San Francisco, Ca, June 25, 2015 – The Helen Diller Family Foundation, a supporting foundation of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties, has announced the recipients of its annual Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards. Now in its ninth year, the national award recognizes and further empowers young, socially-minded leaders who’ve successfully worked for change on issues from education to public policy, science to the environment. Each teen recipient will receive $36,000 to be used in support of a social project or to further their education. Descriptions of all 15 Award recipients and their projects can be found at: www.dillerteenawards.org.
The Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards began as a pilot program in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2007. The awards are the vision of Bay Area philanthropist Helen Diller, who dedicated her life to supporting social responsibility, medical research, cultural and artistic endeavors and the invigoration of her Jewish heritage. The awards recognize Jewish teens that demonstrate and exemplify the spirit of tikkun olam. What began as a community project nearly a decade ago has grown into a national network of 70 socially responsible Jewish youth that engage in actively changing the world. In its nine-year history, the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards initiative has given more than $2.5 million to teens from more than 20 US communities. With Helen Diller’s death earlier this year, 2015 marks a new chapter for the Helen Diller Family Foundation, which plans to continue to fund and support the Awards in her honor as a living legacy and commitment to tikkun olam.
Each Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Award recipient has a unique perspective on today’s most pressing issues and has thoughtfully created practical solutions through community programs and global organizations. Teens’ projects open new doors for underprivileged youth, combat school bullying, engage peers in social good campaigns, and support families, communities, and our environment in important new ways. Recipients are rewarded not only for their visions and social actions, but also for demonstrating leadership skills that indicate a passion and ability to find workable solutions to the most critical problems facing our communities today. With 10 teens from communities across the nation and five from California, this year’s 15 recipients will join the Foundation’s growing network of young entrepreneurs who, their age notwithstanding, are already making a profound impact on our world.
The 2015 Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Award recipients were selected by committees of educators and community leaders from across the United States. Candidates completed detailed applications describing their projects, goals, inspirations and challenges, fundraising tactics, and ultimate accomplishments. Eligible applicants were United States residents, between 13 and 19 years of age at the time of nomination, who self-identify as Jewish. A celebratory luncheon honoring the teens will be held in San Francisco later in the summer.