St. Louis, MO | 19
2013 Award Recipient
Inspired by the overwhelming volunteer support his family received during his father’s military deployment, Jake Bernstein developed a passion for volunteerism at a young age. However, Jake found that very few volunteer activities existed for tweens and teens. To create more opportunities, Jake recruited his peers to lead one-on-one sports clinics for more than 575 youth with special needs—starting with one tennis clinic and growing it into an ongoing initiative that is spreading across the country. Through his success with the clinics, Jake and his sister created a nonprofit and website, volunTEENnation.org, which connects teens with available volunteer opportunities and encourages organizations to allow teen participation. Countless teens contribute to the website, promote volunteer opportunities, and are involved with its ambassador and intern program. Through social media, volunTEENnation has made connections with local, national, and international schools and nonprofit organizations. Jake continues to broaden his work to match teens with volunteer and service-learning opportunities and support youth-led service projects worldwide.