2010-2011 YAC Class
Aimee Vue is a freshman at Highland Park Senior High in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 2009 she co-founded City Backyard Farming LLC, a company that served the local neighborhood with organic Community Supported Agriculture Baskets. The project was inspired by her grandmother, Mai Lee Moua, who had a stroke and was nursed back to health with organic foods in 2007. She wanted to share Mai Lee's healing story and organic foods. Through a USDA SARE grant to pilot an organic, urban farm, the project has been successful, serving 27 CSA families and local food shelves. In her school, she is very active with Student Council, Thespian Society, math and swim teams. Aimee is a service leader, motivated in helping her community in every aspect.
Alex is a senior at Cupertino High School in CA. As president of the Cupertino High School United Nations Association, he created a project to involve teens in community development in Ethiopia, where he set up a school, clinic, computer lab, and income generating projects. Alex continues to work on the growth of this project to involve more teens in social action across borders. He has also led food drives and blood drives, collected 5,000 books for remote schools in the Philippines, served as a decoy for tobacco control and volunteered with many local organizations. Alex received the President's Gold Volunteer Service Award for his continued support for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. In addition to volunteering, he loves to row and travel!
Alex Wirth serves as the Chair of the Mayor's Youth Advisory Board in his home city of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Through the Mayor's Youth Advisory Board, Alex has worked on issues such as a citywide food drive, planning a new teen center, and policies to prevent violence among youth in his city. He is the President of his school’s student council, for which he led an effort that raised $5,000 in response to the Haiti earthquake in January 2010. Alex recently was the honoree of the New Mexico Voices for Children Amy Biehl Youth Spirit Award for his vision, initiative, and dedication to community service.
Alex’s “something” is making sure that youth voice is heard in government. Locally, he serves as the Chair of the Mayor's Youth Advisory Board and the President of his school’s student council in his home city of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Nationally, he is a member of both Youth Service America’s Youth Advisory Council and State Farm’s Youth Advisory Board. Last summer he worked in Washington as a Page for the United States Senate. Alex is currently advocating for a national youth council to advise the President and members of congress on youth policy.
Alex is a student at Wilson High School in Portland, Oregon. He is currently working on founding a group called Northwest Youth For Equality. He feels like it's necessary that a group like this exists because, although there are many organizations that support equality, very few offer clear opportunities for youth to get involved. He has always been interested in LGBTQ rights, but Alex was inspired to begin this organization by the extreme activism of celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Ellen DeGeneres. His goal for the organization is to have it up and running by June 2011.
Ari enjoys moonlit strolls on the beach - uh oh wrong line! Ari is currently a freshman at Arcadia University (THE official Harry Potter school - we even have a castle!) studying International Relations. After breaking her arm in 2008, she started Handmade 4 Hospitals. H4H creates handmade gifts (baby hats, blankets, stuffed animals, bracelets, etc) for children in hospitals, and offers crochet tutoring to get people involved in the community. Ari volunteers at Bloomfield Town Hall, joined the DoSomething.org's Youth Advisory Council in 2009, and was a high school intern at DoSomething.org this past summer. Ari hopes to one day work for an international not-for-profit (Spanish speaking) working with impoverished children. For now she is slowly taking over the world one cause at a time.
Ben is a high school senior from Northern Virginia, where he was born and raised. He loves sports and competes as a Varsity athlete in Cross Country, Basketball, and Track. His sophomore year Ben created the Loudoun Do Something Now Club, the first affiliate DoSomething.org club in his community. Because of Ben's love for community service and basketball, this club hosted an annual 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament called 'Big Shots' to bring awareness to issues like drug and alcohol abuse and txting while driving. Ben and his club members even filmed a few youtube videos! Ben loves serving on DoSomething.org National Youth Advisory Council and always encourages his high school friends to 'do something!
Brady and his brother founded "My Own Book", an organization dedicated to providing books for underprivileged Americans from kindergarten through third grade. Since its founding “My Own Book” is directly responsible for distributing almost 36,000 books, each with its own nameplate, so that the children enjoy the pride of having their very own book. The foundation does not only aid the children, but its benefits are two-fold: (1) by arranging teenagers into groups and giving them opportunities to speak about the local public library as well as (2) reading books to the children and instilling the values of teamwork, public speaking and leadership. You can read more at www.myownbook.net. Brady is currently studying economics at George Washington University.
