support coachable, gritty student-athletes for success in life. The Handshake America Celebration begins with a terrace setting social hour followed by a program in the atrium featuring Jon Petz as our inspirational speaker - all for a good cause! Guests will also get to enjoy the special exhibition: Chihuly Celebrating Nature located throughout the conservatory.


Follow the signs to park in the parking lot (it's free) by the main entrance of the Franklin Park Conservatory. Enter in the main entrance where you will check in, be greeted and directed as to where to go.

6:00-7:00 PM - Reception with hors d’oeuvres, beer, wine, soft drink on the Zen Terrace*
7:00-7:10 PM - Transition to the Atrium for the Program
7:10-8:30 PM - Welcome, Interview w/ Handshake Alumni, Keynote Speaker Jon Petz, Special Announcement & Closing
*Note: If it is raining, the reception will take place in the Atrium

Tickets are still available! We look forward to having you join us so the Handshake America Students can witness what ‘very good’ looks like in you! 

You’ll be comfortable in Business, Business Casual, or Snappy Casual attire.


What is Handshake America?

Kids can learn many life lessons from their athletic experiences - including the value of having a good coach.  With that premise, Handshake America identifies coachable student-athletes with grit and connects them with successful people that help translate lessons from the field to success in life.  We coach - not "mentor" - the students to learn the true meaning of success and how they will achieve it with Perseverance, Passion, Positivity, People and Presence - which includes giving a good handshake!

What's in it for the students?  Those selected get to take part in a one-year Program with students from other area high schools to see many examples of what 'very good' looks like while learning from their individual Coach and team sessions.  They also receive a significant college scholarship.

What's in it for the Handshake Coaches?  Without requiring a lot of time, they get to meaningfully and directly 'give back' to a student who wants to be coached.  They also build valuable relationships with other like-minded Handshake Coaches.  

What's in it for the community?  First, we are developing tomorrow's leaders.  Secondly, because each school is limited to just one male and one female student, the Program spans across schools from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.

Our Purpose and Vision

A national community of 5P Leaders* influencing a culture and uniting the people around them.

*5P Leaders are those who regularly practice and represent the values of Perseverance, Passion, Positivity, People, and Presence

Our Mission

Create life-coaching relationships with gritty student-athletes to help them realize their potential for success and inspire them to influence others.

Our Five Practices of Success (The 5Ps)

Handshake America recognizes the importance of a proper handshake and what it may reveal about a person's character. Inspired by John Wooden's Pyramid of Success, the Handshake Program utilizes its 5Ps (Perseverance, Passion, Positivity, People, and Presence) to help students learn the elements and definition of "success" while leveraging the experiences they have gained through athletics. The Program consists of a college scholarship, the assignment of a Handshake Coach, and eight meetings throughout the calendar year to help prepare the students for their future.