Sign up for Updates

Receive News and Updates about the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards.

Email Address

 


Send

Processing...

Back to
the Top

Tikkun Olam Award
Recipients

2016

Award Recipients

Kayla Abramowitz

North Palm Beach, FL | 14

Kayla developed an organization that lifts the spirits of young patients nationwide by donating recreational items to keep youth engaged and motivated during long hospital stays.

LEARN MORE

Brittany Paris Amano

Honolulu, HI | 18

Brittany Amano formed a project that combats malnutrition in youth living in poverty-stricken and low-income communities through peer mentoring, cooking lessons, and donations of nutritious food and school supplies.

LEARN MORE

Max Davis

Stoneham, MA | 14

Maxwell Davis created a community project that engages youth in advocacy and lobbying efforts to raise funds to provide unaccompanied homeless youth with housing and supportive services.

LEARN MORE

Talia Eskenazi

New York, NY | 16

Talia Eskenazi co-founded a non-profit organization that hosts birthday parties for disadvantaged children, to spread happiness, raise self-esteem, and create memorable experiences.

LEARN MORE

Jessica Goldberg

Saint Louis, MO | 17

Jessica Goldberg co-founded an organization that hosts an annual talent show to raise funds to provide disadvantaged students with the school supplies they need to be successful learners.

LEARN MORE

Alexa Grabelle

Voorhees, NJ | 15

Alexa Grabelle formed a program that helps close the reading gap by collecting and donating new and gently used books to students in underserved communities.

LEARN MORE

Isaiah Granet

San Diego, CA | 16

Isaiah Granet created a non-profit ice-hockey league to offer a welcoming community to children with developmental disabilities where they can connect with peers and gain self-confidence.

LEARN MORE

Corinne Hindes

Walnut Creek, CA | 16

Corinne Hindes co-founded an initiative that engages teen volunteers to collect unwanted warm apparel from ski resorts and distribute it to homeless people to help protect them during the winter months.

LEARN MORE

Alexandra Jackman

Westfield, NJ | 16

Alexandra Jackman is an autism advocate, and the creator of an award-winning documentary that is used in schools nationwide to increase autism awareness, acceptance, and education.

LEARN MORE

Michael Mottahedeh

Calabasas, CA | 18

Michael Mottahedeh expanded awareness and involvement for a local program that works to reduce juvenile delinquency rates. Teens suspected of committing misdemeanors get chance to clear their records by presenting their case to a jury of their peers.

LEARN MORE

Laurielle Schwab

Running Springs, CA | 18

Laurielle Schwab launched a program that pairs teens with elementary school children in one-on one and group settings to help foster a love for reading, build comprehension skills, and increase classroom engagement.

LEARN MORE

Zachary Stier

Paramus, NJ | 18

Zachary Stier established a nonprofit organization that recruits and trains teen volunteers to provide free one-on-one personalized tutoring to students struggling in math and cannot afford to pay for a private tutor.

LEARN MORE

Eli Wachs

Bryn Mawr, PA | 18

Eli Wachs hosts incentivized competitions to give students a platform to problem-solve issues in their community and effect meaningful change on a global scale.

LEARN MORE

Valerie Weisler

New City, NY | 18

Valerie Weisler founded an international non-profit organization that empowers teens to gain self-confidence, overcome bullying and other personal obstacles, and tap into their skills to create solutions for social justice issues.

LEARN MORE

2015

Award Recipients

Shira Alcouloumre

Laguna Beach, CA | 16

Shira provides food, clothing, gifts, medical care, and English lessons to the day laborers in her community—inspired, in part, by a childhood lesson involving a peach.

LEARN MORE

Zachary Azrael

Baltimore, MD | 18

Zachary helps at-risk kids realize their dreams while also offering classmates service opportunities that matter.

LEARN MORE

Sophie Bernstein

St. Louis, MO | 15

What began as a backyard garden and Bat Mitzvah project has blossomed into over 5,000 pounds of fresh produce for St. Louis families and a program to combat childhood hunger and obesity.

LEARN MORE

Liesl Eibschutz

San Luis Obispo, CA | 17

Homeless and disadvantaged teens are often an invisible minority on high school campuses. Liesl created a club to provide these peers with financial assistance, basic necessities, and college scholarships.

LEARN MORE

Emmi Eisner

Encino, CA | 16

Emmi knew well the benefits that go along with playing sports and wanted to make sure other kids had a chance to enjoy the activities she previously took for granted.

LEARN MORE

Hart Fogel

Mill Valley, CA | 16

Hart found a way to combine his community garden work and passion for restorative justice to bring together a diverse community over fresh, healthy food.

