Emily Brittain: Creating a Space for Outdoor Learning
Emily built an outdoor classroom and started an adventure club at her school to give students an opportunity to spend time outside in an engaging learning environment, explore the outdoors, and “unplug” from technology.
Erin Manning: Fighting Childhood Obesity
Erin addressed the issue of childhood obesity and decreased physical activity by improving her local elementary school’s outdoor play area. She created spaces for new games and activities to provide students and children in the community with more outdoor, active play options.
Grace Neubauer: Promoting Reading
Grace started a children’s reading program at her community center, which included a reading corner and activity booklet for volunteers to continue the program.
Isabella Dupont: Promoting Literature through Art
Isabella took action to promote positivity and creativity while inspiring students in her school to feel more connected with the literature they read for class by creating literature-themed murals outside of her school’s English classrooms.
Karina Connolly: Promoting Science Learning in New Zealand
While studying abroad in New Zealand, Karina noticed that many students lacked a strong foundation in science when they entered secondary school and began taking science classes. To address this need, Karina created science kits and online materials for primary school teachers to use with their students.
Madeline Trotta: Promoting Technology Literacy for Older Adults
After learning that many seniors are intimidated by modern technology and miss out on the benefits it can provide in areas such as family and social connection, healthcare, and home security, Madeline created a program to teach older adults the basics of email, texting, using the internet, and video chat platforms.
Madeline Yeung: Bringing Music to Dementia Patients
After learning about the benefits that music can provide for dementia patients, Madeline started a music program for her local nursing home’s memory care unit.
Mathilda Tristan: Creating Teen Leadership Opportunities
After noticing a lack of leadership opportunities for teens in her area, Mathilda started a leadership program for students on her swim team, giving the more experienced swimmers a chance to take on leadership roles and mentor the younger athletes.
Megan Fallon: Encouraging Learning Through Music
After learning about the academic, social, and language skills that music helps to develop in young children, Megan started a music program at her local preschool. She created a music cart for students to use and hosted a community music celebration, inviting older music students to perform for the preschoolers and community members, who also had a chance to try some of the music activities.
Megan Pontin: Raising Awareness of Teen Technology Use
After noticing her classmates’ dependency on their cell phones, Megan filmed and produced a documentary to show the experiences of teenagers and their relationships with technology.
Molly DeMarco: Spreading Positivity through Art
Molly designed and created a series of murals to promote positivity for students and staff members at her school. She made a video to share her project and inspire others.
Rachel Germain: Engaging High-Achieving Elementary Students
Rachel created an after-school enrichment program to provide second graders performing at or above grade level an opportunity to build on the skills they were learning in class, challenge themselves academically, and practice important life skills such as teamwork, responsibility, and time management.
Rachel Weissman: Teaching Healthy Cooking
Rachel organized community cooking classes to inspire others to cook healthy meals at home. She also worked with her local grocery store and her town’s library to create recipe boxes so that community members would continue to have access to healthy recipes and meal ideas.
Abigail Pauli: Teaching Teens about Mental Health
Abigail raised awareness about mental health in her school through presentations and informational resources. Her presentation is available as a video and will continue to be shown to students each year.
Sara Casale: Promoting Self-Confidence in Middle School
Sara started a program to empower 8th graders to take steps to increase their self-confidence and prepare for high school. Participants learned strategies to increase their self-confidence, talked with a panel of high school students, and participated in community service.
Shannon Osborne: Helping Low-Income Families
After learning that programs such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) often do not provide assistance for the purchase of household items such as first aid supplies, Shannon worked with her local food pantry to meet this need, creating materials and raising awareness of the issue while starting a program to provide access to first aid supplies.
Sierra Rechak: Teaching Sustainability
Sierra created an aquaponics system at her school so that current and future students could gain hands-on experience and learn about sustainable agriculture.
Tiffany Cospito: Bringing Music Education to Students in Guatemala
Tiffany started a music program at an orphanage in Guatemala so that students receiving services could learn to play an instrument and enjoy the benefits of music education.
Victoria Bubie: Providing Music Education
Victoria started a music program in her community to address the decline in the number of students participating in musical activities.
Madison started a backpack program at her school to address local food insecurity. Although schools do provide free or reduced-cost meals for students who qualify, those students are often left with fewer options when school is not in session, on weekends or during breaks. Madison’s backpack program provides students in need with a backpack of non-perishable food items for the weekend and school breaks, creating a reliable and convenient option for students and families that face food insecurity.
Emily Purcell: Addressing Climate Change
After learning about the effects of climate change and human impact in Environmental Science, Emily started a composting program at her school to reduce the school's carbon footprint and show students how simple and effective composting can be. The school will continue the composting program so that future students will be inspired to learn more about environmental sustainability and consider making changes to reduce their own carbon footprint, such as by composting at home and recycling.
Ava Kelley Johnson: Helping Those Returning Home from Extended Care
After learning about the difficulties faced by people returning home from extended care facilities, Ava worked with a local organization to create a food and supply shelf for people returning home from extended care. Ava worked to raise awareness about this need within the community, and the shelf will continue to be stocked with help from community partners.
Raia James: Addressing Barriers to Education
After discovering that access to school supplies can be a barrier for students whose families face financial challenges, Raia investigated the issue and discovered that many existing back to school assistance programs provide school supplies at the beginning of the year, which often run out or get used up. To fill the continuing need for supplies throughout the year, Raia created a supply closet that can be used by students and teachers to alleviate the continuing need for supplies during the school year.
Taryn Hanley: Addressing Childhood Poverty
Taryn addressed issues of poverty, hunger, and homelessness in her community by starting a birthday bag initiative to provide elementary school students who are involved in the backpack program with birthday party supplies to celebrate with family and friends. Taryn delivered copies of 49 children’s book titles focusing on themes of poverty, hunger, and homelessness to the school to increase students’ awareness of these issues and promote a culture of compassion and understanding.