Each year, Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards recipients lead extraordinary acts of service, but their journeys to repair the world rarely stop after they receive the Award. The Awards were founded to recognize excellence in teen leadership, but recipients also join a new community and work alongside other Jewish teens to continue repairing the world and learning more about their Jewish heritage and identity. Read on to learn what they are doing now and how Awardees continue to impact their communities.
Peyton Klein. 2018 Recipient
Global Minds [organization which pairs English language learners with native speakers to practice their conversational skills, receive support navigating school systems, and participate in thought-provoking activities] has had a fantastic year impacting over 2,600 students from 65 countries, but beyond that we have built countless friendships and a family of youth dedicated to fostering inclusive schools.
Julie Averbach. 2017 Recipient
Since earning the Diller Award in 2017, I have continued to share copies of my special needs sibling support comic book, and to lead discussions through sibling support groups, Girl Scout troops, and comic conventions. I am currently a junior at Yale University pursuing a double major in psychology and art history, two academic areas aligned with my comic book’s interest in visual culture and emotional expression. Outside of classes, I am the co-chair of the fine arts committee for my college, representing student voices in art acquisition decisions and overseeing the creation of more than 20 student murals so far. I am also founder and president of Campus Girl Scouts, a Yale student-led troop that teaches New Haven Girl Scouts leadership skills through a combination of traditional badge-earning programs and campus engagement. Last summer, I worked as an intern at Girl Scouts of the USA headquarters for the second summer in a row. There, I developed the first comprehensive guide for college-age Girl Scouts to act as troop leaders and make Girl Scout programming available to local girls, especially girls of underserved communities. In my spare time, I love to attend campus lectures, panels, and performances on subjects ranging from Langston Hughes’s poetry to climate change to Japanese literature. I’ve been to 61 of these special presentations to date, and am looking forward to many more learning opportunities in future semesters.
Sydney Kamen. 2017 Recipient
I was recently awarded the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship and will be joining the U.S. Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer. SOAP [Sydney’s Award project works on addressing issues surrounding sanitation and the spread of disease in the under-resourced world] work continues, and I recently completed a health-based approach to peacebuilding program under the auspices of the Davis Projects for Peace Award. In 2018 I was awarded the Harry S. Truman Scholarship for Public Service.
I am still making my way through my senior year at Dartmouth and will graduate this summer after returning from Kosovo. It has been a truly exceptional couple of years since joining the Diller Tikkun Olam family, and I am thrilled to be maintaining my course of service to humanity.
Natalie Hampton. 2018 Recipient
I am currently a sophomore at Stanford University studying Psychology with a concentration in child development and education. Outside of school, I love my job as a preschool teacher, walk backward as a tour guide, and continue to do a lot of advocacy on and off-campus. There have been some very big updates with Sit With Us recently! We just recently expanded our reach from 11 to 32 countries and released a translated version in Spanish! Everything is going very well and I am so excited to continue to be a part of the Diller community!
Sabina London. 2017 Recipient
I’m finishing my senior year at the University of Pennsylvania, where I am majoring in Neuroscience. I’m so thankful for all the support STEM You Can! has received over the past few years and to have such an incredible team of high school and college student volunteers. I’m excited for our curriculum to continue to reach even more kids as we look into new partnerships.
Awards recipients are dedicated to service, giving back, and tikkun olam. Their accomplishments demonstrate that tikkun olam is a lifelong calling and obligation that will be achieved throughout their lives as young adults and beyond.