LEARN MORE

Jake Galant

Dallas, TX | 17

For low-income youth in his community, Jake is transforming a career in computer programming from a dream to reality.

LEARN MORE

Riley Gantt

Sherman Oaks, CA | 14

At only 10 years old, Riley founded a nonprofit to help provide low-income elementary schoolers with the supplies they need to be successful learners.

LEARN MORE

Marissa Hacker

Voorhees, NJ | 18

Marissa struggled with the social isolation she saw her autistic brother facing every day. So, she created a fun, welcoming, inclusive organization for him and other kids with special needs.

LEARN MORE

Matthew Kaplan

Phoenix, AZ | 18

When he learned that some of his brother’s classmates had been bullying him, Matthew decided to address the pernicious bullying pervasive among his peers.

LEARN MORE

Jessica Markowitz

Seattle, WA | 19

A childhood meeting with a human rights advocate inspired Jessica to embark on a journey of empowering girls her age in Rwanda to succeed in school and grow into community leaders.

LEARN MORE

Lauren Maunus

Palm City, FL | 17

Lauren has become a tireless advocate for giving students the tools to manage their allergies and make healthy choices in the cafeteria.

LEARN MORE

Ben Moelis

Hewlett, NY | 18

Ben led a team of 25 in a community-wide project: creating a game to help kids with Fragile-X Syndrome (on the autism spectrum) manage stressful moments without anxiety.

LEARN MORE

Ruthie Perlman

Greenville, SC | 17

By bringing together Jewish teens, Ruthie has strengthened the small Jewish community in her hometown, helping previously isolated local teens connect and develop pride in their Jewish identity.

LEARN MORE

Andrew Plotch

Fair Lawn, NJ | 19

A simple yet powerful tool that Andrew developed—a fill in the blank sticker that reads, "I believe in..."—has catalyzed conversations about important issues in high schools across the country.

LEARN MORE

2014

Award Recipients

Paige Alenick

Woodcliff Lake, NJ | 18

One night while brushing her teeth, Paige thought about the toothbrush in her hand, and how fortunate she was to have the small necessity.

LEARN MORE

Tyler Barbee

Mill Valley, CA | 16

Moved and motivated by watching his older brother manage the challenges of autism, Tyler was inspired to help teens with special needs to explore, expand, and celebrate their own abilities.

LEARN MORE

Zach Certner

Morristown, NJ | 18

Driven to create opportunities for kids like Mikey to be part of the fun, Zach and his brother co-founded SNAP (Special Needs Athletic Programs), a project that provides opportunities for children with special needs to participate in athletic and social programming.

LEARN MORE

Jonny Cohen

Highland Park, IL | 19

During a walk home from school in seventh grade, Jonny began contemplating the environmental footprint of the school buses that passed by him—and how a design change might reduce emissions and cut fuel costs for buses nationwide.

LEARN MORE

Morgan Davidson

Woodland Hills, CA | 16

In four years Morgan successfully founded two Ambassadors for Hope Club high school chapters, recruited over 250 Be the Match donors, matched four individuals with donors, and raised over $45,000 for City of Hope.

LEARN MORE

Jacob Gardenswartz

La Mesa, CA | 18

Sitting through a fairly typical school lecture about the ills of bullying, Jacob was inspired to find a more captivating way to get teens to empathize with their peers.

LEARN MORE

Katie Hamelburg

Potomac, MD | 19

Katie set out to empower teens to participate in projects that fix the world, one volunteer hour at a time. To accomplish this, Katie launched Operation 18,000 to channel the volunteer energy of United Synagogue Youth (USY).

LEARN MORE

Amanda Harris

Atlanta, GA | 19

A dancer at heart, Amanda created Wear then Share to empower underprivileged children through dance and provide them with the dancewear they need to take center stage.

LEARN MORE

Maxine Harvey

Methuen, MA | 18

Maxine experienced first-hand the transformative power an individual can make in another’s life when she was adopted from China by a single mother in Massachusetts. From a young age, Maxine has been finding ways to pay it forward.

LEARN MORE

Yoni Kalin

Washington, DC | 19

After watching a restaurant server throw away barely-used crayons at the end of a family meal, Yoni saw an opportunity to turn trash into treasure.

LEARN MORE

Lillian Pravda

New York, NY | 14

Lillian began volunteering in a pediatric surgical unit when she was 8. Since then, she has helped provide 24,210 children with the gift of sight.

LEARN MORE

Adena Rochelson

Fayetteville, NY | 15

A passionate advocate, Adena diligently campaigns to raise awareness of how everyday items can improve the quality of life of people living at or below the poverty line.

