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Riley’s Way Foundation Announces Winners of the Call for Kindness Competition

2020 Call for Kindness

Riley’s Way Foundation sees a future where kind leaders build a better world. We empower young people to use kindness, empathy and meaningful connections to drive that change.

Riley's Way Foundation is empowering young leaders to build a kinder tomorrow.

Map of 2020 Call for Kindness Winners from across the United States.

Map of 2020 Call for Kindness Winners

The Second Annual Contest Provides 22 Teen Leaders with Funds to Launch Initiatives that Make a Difference in their Communities.

Teens across the country are leading the charge to make the world a better place. With all of the uncertainty in the world right now, intentional kindness and empathy matter more than ever.”
— Christine O'Connell
BROOKLYN, NY, UNITED STATES, May 7, 2020 / -- Riley’s Way Foundation ( announced the winners of its second Call for Kindness Competition, an annual contest that challenges teens to apply for grants that fund initiatives that strengthen their communities and inspire kindness.

“Today, more than ever, we all need a sense of purpose in our lives,” said Ian Sandler, co-founder of Riley’s Way. “We find purpose in supporting the next generation of kind leaders by providing them with the infrastructure and support necessary to bring lasting change to their communities.”

The national competition builds on the Foundation’s work to empower young leaders to use kindness and empathy to create meaningful connections and drive positive change in the world. The Foundation has awarded 22 inspiring teens across the country with up to $3,000 each to fund their projects. In addition to funding, the teens will join the Riley’s Way Kind Leadership Series, consisting of mentorship, professional development, and peer-learning.

“Teens across the country are leading the charge to make the world a better place,” said Dr. Christine O’Connell, Executive Director of Riley’s Way. “With all of the uncertainty in the world right now, intentional kindness and empathy matter more than ever. The Call for Kindness fellows are shining examples of kind leadership, and their stories inspire all of us to be better to each other. ”

“Being part of the Call for Kindness gave me more hope than I even thought was possible,” said Hannah Wiser, co-founder of Womaze and 2019 Call for Kindness Winner. “I know the future is in good hands and that we are going to change the world together.”

“We were so inspired by the flood of applications and can think of no better tribute to Riley, on what would have been her 15th birthday, than to announce 22 new Call for Kindness fellows. We gain comfort knowing that these amazing Call for Kindness winners will help ensure Riley’s love of friendship and helping others continue on,” explained Ian and Mackenzie Sander, co-founders and Riley’s parents.

The 2020 Call for Kindness Winners are:

Liam Hannon (13), Cambridge, MA: Liam's Lunches of Love
Feeds people experiencing homelessness, preparing lunches each week to hand out in decorated bags they receive from people all over the world!

Jordan Grabelle (15), Voorhees, NJ: Love Letters for Literacy
Fosters a love of reading among at-risk kids and makes learning the alphabet fun through simple educational games that families can play together.

Jacqueline Means (17), Wilmington, DE: STEM: Today’s Girls, Tomorrow’s STEMinists
Brings STEM to underprivileged girls by leading fun hands-on science experiments and showing that women can dominate in STEM fields.

Devangana Rana (15), Urbana, IL: Global Transition Events
Monthly events that celebrate different cultures and help international students and their families transition to the US, including navigating American culture and access to resources.

Chander Payne (17) & Group, Bethesda, MD/DC: Urban Beet
Cultivates compassion through urban farms offering fresh vegetables to students and local people experiencing homelessness.

Michal Ruprecht (19) & Group, Ann Arbor, MI: Flint Justice Partnership
Works to bring attention to the Flint water crisis by partnering with Flint residents and educating University of Michigan students.

Ava (15) & Sophia (13), Paley, NY: Donate2Dance
Collects gently worn dancewear for dancers in need from all over the country.

Matt Tengtrakool (16), Burlington, MA: iRemember
Local teens run community events to help seniors record their stories and memories on a website platform that gives the next generation a collection of real historical and personal perspectives.

Everest Elle Maya-Tudor (17), Miami, FL: STEM Hour
Provides underserved children access to the world of STEM through engaging, hands-on learning activities that enrich the lives of children as they develop a love for science.

Jonathan Tamen (15) & Group, Miami, FL: Helping Hands
Starting a 3D Printing Club to assemble prosthetic hands and distribute to the poor around the world, and expanding its coding mentoring project with local schools.

Julia Dima (16), Brooklyn, NY: Young at Heart Society
Expanding a program where students from St.Anne’s school teach classes and give performances for the elderly at the Saint Charles Jubilee Center.

Anya Shukla & Kathryn Lau (17), Seattle, WA: The Colorization Collective
Promotes diversity, equity, and inclusivity within the arts by amplifying the work of teen artists of color with a bimonthly web-series; written reviews, interviews, and social media; and a mentorship and performance pathway.

Kristie Moore (16) & Group, Orange County, CA: Amigos de México
Works to break barriers and make their community a more loving place by teaching youth about the Mexican American community the issues it faces.

Jayla Wideman (15), Union City, GA: FHL Closets and Tutoring Services
Makes sure students have the basics they need to thrive by filling school closets in underprivileged communities with toiletries, clothes, food, and supplies; and developing a free tutoring program.

Betel Tenna (18) & Group, Rockville, MD: Project Superkid
Makes superhero blankets and cards for hospitalized children.

Olivia Stone & Grace Dana (15), NY, NY: Confident, Healthy Women
Works to supply women in need with hygiene and menstrual products in and beyond NYC.

Avex Guzhnay (18), Fair Haven, CT: Fair Haven Connects
A door-to-door neighborhood outreach program that brings residents into the political process, connects them to important services, and celebrates neighborhood culture.

Agha Haider (16) & Group, St. Louis, MO/WI/TN: Literacy Initiative
Provides STEM-based opportunities to disadvantaged students though after-school programs that include mentoring, sports, reading, and discussions of real-world issues.

Faith Ajanaku (15), Grand Prairie, TX/AZ/CA: Modern Divergence
Works to provide resources to those struggling with mental and developmental conditions.

Gia Gambino (17), NY, NY: Rise
Supports students with learning disabilities by providing resources to students and parents.

Toby Paperno (17) & Group, New York, NY: Teens Take Charge
Works to develop civic leaders to uplift the student voice in the NYC School System.

Aria Miao & Sarah Hasan (15), Burke, VA/Sweden: The Red Goji
An online food forum and blog promoting worldwide cultural understanding and empathy through sharing meaningful recipes.

Jill Taratunio
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