Do you know a socially conscious teen who is helping repair the world? Ten such teens could be awarded $36,000 each this year by Bay Area philanthropist Helen Diller.
The Helen Diller Family Foundation has expanded the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards, issuing a national call for nominations to identify Jewish teens whose volunteer service projects demonstrate a determined commitment to make the world a better place. Up to 10 selected teens — five from California and five from other communities across the country — will each be acknowledged for their visionary actions with an award of $36,000, to be used to further their philanthropic work or their education.
The deadline for nominations is Jan. 6.
What started as a simple idea for Diller in 2007 has grown tremendously over the past six years. The foundation has now given more than $1 million to 30 teens to further their vision of tikkun olam — a central precept of Judaism meaning “repair of the world.”
“It has been a joy to celebrate so many incredible Jewish teens over the past six years, and to support them in their efforts to repair the world,” Diller said in a news release. “This opportunity to empower and nurture teens throughout the entire United States is a dream come true, and a simple way to foster the spirit of tikkun olam among our future leaders.”
Past recipients of the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam awards have gone on to create a nonprofit organization that helps terminally ill high-schoolers attend their proms, a soccer-focused social media fundraising campaign (praised by David Beckham) that supplies water to Third World communities, and a wide range of projects that support causes such as education, tolerance issues, autism awareness, anti-poverty efforts, environmental responsibility, wildfire safety and more.
Teens may be nominated by teachers, community leaders, rabbis, or anyone except family members who knows the value of their volunteer service and commitment. Teens also may nominate themselves. Each candidate must be a U.S. resident between the ages of 13 and 19 at the time of nomination, and must self-identify as Jewish.
Community service projects may benefit the general or Jewish community. Teens compensated for their services are not eligible.
To enter, complete the online nomination form at www.jewishfed.org/teenawards/process. For more information, call 415-512-6437 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.