LEARN MORE

Yaniv Sadka

Beverly Hills, CA | 18

Teens Curing Cancer (TCC) began with one boy, Benny, and his battle with lymphoma.

LEARN MORE

Joshua Toch

Morgan Hill, CA | 18

After experiencing significant bullying as a result of having cerebral palsy, Joshua one day decided to speak up about his experience. The response led him to keep stepping up and speaking out.

LEARN MORE

Samantha Vinik

Millburn, NJ | 17

Samantha, who was born with severe hearing loss, always wanted to help others prevent the loss she couldn’t avoid. She started by working with a few friends to design a lesson on how to prevent noise-induced hearing loss.

LEARN MORE

2013

Award Recipients

Jake Bernstein

St. Louis, MO | 19

Jake developed a passion for volunteering at a young age, but found that very few volunteer activities existed for teens and tweens. To address this void, Jake created volunTEENnation.org to help connect teens with available volunteer opportunities.

LEARN MORE

Skylar Dorosin

Palo Alto, CA | 18

Skylar created Project 2020 to give young girls from lower-income communities the opportunity to be a part of a team, to learn how to swim, and to play water polo, building their self-esteem, teamwork, and collaboration skills.

LEARN MORE

Ellie Dubin

Beverly Hills, CA | 17

Ellie created a student-run musical theatre program called Kesem Shel Shir (the Magic of Music) to bring music and performing arts programming to students at public schools with little or no funding for such programs.

LEARN MORE

Jordan Elist

Beverly Hills, CA | 18

Jordan created Save a Bottle, Save a Life, to bring his community together in both recycling and in supporting the work of their local food bank.

LEARN MORE

Ben Hirschfeld

Hastings-on-Hudson, NY | 19

When Ben learned that students in the developing world often study by the light of kerosene lamps, which puts them at risk for burns, asthma, pneumonia, and breathing in toxic carcinogens, he was inspired to create Lit! Solar.

LEARN MORE

Ido Kedar

West Hills, CA | 17

Ido, a young man with non-verbal autism, is a writer, blogger, and presenter who offers parents, educators, and researchers a first-hand look into the internal reality of those with severe autism.

LEARN MORE

Talia Leman

Waukee, IA | 18

After successfully inspiring and encouraging her peers to raise more than $10 million trick-or-treating for spare change in an effort to fundraise for Hurricane Katrina/Rita relief, Talia established the nonprofit RandomKid to harness and focus the power of her peers.

LEARN MORE

Nick Lowinger

Cranston, RI | 15

Inspired by a volunteer experience when he was five years old, Nick created the Gotta Have Sole Foundation to provide properly fitting shoes to children in homeless shelters.

LEARN MORE

Max Wallack

Natick, MA | 17

After watching his great-grandmother’s decline as a result of Alzheimer’s, Max launched PuzzlesToRemember to give other Alzheimer’s patients an opportunity to feel the same therapeutic relief his great-grandmother felt doing puzzles.

LEARN MORE

Talia Young

Lafayette, CA | 18

Talia created a spoken word club entitled Looking for Home to nurture a supportive environment where teens could express themselves freely.

LEARN MORE

2012

Award Recipients

Zak Kukoff

Thousand Oaks, CA | 17

Zak’s project, Autism Ambassadors, works to create a positive learning and social environment for autistic students while helping develop understanding of and empathy for autism among neuro-typical students.

LEARN MORE

Joe Langerman

Coronado, CA | 19

Joe created Voices Against Cruelty, Hatred and Intolerance (VACHI) to educate teachers, students, and parents about the negative effects bullying can have on youth.

LEARN MORE

Daniel Rosenthal

Santa Rosa, CA | 15

Daniel created Magic Is Medicine to bring the joy of magic to those needing an emotional lift, including hospital patients and residents in rehabilitation and assisted living centers.

LEARN MORE

Adam Weinstein

Los Angeles, CA | 18

Adam's tutoring program encourages and stimulates an enthusiasm for the study of math and science in Los Angeles-area school-aged children through after school engagement and enrichment.

LEARN MORE

Celine Yousefzadeh

Los Angeles, CA | 19

Celine's fashion shows empower high school students to have fun while raising money for causes that support youth-focused charities in Israel.

LEARN MORE

2011

Award Recipients

Gabe Ferrick

Santa Rosa, CA | 16

Gabe's walks raise awareness and funds to ameliorate the suffering of survivors of contemporary genocide in Africa.

LEARN MORE

Liza Gurtin

La Jolla, CA | 17

Liza's leadership in the Walk for Water helped raise awareness and over $40,000 to build water wells throughout Tanzania, Nicaragua, and around the world.

