Project Love® Remember the Children Foundation is a character-building education and training organization. Through workshops, community events, leadership training and media programs, Project Love-Purple America empowers teens and adults to create a culture of kindness, caring and respect by putting their values-in-action wherever they go.
"Searching For Teen Leaders" is a Project Love® program that places nomination posters and ballots in 300 high schools and middle schools, all public libraries, and hundreds of retail sites. The program enables schools, retail partners and families to catch teens doing good and highlights the accomplishments of teen leaders in grades 7-12.
2011 Searching for Teen Leader Finalists and Honorable Mention Award Recipients
Anyone may nominate a teen who has demonstrated outstanding leadership. Nomination ballots are available in libraries, at schools, on Project Love's® web site, and at retail distribution partner locations, and in print ads. The 2011 Searching For Teen Leader Finalists where chosen by a panel of their own peers from over 100 nominations.
2011 Top Ten Finalists
Revere High School
Cassidy is a wonderful example for teens everywhere. Despite being affected by the movement disorder, Dystonia, Cassidy is very active in her school and community and has a passion for art and animals. A member of art club and a 2nd year Varsity lacrosse player, Cassidy still finds time to volunteer outside of school. Cassidy is very busy volunteering her time at Safety Town, Girl Scouts, and the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. At the zoo, Cassidy works with the public, and specifically, children stressing the importance of conservation and recycling to help our planet and every living creature on it. Cassidy strongly believes in the humane treatment of animals and is a vegetarian.
Her selflessness, her giving attitude and her strong convictions certainly make Cassidy shine as a Teen Leader!
Nominated by: Michelle Jester
Elise Bruening - $2,500 Scholarship WINNER
Madison High School
Elise is always smiling, cheerful, helpful, and smart. Recently, Elise raised thousands of dollars for Honor Flight, a fundraiser created to honor American Veterans for all of their sacrifices and to transport our veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at the memorials. Elise collected this money through donations by biking from Pittsburgh, Pa. to Washington, D.C. with her dad. At school, Elise has been selected by her school to be a member of The Hugh O'Brian Youth leadership program which provides unique leadership training, sacrifice, learning and motivation building for teens, and she is a member of National Honor Society. Outside of school, Elise is involved in LifeTeen, 4-H and enjoys taking part in the Great Geauga County Fair. Elise is certainly an outstanding example of a Teen Leader!
Nominated by: Michelle Replogle, Diane Brodnik & Kathy M
Shaker Heights High School
Shaker Heights, OH
Nadav's whole belief system is about helping others. At school, Nadav has been involved in Youth Ends Hunger, a volunteer organization that volunteers at the Cleveland Food Bank, Western Reserve Hospice and the soup kitchen. He also volunteers with the Take Action program and tutors once a week in a local elementary school. He is a member of SHARP (Student Health Advocates Reaching Peers) and BBYO (Bnai Brith Youth Organization). After the Haiti earthquake, Nadav coordinated a fundraiser called "Cookies for a Cause" and raised money for Haiti Relief. Nadav has also created his own non profit Caring for a Cause (status pending), which brings together teens interested in doing more and fighting homelessness in Cleveland. Nadav is a “do-er,” and he will never walk away when he sees something needs to be done making Nadav a wonderful Teen Leader.
Nominated by: Michal Marcus
Rachel is truly a natural born leader within her school and community. While involved in numerous sports and activities including the girls soccer team, cheerleading, Students for the Environment, French Club, Key Club and a member of the speech team, Rachel still makes time for those in her community. Rachel has volunteered for Trumbull Mobile Meals, Niles Relay for Life, Niles Community Center, local blood drives and food drives, Toys for Tots, and Operation Shoebox. This past summer she volunteered at a summer enrichment camp where she worked with special needs children, and she also volunteers with the LEAP program, which works with special needs adults. Rachel is conscientious, nice, intelligent, and has an excellent work ethic, which is why she is a true Teen Leader.
Nominated by: Michael Bassett
Stow-Munroe Falls H.S.
