Youth Service

Apr 11
Five years ago, 14-year-old Valerie Weisler’s life was in ruins. The high school freshman was painfully shy and traumatized by her parent’s divorce. The bullying came almost immediately. A crowd of mean girls taunted her mercilessly, calling her mute and stupid, telling her to leave, even giving her reasons why she should kill herself. “I was scared to go to school,” said Valerie, now a 19-year-old college student. “I felt like I was drowning in darkness.” Then one day, Valerie saw another student being bullied about his weight, and something clicked for her.
Apr 09

Lulu Cerone was just 9 years old when an earthquake devastated Haiti, but the heartbreaking images she saw on the news inspired her to take action. She organized a boys vs. girls lemonade fundraiser in her class – bringing in $4,000 to support disaster relief efforts. The experience led her to create LemonAID Warriors, a youth activism organization that connects children to worthy causes and provides unique action plans to create tangible social good.

Feb 23

When Shreya Mantha’s grandmother was diagnosed with a terminal illness, her last wish was for her two granddaughters to honor her memory by doing something to help vulnerable girls. Inspired by the example set by their parents – who engaged the girls in volunteering activities from a young age – Shreya and her younger sister Sahana set out to honor their grandmother’s wish by making a difference for at-risk girls in their hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Feb 08

When Hunter Beaton was 8 years old, his grandmother picked him up from baseball practice and took him home to meet his new brother, a cousin who was being placed with his family as a foster child. Just a baby, his new brother had nothing – no toys, no clothes, no stuffed animals. When a second foster brother came to live with them, all he brought was a trash bag holding his meager belongings. It was the same for his foster sister. To Hunter, the idea that his siblings were only worth a plastic garbage bag seemed unjust.

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