LEARN MORE

Naftali Moed

Pacifica, CA | 16

Naftali conceived of, rallied support for, and led the building of an organic garden at his high school that he designed to promote organic farming and preservation of green space.

LEARN MORE

Casey Robbins

Carmichael, CA | 17

Casey collected thousands of books for schools in Liberia, following the devastation of their 14-year civil war.

LEARN MORE

Daniel Sobajian

Los Angeles, CA | 17

Daniel organized school supply drives in the Los Angeles area, ensuring that children of all economic realities could return to school each fall with the supplies needed to fully participate in the classroom.

LEARN MORE

2010

Award Recipients

Jason Bade

Foster City | 19

Jason engaged like-minded students in a successful effort to have solar power generation installed at the six high schools across his school district.

LEARN MORE

Megan Kilroy

Santa Monica | 18

Megan worked to raise teen and adults consciousness on how their consumption and recycling choices impact our oceans and our planet.

LEARN MORE

David Schenirer

Sacramento | 18

David worked to ensure all teens in his community had access to the social, academic, and pre-professional resources all teens need to succeed.

LEARN MORE

David Weingarten

Woodland Hills | 18

David made the most of his involvement in United Synagogue Youth (USY) to assist Jewish youth of the Abayudaya tribe in Uganda to develop a strong Jewish youth culture.

LEARN MORE

Kyle Weiss

Danville | 17

Kyle raises money to provide soccer fields, soccer equipment and to host soccer tournaments throughout Africa and beyond.

LEARN MORE

2009

Award Recipients

Max Einhorn

La Jolla | 18

Max helped raise awareness about disaster preparedness planning and raised funds to support emergency preparedness services in his local community.

LEARN MORE

Eric Feldman

Palo Verdes Estates | 18

Eric was inspired by his grandfather’s example to use jazz and classical music concerts to raise funds to pay for the education of orphans in Kenya.

LEARN MORE

Aaron Feuer

Los Angeles | 18

Aaron engaged and worked with membership of California high school’s student councils in order to harness their leadership potential to address issues critical to public education.

LEARN MORE

Jackie Rotman

Santa Barbara | 17

Jackie used dance as a vehicle for helping at-risk youth develop greater self-esteem and a sense of the value and importance of community service.

LEARN MORE

Erin Schrode

Ross | 18

Erin was inspired to educate teens about the environmental impact of their shopping habits to promote healthy and green choices.

LEARN MORE

2008

Award Recipients

Ronit Abramson

San Diego | 17

Ronit's dedication to environmentalism and science led her to be the San Diego Zoo’s 2008 Arctic Ambassador for the Year of the Polar Bear, enabling her to share with students all over the world the results of her studies in the Canadian Arctic.

LEARN MORE

Eric Heimark

Palo Alto | 18

Eric was motivated to help youth in the developing world based on their pressing needs, and to help privileged teens in other countries see themselves as actors empowered to support this effort.

LEARN MORE

Shelby Layne

Pacific Palisades | 17

Shelby created, gathered, and sold jewelry to raise funds to purchase solar ovens for refugees from the genocide in Darfur.

LEARN MORE

Fred Scarf

Sherman Oaks | 18

Deeply impacted by a friend’s death from cancer, Fred created a fundraising and programming effort to aid in cancer research funding and to address the social and emotional needs of teens living with cancer.

LEARN MORE

Sarah Van Zanten

Palo Alto | 19

Sarah became an advocate for prevention of teen relationship violence after her own personal experience with it, serving as an educator and a role model for young women in such situations.

LEARN MORE

2007

Award Recipients

Amanda Haworth

La Jolla | 16

Amanda, seeing and experience intolerance of others among her high school classmates, developed a tolerance education program that was initially launched with high school students and then formalized as part of the middle school curriculum.

LEARN MORE

Allison Hoffman

Los Altos | 17

Allison Hoffman created YADA: Youth Alliance for Darfur Action to leverage the energy and passion of her fellow high school students to draw greater public attention to the genocide in Darfur and to work to lessen its impact.

LEARN MORE

Justin Sachs

Carlsbad | 18

Justin created a program encouraging teens to develop their leadership potential and abilities while also serving the needs of the underprivileged in their community.

LEARN MORE

Shira Shane

Encino | 18

Shira worked to bring attention to the genocide in Darfur, Sudan and to engage teens in securing aid for those in need of support and protection.

LEARN MORE

Erich Sorger

Beverly Hills | 16

Erich created a program that reduced student waste on the UCLA campus and supported the National Council of Jewish Women's programs to assist women, children, and families in need.

LEARN MORE