Chris is currently a senior at Brunswick School, an all boys’ school in Greenwich, CT. Chris is passionately involved and an advocate for environmental preservation. In the fall of 2009, Chris was involved in a serious football accident, where he received his fourth concussion as well as a career ending injury to his knee. It became apparent that the injury to his head was incredibly severe, and still affects him to this day. Chris was hospitalized and forced to miss months of school due to his concussion. Chris took the lessons he learned regarding concussions and sports safety, and he is currently using that knowledge to raise awareness for concussion testing, and concussion prevention.
Daniel is a junior at Millburn High School and serving his second year on DoSomething.org's Youth Advisory Committee. He interns at the Dodge Foundation where he helps to fund educational, cultural, social and environmental programs that contribute to making society more humane. Daniel is a spokesperson for Heifer International. He is currently working with the organization to create prong 2 of a grant made to the western portion of Honduras in an effort to end poverty in these small villages. He will be going on a site trip this summer. Daniel is also working on a not-for-profit to distribute agricultural tools to rural communities. He works during the school year as a mentor to young students learning to develop confidence through sports achievement.
Eric is 17 years old and a Senior at Jericho High School. He spends most of his time volunteering for the Tourette's Syndrome Association, writting for his technology blog (TechTrackr.com), and playing tennis, lacrosse, and guitar. Eric has always had a passion for helping others and has worked his whole life to try to make the world a better place.
Erick Hernandez is a current sophomore at Douglas County High School. Last Year, as a freshman, Erick began doing as much as he could to make a difference at his high school and in the community. He started off by starting a program called STARS, which focuses on raising student awareness of dangerous activities such as sex, drugs, and alcohol when it comes to high school. He's also been volunteering at the local elementary school for the past 3 years, tutoring ESL students from 3p.m-5p.m, because providing a better education for young students is his biggest inspiration. DoSomething.org has inspired him even more and he can't wait to get started with the projects he has planned for his school thanks to the help and ideas from DoSomething.org.
Faique Moqeet is a Junior from Northside College Prep in Chicago. He is co-founder and head of Project ARC, a disaster relief organization run completely by youth. They have raised over $3300 in the past two years for different disaster relief projects. Examples of past projects include raising money for Palestine in 2009 and raising money for Haiti in 2010. They are currently looking for ways to expand their efforts and eventually attain 501(c}(3) status. Their website is www.arcnp.org. Faique hopes to major in psychology and English and matriculate into Law school.
Gregory is a Sophomore at Edsel Ford High School in Dearborn, MI. Last summer he spent 2 months volunteering at the local Dearborn animal shelter, where he helped care for homeless animals. Greg is currently working with the School Board in his community to host a community-wide rally for teens to promote safe sex, anti-drug & alcohol use, and the commitment to graduate. During the school year Greg is an active member of Student Leadership, which is a group of students who promote excellence by participating in challenges helping younger students.Gregory is currently president of his class ,and in the future he wants to travel to high schools all over the nation encouraging kids to stay away from drugs & alcohol and to graduate on time.
Jade is a student at Riverside Secondary in Vancouver, Canada. She is focused on establishing a not-for-profit organization for children of low-income families who may not have the opportunity to engage in extracurricular activities. Youth Cares Giving Circle will give kids the chance to work with youth buddies in the local community who have been trained and experienced in a specialized area. Examples regarding hobbies of interest include music (ie. piano voice lessons), painting, dance, or basketball. During the school year, Jade regularly volunteers and peer tutors in her school and local community. She hopes to continue working with youths so they can be a more integral and positive role model within our society.
Jordan Schwartz is 17, a senior at the Atlanta Girls' School, and the founder and Artistic Producer of the Children's Bilingual Theater. This is her 10th year in theatre and 7th year as a producer. Outside of her work, she enjoys any and all music - especially something good for dancing. Her favorite pass time is dancing to the aforementioned music and swimming for her school's varsity team.
Jovi is a hard working, ambitious teenager who is very involved in his community. He is a Staff Sergeant in the Civil Air Patrol, which is the Auxiliary to the United States Air Force. Through this, he gains leadership skills, volunteer hours, and moral values. Always ready and willing to care for others, Jovi Poursamadi is an astounding individual with a bright future.
Katie is a senior at East Chapel Hill High School in Chapel Hill, NC. She is currently working on organizing a Model United Nations conference for middle school students with the Carolina Center for Educational Excellence. She hopes that the conference will allow younger students to develop an interest in international issues and the United Nations, and she hopes for it to become an annual event (this year will be its second year). She is also News Editor for her school newspaper, and she often writes columns and articles about causes and volunteer opportunities.