Munroe Falls, OH
Madi Simpkins is an incredibly deserving Teen Leader as exhibited by her efforts and passion to communicate the importance of suicide prevention. After the tragic suicide death of a friend and classmate in September, 2009, Madi has since worked tirelessly to make something positive come from this loss and to prevent further suicides among her peers. Madi has been largely responsible for bringing two major programs to her school to encourage her classmates to learn about tolerance, kindness and about each other. Through her work and dedication, Madi has taught her peers about the warning signs of suicide, shared some of her own experiences and wisdom, talked about the importance of treating others with kindness and emphasized help-seeking behaviors. Madi is a true Teen Leader; her leadership has saved lives and made a real difference!
Nominated by: Sally Dean, MSSA, LISW-S
Canfield High School
Gia has a goal to become an attorney and represent those who do not have the education, power, confidence or capabilities to defend themselves, and she has already accomplished this goal through her extensive service commitment. Gia has volunteered as an assistant swim coach for Special Olympics, the Mahoning County Court of Domestic Relations, and tutored Hispanic children at a local Hispanic Aid agency. In high school, Gia was involved in vocal ensemble, theatre, cheerleading, and swimming as MVP and an Academic All American. Gia's volunteer efforts and school activities are extensive, underscoring her sincere commitment to using her education to benefit others. Gia's actions are those of a true leader whose mission is to serve.
Nominator name: Sharon Velasquez
Clayton High School
St Louis, MO
When Jake’s dad was deployed, he truly appreciated and understood how a community can support one another, and he decided he wanted to give back; however, volunteer opportunities were hard to find. Because of this, Jake and his sister started the website http://stlouisvolunteen.comto assist youth in their region with finding volunteer opportunities. After the success of the website, Jake created and organized the first St Louis Youth and Family Volunteer Fair and has since gone on to organize and coordinate the 2ndannual fair as well. To date over 2,000 students have found volunteer opportunities from the website, twitter postings and annual volunteer fair. Jake meets regularly with area nonprofits to find ways to involve youth in their organizations and is also an active volunteer in the community. Jake spreads the spirit of youth volunteers by engaging his peers to give back and is an inspiring Teen Leader.
Nominator name: Moira Jablon
Findlay High School
Danielle dedicates a huge amount of time helping those in need. She assists children with disabilities who try to overcome obstacles in their lives by teaching them to ice skate. Through an organization known as Gliding Stars, Danielle builds self-confidence and self-esteem in children who have physical, mental, and behavioral disabilities. Danielle also has a passion for playing basketball and has helped many non-profit organizations through fundraisers organized on behalf of the Findlay High Girls Basketball Program. Danielle also volunteers at her local food shelter, builds homes for Habitat for Humanity and participates in a Pen-Pal program with a local elementary to promote literacy. Danielle recognizes the needs in her community and takes the initiative to help. As a Teen Leader, Danielle truly makes a positive difference.
Nominator name: Angie Sallisbury
Lauren A. Lewis
Canfield High School
Lauren has always cared deeply about people and her community. As a result, Lauren plans and organizes activities for residents of a local nursing home and schedules high school students to visit the home and interact with the residents. This past year, she organized used sports equipment drives in the community. She has collected 546 pieces of equipment to send to the underprivileged youths in the Appalachian region of Grahn, Kentucky. Lauren believes that if the kids have an opportunity to participate in sports, it will keep them healthier and may keep them more interested in school helping to break the cycle of poverty. Lauren also volunteers her time at the church teaching religious education classes to kindergarten and first graders and was very active in her high school. As Lauren moves on to college, she will have the opportunity to continue her love of helping others.
Nominator name: Leslie Lewis
Elena Meredith Kuivila
Chagrin Falls, OH
In 2009, Ellie started a nonprofit, "Skaters for Haiti", setting up collection boxes at area rinks to benefit those in Haiti. She collected thousands of medical supplies, hair products, and dental hygiene supplies. In November 2010, she went to Haiti and worked in a tent city distributing the items and working at an eyeglass clinic. She began the collections again in 2011, and will return to Haiti in November 2011. She received the Red Cross Hero Award in Cleveland in November 2010, was Student of the Week in the Sun Newspaper in December l6, 2010, and received the Harriet Barry Fellowship from her school, which was used toward travel to India to work with women in the lower caste system to help them open their own businesses. Ellie has always been and always will be a 'giver' and we are proud to honor her as a teen leader.
Nominator name: Janet Hoebing