The Helen Diller Family Foundation has awarded five California teenagers $36,000 each acknowledging community service projects they have initiated in the spirit of Tikkun Olam. This is the fourth consecutive year that the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards have been offered. The award empowers the recipients to fund future social actions or educational endeavors to further their visions for making lasting differences in their communities and beyond.
The awards are funded by the Helen Diller Family Foundation, a supporting foundation of the Jewish Community Endowment Fund of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties. Since its inception fourteen years ago, The Helen Diller Family Foundation has granted more than $200 million to a wide range of charitable projects, including medical research, Jewish youth leadership, the arts and education.
The awardees’ projects included a student-run environmental and recycling movement that saves six high schools millions of dollars per year; a marine preservation program that sparked youth-created environmental activist groups from coast to coast; a sorely needed teen culture and community center for Sacramento youth; an international partnership with Ugandan teens to strengthen Jewish identity, and an innovative social network and fundraising website that empowers African youth through soccer. Each project required leadership and careful organization in addition to fundraising. Use of the award money is unrestricted, though recipients are encouraged to use the funding for college or to further implement a vision for making the world a better place.
Nominees were required to be California residents, between 13 and 19 years old, and self-identify as Jewish. The community service projects can focus on any area of interest to the teen.