9/11 Remembrance Grant Winners
Check out these outstanding youth led projects
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of September 11th, Do Something and American Express teamed up to offer grants for YOU to take action and start your own projects in your communities. These projects are all in the spirit of September 11th including youth-led projects that recognize and commemorate our emergency responders (EMTs, Police and Fire Departments), our troops, and programs that promote diversity all across the country. Check out the winners here!
Joey Rizzolo, 16
Paramus Freedom Walk
Joey will be holding a Freedom Walk to remember the lives lost on 9/11 and to thank First Responders and Veterans. Joey's community lost seven members in the attacks, and this event is a way for his community to come together and celebrate their lives. This will be the fourth annual walk.
Cody Harrison Heron, 16
Military Families Fun Day
Cody is organizing a Family Fun Day at a horse ranch for military families to share in a day of fellowship and healing. The vision of the project is to build a community of support for healing and growth among military family members. Using group activities, equine assisted therapy and fun, they expect that family members will experience a safe, nurturing environment where they will want to return.
Rachel Quednau, 19
Saint Paul, MN
Minnesotans Standing Together PSA Project
Minnesotans Standing Together PSA Project is a film project engaging diverse youth from different backgrounds on the topic of religious freedom. They began the project this summer and are culminating it with a ceremony on 9/11 where young people who have participated in the project will read the names of those who died on 9/11, as well as give speeches of their memories, and their hopes for cultural understanding. The goal of the project is to encourage young people to reach out to their peers of different faiths and create new friendships.
John Campbell, 24
John is the co-founder of the Afghan Scholars Initiative that helps prepare Afghanistan's future civic leaders though a tutorial program, placement with partner high schools and colleges, and hands-on projects and internships. John hopes that through this program it will bring cultural understanding in even more need at the time of the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
Mandy Williams, 20
9/11 Memorial Film
Mandy is producing a 9/11 documentary to be screened at the ground breaking event of a 9/11 memorial in her community. She hopes that the film will help to bring together her community and promote story-telling and remembrance ten years later. Mandy also wants to provide hope and healing for the people in her neighborhood, especially those who have been impacted by the tragic events of that day.
Talia Hudgens, 18
San Jose, CA
9 for 9/11
Talia is bringing student youth groups and clubs together to organize a lunch-time Day of Remembrance event at a High School in San Jose for over 250 youth volunteers. She also plans on developing a youth day of service event at her school and creating a video documentation entitled Youth Helping Others Deal with Tragedies. Her ultimate goal is to increase the amount of youth ages 8-25 who engage in service learning projects.
Alex Perry, 15
Students Helping Soldiers
These students established a club at their school to help troops, veterans, and their families. The grant will go toward installing cell phone drop boxes in their school so students can donate their old phones to soldiers overseas. They will also purchase knockdown basket trucks to collect clothing and canned foods. Through these projects they hope to reach more students, more military personnel, and more members in the community.
Madison Weber, 17
9/11 Memorial for Etowah High School
Madison is building a memorial on her school campus that keeps students connected to the reality of 9/11, and reminds them of the day’s impact on their current environment. Madison will use the grant money to help cover the expenses of building the memorial.
Priscilla Munoz, 17
San Bernardino, CA
Commemorating 9/11 through Dance
Priscilla and her group are puttting on a dance performance to thank the local fire department for their work as emergency service responders. The event will take place on 9/11 and will be an opportunity for the young dancers to show their thanks and gratitude to their local fire department. Priscilla will use the grant money for supplies for the event and supplies for thank you cards.
Emily Rich, 24
North Hollywood, CA
Emily was inspired to take action in 2007 when her brother joined the marines. That year she became an active volunteer with Operation Gratitude, an organization that sends care packages to men and women overseas. With her grant, Emily plans to send 100 packages to service men and women to show gratitude and respect for our nation's heroes.
Chandler Helms, 17
Oklahoma City, OK
Knitting for Troops
Chandler knits scarves to sell at her local convenience store, all the proceeds of which go towards purchasing care packages for soldiers away from home. The packages include hygiene items, and a variety of foods that have all been requested by soldiers. Chandler hopes to beat last year’s sales of 123 scarves and provide even more soldiers with their needed packages.
Xzavier Thompson, 15
First Responder Appreciation Dinner
Xzavier is partnering with his Boy Scouts troop to host an appreciation dinner for first responders on his school campus. They plan on inviting members of all local law enforcement agencies, emergency medical services, firefighters, and local National Guardsmen to be honored at this event. Their dinner will bring members of all the various agencies together for a night of interaction and serve as a platform for other service projects by the students of Smyrna West and the Boy Scout Troops.
Erin Krivanek, 24
Packages from Home
Erin is sending care and comfort packages to deployed military in order to boost overall morale and quality of life. The goal of their organization is to send approximately 1,000 individual care packages and hundreds of bulk mailing packages a month to our deployed troops.
Josephine Just, 17
Cranes of Thanks
Josephine is creating cranes and coloring pages for young people to send their messages of thanks and hope to soldiers abroad. She will partner with a local hospital and provide children there with the opportunity to create cranes, providing them with a sense of hope and accomplishment knowing that they can still help others even when they are sick. Josephine hopes to reach her goal of creating 1,000 Cranes of Thanks.
Brynne Ver Hagen, 17
Queen Creek, AZ
Car Wash for 9/11
Brynne is organizing a donation car wash, all the proceeds of which will be going to the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that supports wouded soldiers. Brynne will use her grant money for the costs of the car wash and for advertising in her community.
David Green, 24
Honoring America's Fallen Officers
David is creating photo tributes for every family of law enforcement officers who lost their lives in 9/11. David's goal is to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 by ensuring that each Department and Family who lost a law enforcement officer in the line of duty during 2011 receives a tangible and meaningful tribute to their officer. By recognizing these officers David hopes to boost morale, recognize the ideals of service we believe in, and inspire others to pursue those ideals.
Anmol Bambrah, 17
Niagara Falls, NY
9/11 School Ceremony
Anmol is planning a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony in her community of Niagara Falls that will feature speakers sharing their stories of the tragedy. The ceremony will also include a flag ceremony, with 2,977 flags one for each of the victims. Remarks will be made by a Police Officer from the Niagara Falls Police Department and Anmol will speak about how the 9/11 tragedy affected her.
Julie Lam, 18
San Francisco, CA
Youth for Asian Theater
Youth for Asian Theater is a San Francisco-based teen theater company that promotes pride in Asian heritage and awareness of youth issues through theatre. The goal is to promote diversity and celebrate differences, not only on 9/11 but throughout the year.
Morgan Dobroski, 16
PV Pals is a program that will provide opportunities, friendships and games for students with disabilities and their typically developing peers through regular, school-sponsored, structured social activities. Morgan's hope is that by promoting diversity within school grounds it will help to promote a culture of diversity in her community in the spirit of 9/11.
Srinidhi Viswanathan, 17
Books for Doernbecher
Srindhi is organizing a collection of new books for pediatric cancer patients at Doernbecher Children's Hospital. The hospital lacks new books for their patients, who often stay in the hospital for months on end. Srindhi believes that reading provides an escape to the children who have had to endure difficult conditions very early on in their lives. The drive began in August and will go through the end of October, and Srindhi hopes to collect 250 books.