Laila is a sophomore who divides up her studies through home schooling, dual enrollment, and classes at the local high school. She is an active community member, who has done volunteer projects ranging from cleaning cemeteries to helping organize a Parkinson’s charity event with her stepfather. As the current president of the Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Senior High Key Club, she continues to try and motivate others to do the same!
Leora is the co-founder of Music is Medicine, a not-for-profit she created in 2008 with her sister that uses music to uplift hospitalized children. The project writes and records original songs for pediatric patients to inspire them to have strength in the face of their diseases. In 2009, Music is Medicine received the Key Change Grant from the DoSomething.org and the Grammy Foundation. Last year, the project was featured in Weekly Reader’s Current Health 2, and in recent months Leora has been contacted by teens nationwide wanting to start their own chapters. Leora is currently a freshman at Princeton University, where she hopes to start a branch of the program at a nearby hospital.
Elizabeth Buffone has been on the Do Something YAC since 2008 and is a recent graduate of Greenwich Academy in Greenwich, Connecticut. She is currently a freshman at Georgetown University hoping to pursue an English major with a minor in Justice and Peace Studies. While at Greenwich Academy, Elizabeth became known as the "Do Something Girl" (her yearbook "what if?" was "what if Liz Buffone didn't Do Something?"). She was the Founder and President of the GA Do Something Club, where she established many community service programs. Her favorite was a tutoring program for underprivileged kids. Elizabeth's obsession with the Do Something grew exponentially when she interned there the summer of 2009. She was also the self-proclaimed winner of the Do Something office bake off with her glorious red velvet cupcakes. Elizabeth also has attended the America's Promise Alliance Impact Academy, where teens came together to formulate ideas on how to really make change in their communities. She was invited back to be a teen adviser for the America's Promise Alliance Grad Nation Action Forum. For all her efforts, Elizabeth was awarded the Junior League Community Service Award in 2010. Elizabeth lives and breathes Do Something and is considering getting the Do Something logo tattooed onto her body (except not really because her Dad would kill her).
Mark is a proud student of Central Michigan University, studying Management, Broadcast Arts, & Psychology. While engaging in one of his many favorite pastimes, such as watching/critiquing major Hollywood films or listening to music by some of the most underappreciated artists in the industry (namely Nelly Furtado, Kings of Leon, Robyn, Florence + the Machine, La Roux, MGMT, & even Mandy Moore), Mark is always thinking about kick-butt ways to serve the community. His big dream is to work in Hollywood with Cate Blanchett, Vera Farmiga, Jennifer Carpenter, Scarlett Johansson, Gabourey Sidibe, Natalie Portman, & Tilda Swinton, all while promoting service and teen initiative.
Mark embraces "carpe diem" and enjoys exercising his voice as a youth while he still can. He is an active member of several youth commissions within the Valley of the Sun in Arizona. Mark is currently a senior at Chandler High School, and he enjoys playing basketball and volleyball in his free time.
MJ is a student at Phillips Academy Andover. This year, a new English teacher came to her boarding school, along with her two kids from Côte d'Ivoire who didn't speak a word of English and had never set foot on US soil. The kids struggled in class, and their ESL program was underfunded and underperforming. After hearing about their struggle, MJ put together a team to tutor the children in English and teach them about American culture. Now they meet during the week and go on cultural outings on the weekends, like going to breakfast in town to learn how to order and the value of money. This project has already taught MJ a valuable lesson: we have just as much to learn from someone as they do from us.
Moriah is an eighteen-year-old student at Orange Coast College. She is a passionate advocate of the arts in education. Along with her sister, Moriah founded an organization to teach music history to underprivileged kids. She has furthered her organization to offer high school students classes from which they can obtain Fine Art's credits for graduation.
Mya is a Junior at Bangor High School. She has dedicated time to causes across the board such as animal welfare, children's causes, poverty, discrimination, education, and dating abuse. Using her status as class president as a platform she took action to get her entire school involved in very successful clothing drives, breakfast foods drive, and a PSA on Dating Abuse. Her current project is to stray away from school politics and start a Do Something Club to get her community active. Her long-term goal is to get everyone in her high school deeply involved in a cause they feel passionate about. Mya wants to leave high school knowing that she has made a difference and a strong impact on the community.
