Hasbro and generationOn Name Ten Extraordinary Youth as Hasbro Community Action Heroes for Their Efforts to Change the World
Young Leaders Prove That Age Isn’t a Factor in Creating Positive Change
PAWTUCKET, RI – April 14, 2015 – Today, Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) and generationOn, the youth division of Points of Light, have named ten inspiring youth as Hasbro Community Action Heroes for making an extraordinary mark on the world through service. The ten service leaders, ages 6 to 17, have made a difference both in their hometown communities and across the world through hands-on service projects that create awareness for important social issues. From mobilizing a team of over 2,200 volunteers to help fight world hunger to founding an organization that has raised environmental awareness at more than 300 schools to selling craft kits that benefit women in Rwanda and Chile, these real life heroes lead the way in making a difference and inspiring their peers to be the change they want to see in the world.
“The difference these amazing young people have already made underscores our belief that everyone, regardless of age, can make their mark on the world,” said Brian Goldner, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hasbro, Inc. “Hasbro is thrilled to once again recognize the outstanding youth in our nation who are leading the way to make their communities a better place.”
Hasbro, which has a long and proud tradition of empowering children through its many philanthropic programs, is one of generationOn’s founding partners. Together, Hasbro and generationOn selected this year’s ten new Hasbro Community Action Heroes from hundreds of inspiring nominations submitted on behalf of youth across the nation. Each Hero will receive a $1,000 educational scholarship and a $500 grant to their selected non-profit during a celebration at the generationOn Block Party on April 18, 2015 at Fox Studios in Los Angeles.
The 2015 Hasbro Community Action Heroes are:
- August Favarula, age 6, Chicago, IL: As a Kindergartner, August raised over $10,000 for Charles’ Lockers, a project that provides lockers filled with laptops, movies, iPads, etc. to keep children in the hospital entertained and engaged in learning during their stay. It was August’s idea to raise money for sick kids, and he led the fundraiser at his school.
- Cameron Thompson, age 8, Beaumont, CA: After feeling guilty for bullying a peer, Cameron started and leads an anti-bully club at his elementary school called PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports). Now in its second year, the club has over 180 students.
- Morgan Keely, age 8, East Greenville, PA: Morgan, who was born deaf, started Morgan’s Magical Ears to raise money for other children needing medical treatments. She pays it forward by donating sand buckets filled with stuffed animals and treats to other children suffering from illnesses early in their lives at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
- Maxwell Surprenant, age 11, Needham, MA: Maxwell co-founded and runs Catching Joy, Inc., a 501c3 non-profit he founded seven years ago which promotes acts of kindness and volunteerism beginning with young children and their families. He hosts 5-8 events a month such as making cards for sick children or delivering donations to homeless shelters. Maxwell recently received an Honorable Mention in the White House Student Film Festival where he discusses the impact of giving back; watch the video here.
- Brooklyn Wright, age 12, Springs, GA: Brooklyn is the creator and CEO of the non-profit program Earth Saver Girl, which brings awareness to environmental issues. She has spoken at more than 300 schools to educate her fellow peers about littering and encourages them to be mindful of the environment.
- Ellie Zika, age 13, Peoria, IL: Ellie founded the non-profit organization KidKnits when she was just nine years old. KidKnits started with Ellie’s idea to make hats out of hand-made yarn purchased from women in Chile and Rwanda. The craft kits are sold around the U.S., and help to serve a dual purpose. The purchase of yarn provides much needed income to the women in these countries, and through the sales of these kits, youth are able to follow in Ellie’s belief that “you're never too young to change a life on the other side of the world.”
- Joshua Williams, age 15, Miami Beach, FL: At only four-and-a-half years old, Joshua founded the Joshua’s Heart Foundation (JHF) to help “stomp out world hunger” by collecting donations and creating awareness about world hunger through speaking engagements. His organization has over 2,200 volunteers and 51 board members and has inspired other youth to start their own projects/clubs to support the fight against hunger.
- Alexandra Jackman, age 16, Westfield, NJ: After realizing that students in her school did not know how to interact with youth that have autism, Alexandra created a virtual ‘how to’ guide to help her peers better understand what autism is and how to communicate with students who have it. This video, which has already received more than 39,000 views, can be seen here: A Teen’s Guide to Understanding and Communicating with People with Autism.
- Nadya Okamoto, age 17, Portland, OR: Last year, Nadya Okamoto founded Camions of Care, a non-profit organization that strives to address the natural needs of homeless women primarily through the distribution of care packages consisting of feminine hygiene product. Currently, this program serves more than 550 women in Portland, Salt Lake City, and Guatemala. Nadya works with 10 partner non-profit organizations, manages more than 60 volunteers and has organized four events to support Camions of Care.
- Samantha Petersen, age 17, Hartford, CT: Samantha is the founder of the non-profit, SHIFT Scoliosis, an organization that seeks to eliminate the challenges associated with complex spinal diseases through education and connections to medical care. Being diagnosed with scoliosis herself, Samantha understood the personal hardships of being bullied and discriminated because of the disease. She has received many awards for her work in bringing attention to an issue that is not commonly addressed.
“We believe that young people have the power to transform themselves, the places they live, and ultimately the world through service,” said Kathy Saulitis, SVP External Affairs & Strategic Partnerships, generationOn. “The Hasbro Community Action Heroes program allows us to recognize passionate leaders who have made a real and lasting impact in their communities and further empower them to continue bringing positive change to the world.”
Since the program was first established in 2010, 40 youth have been recognized and celebrated as Hasbro Community Action Heroes. The Hasbro Community Action Heroes program is an essential element as it supports generationOn in its mission to inspire, equip and mobilize youth to take action that changes the world and themselves through service.
To learn more about Hasbro’s Community Action Heroes, please visit http://generationon.org/teens/meet/hasbro-community-action-heroes/2015. You can also follow both Hasbro (@Hasbro) and generationOn (@generationOn) on Twitter and search #HasbroHeroes to join the conversation.
Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS) is a global company committed to Creating the World’s Best Play Experiences, by leveraging its beloved brands, including LITTLEST PET SHOP, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, MONOPOLY, MY LITTLE PONY, NERF and TRANSFORMERS, and premier partner brands. From toys and games, television programming, motion pictures, digital gaming and a comprehensive lifestyle licensing program, Hasbro fulfills the fundamental need for play and connection for children and families around the world. The Company’s Hasbro Studios creates entertainment brand-driven storytelling across mediums, including television, film and more. Through the company's commitment to corporate social responsibility, including philanthropy, Hasbro is helping to build a safe and sustainable world and to positively impact the lives of millions of children and families every year. Learn more at www.hasbro.com and follow us on Twitter (@Hasbro & @HasbroNews).
generationOn is the youth service division of Points of Light, igniting the power of kids and teens to make their mark on the world. generationOn inspires, equips and mobilizes hundreds of thousands of kids and teens annually to take action through service, service learning and youth leadership initiatives. It also provides tools and resources to kids, teens, families, youth practitioners and educators to help kids change the world and themselves through service. For more information, visit www.generationon.org.
About Points of Light
Points of Light - the largest organization in the world dedicated to volunteer service - mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages more than 4 million volunteers in 30 million hours of service each year. We bring the power of people to bear where it matters most. For more information, go to pointsoflight.org.