Pablo founded the Speak Up Debate Mentoring Program, a Miami-based organization that teaches inner city elementary school kids how to speak in public and debate. Pablo was inspired to create Speak Up after experiencing the benefits that good communications skills bring, such as self-confidence and better expression of ideas. As a result of his work with Speak Up, The Miami Herald has awarded Pablo with a Class Acts. In addition to Speak Up, Pablo serves on the Youth Advisory Council of Do Something as well as the Miami Children’s Trust Youth Advisory Council. He is a senior at Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School, where he serves as President of the student government association.
Radhika is an young entrepreneur with strong desire to give back to society. She started a Do Something Club in Fremont, CA. Her passion towards art and philanthropy has led her to found Renaissance Now Corporation to level the playing field for underprivileged artists internationally.
Rebecca Kantar is a founder of Minga, a youth-run, not-for-profit organization working to empower youth to take action against the child sex trade. Since 2007, Rebecca has been directing Minga. Minga has raised over $90,000 and has educated thousands of teens to prevent them from becoming involved in the sex trade as victims or abusers. Rebecca is a Freshman at Harvard University. Beyond Minga, Rebecca serves as a youth advisor to Ashoka’s Youth Venture and to Do Something. As a winner of the Staples and Youth Venture Young Social Entrepreneurship competition, Rebecca was chosen to speak at TEDxYSE on youth leadership and empowerment. For her leadership, Rebecca was awarded the TIME Magazine and Bentley University Tomorrow25 Award, the Seven Days Across America “Most Encouraging Teen” Award, the Kohl’s Kids Who Care Award, and is a runner-up Honorable Mention from the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes.
Rebekah Bolser is a freshman with Connections Academy. Her main cause is raising money and awareness for FOP disease. When she's older, she wants to continue volunteering and be a history professor.
Sarah Cronk is a seventeen-year-old student at Pleasant Valley High School in Bettendorf, Iowa. In the summer of 2008, she helped to form the nation's first cheerleading sqad that includes students with disabilities. The "Spartan Sparkles," whose disabilities range from Down Syndrome to Autism, cheer right alongside the varsity cheerleaders at home football and basketball games. After seeing the profound effect the Sparkles had on her community, Sarah helped create the Sparkle Effect Inc., a non-profit organization that inspires and empowers other high school cheerleaders nationwide to start squads like the Sparkles. Since spring of 2009, Sarah has started over fifteen squads in the United States, and one in South Africa.
Shadae is a student at Shiloh High School. She's a junior and plans on studying law when she leaves high school. In the summer of 2008, Shadae volunteered at Meals on Wheels (MOW), where she helped her uncle distribute meals to those less fortunate. Since then she's been motivated to help others and put a smile on their faces. In the last week of November of last year, Shadae went with her church family to feed the homeless. Now shes runing a food drive within her neighborhood to donate to the food shelter.
Supreet Kaur is a senior at the High School for Environmental Studies and runs a Do Something club there. The club's main focus is knitting items for children in longterm care in hospitals, while also raising cause awareness in her school. She is a huge fan of Do Something.
Tarmim Khan is a junior at Universal School and is currently working on two projects. She is a part of the non-profit organization Brighter Dawns: Youth Combating Health Disparities which helps fight disparities such as socioeconomic factors, health disparities, etc. in the country of Bangladesh. Tarmim is also working on a project titled Community Clean Team, which enhances the betterment of the environment. In the past several months, she noticed how neglected the environment was and wanted to do something about it. As the leader of this project, sheand her project members plan to go out in the environment and clean up neighborhoods, beaches, lakes, rivers etc.
Tasmiha Khan is a junior at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. Although she hails from the Chicagoland area, her parents are from Bangladesh. Seeing the dire conditions of the impoverished in the slums of Bangladesh has led Tasmiha to become the founder of Brighter Dawns. This past summer, she held a free diabetic screening and multiple seminars on hygiene and food preparation/distribution. In addition, she's volunteered in Kidzee, the only school for children with neurocognitive deficits in Dhaka. Now, she is working to improve the slum conditions. Her first target is to provide access to clean and safe water for the children. She hopes to establish 10 tube-wells and 30 latrines by next year.
Tyler was born in Asheville, NC and has lived his entire life in the Asheville area, where he attends North Buncombe High School. He is Student Body Treasurer for his school, as well as President of the school’s Do Something Club for Human Rights, and a Beta Club officer. His leadership positions inspired him to volunteer. Of the issues that concern him, genocide is at the top of his list. In the future he would like to attend Georgetown University, and major in the International Political Economy program. He would eventually like to become either a trade lawyer or an international lawyer. Somewhere down the road he would like to have a career in politics.