Best Buy @15 Finalists


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All 30 finalists of the Best Buy @15 Challenge to recognize most outstanding Youth Venturers.

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Best Buy @15 Finalists

  1. 2. Pure Water Vending Jane, 17 – Merrimack, NH Mission To prevent death from contaminated drinking water in 3 rd world countries How Raise money through vending machine sales to purchase and install sand filters in remote villages Impact Raised $600, enough money for 8 water filters @15 Goal Install 4-5 more vending machines in locations around and beyond Merrimack to increase profits
  2. 3. Green Teens U.S.A. Jessie, 16 – Willington, CT Mission To develop a more environmentally conscious community How Small but effective lifestyle changes: giving out reusable grocery bags and replacing old light bulbs with Compact Fluorescents Impact Community engagement and recognition and education of younger age group @15 Goal Initiate the Compost Caf. Project: install composting system in cafeteria and transition cafeteria to biodegradable plates and reusable flatware
  3. 4. Illick’s Mill Project Megan, 16 – Bethlehem, PA Mission To restore and protect Monocacy Creek watershed and wildlife How Restoring historic Illick’s Mill into an education center on environmental preservation and protection Impact Organized hundreds of volunteers in renovation effort; community’s central environmental group @15 Goal Raise completion funds for the historic Mill’s restoration
  4. 5. JJ Express Jack, 15 – North Potomac, MD Mission To inspire youth to create change through avant-garde art How Socially-minded youth magazine Impact Distributed magazine with global contributors to hundreds of youth @15 Goal Expand scope of magazine and subsidize printing and shipping costs internationally
  5. 6. RandomKid Talia, 13 – Waukee, IA Mission To empower a generation of philanthropists through computer technology How A website to coordinate youth fundraising efforts to solve real-world problems Impact Raised $350,000; worked with thousands of kids; funds raised rebuilt schools and helped hurricane victims in Louisiana @15 Goal Finish development of the website to more efficiently coordinate these fundraising and resource efforts
  6. 7. Project Feed Me Patrick, 18 – Syracuse, NY Mission To combat hunger and the lack of youth involvement in philanthropy How Involve youth in providing food to local families Impact Garnered support from over 1,000 local students; raised money for Thanksgiving Day turkey give-a-way in Harlem @15 Goal Increase visibility and food resources to give away; spread to colleges across the country
  7. 8. The Opp-Guide to Community Service, Inc. Wendi, 16 – Southwest Ranches, FL Mission To educate youth about local service opportunities How A website that provides youth-written reviews of service experiences with local nonprofit organizations Impact Recognition in student and nonprofit community, averaging 15,000 hits per month @15 Goal Expand market reach and spread to other communities nationally
  8. 9. Play it 4ward Andre, 17 – Indianapolis, IN Mission To address violence and obesity among local youth How Sporting events and a mentoring and tutoring service Impact Launched a city-wide anti-smoking campaign; partnered with other community organizations @15 Goal Increase outreach and exposure; upgrade supplies for sports and mentorship activities
  9. 10. Girls Helping Girls Sejal, 17 – Fremont, CA Mission To empower girls to transform their world How Managing international initiatives that encourage domestic leadership around poverty, education, health, and peace, and international fundraising efforts Impact Involved over 5,000 girls in 15 countries and raised over $30,000 @15 Goal Reach 10,000 new girls through existing programs and a new social networking site, Sisters-4-Peace
  10. 11. AstroTots Becca, 17 – Layton, UT Mission To break down gender gap in the sciences How Providing free science camps for at-risk girls ages 4-10 Impact Conducted camps across the country, with invitations to go global @15 Goal Expand existing program and train new camp leaders internationally
  11. 12. Vincent, 17 – Antioch, CA Mission To provide accessible, convenient, and affordable education assistance How Interactive online study hall with peer-to-peer learning and an affordable tutoring service Impact Helps students better understand their schoolwork in a forum with global reach @15 Goal Increase visibility in the community and offer school-specific tutoring and test preparation services
  12. 13. Dons Net Café Maria, 17 – Santa Barbara, CA Mission To pioneer new business models of responsible and ethical entrepreneurship How Free tax assistance to low-income families, funded by a for-profit recycling business Impact Trained over 300 youth volunteers, filed thousands of tax returns, and helped beautify the community through recycling and clean-up efforts @15 Goal Purchase laptops to increase mobility and outreach capabilities
  13. 14. Turtle Talks Zander, 18 – Honolulu, HI Mission To highlight the significant role of youth in conservation How Educating coastal children on the challenges facing sea turtles around the world Impact Over 100,000 self-written Turtle Talks Activity Books in circulation, translated into 3 languages @15 Goal Translate the booklet into Portuguese and Ngobi; enhance “sister school” program by increasing interaction between coastal schools internationally
  14. 15. Wetlands Education Clay, 14 – Chesterland, OH Mission To combat childhood obesity How Incorporate healthy food from the school vegetable garden into school cafeteria offerings Impact Introduced new curriculum based on healthy alternatives and started an Outdoor Classroom @15 Goal Construct large, sustainable school garden and implement curriculum focused on healthy active lifestyles
  15. 16. My Own Book Brady, 18 – Fairfield, CA Mission To spread the joy of reading to disadvantaged children How Readings and book giveaways to K-3 rd graders led by teen volunteers Impact Donated over 13,000 books to children across the United States @15 Goal Purchase 4,000 new children’s books and organize national “Love of Reading Month” in February
  16. 17. Always Ready Kids Konstantine, 16 – Lake Forest, IL Mission To help youth and their families prepare for disasters How Provide safety preparedness kits and informational seminars Impact Worked with over 8,500 kids and donated $20,000 to disaster relief efforts @15 Goal Expand program locations and buy supplies for more preparedness kits
  17. 18. Richard’s Rwanda Jessica, 13 – Seattle, WA Mission To empower girls to be future leaders and build peace in Rwanda How Build friendships between American and Rwandan girls and support educational opportunities for girls in rural Rwanda Impact Supplied resources for 22 Rwandan girls to attend school for one year; opened supporting branch in urban Kigali @15 Goal Build a learning center in rural Rwanda
  18. 19. The Children’s Bilingual Theater Jordan, 15 – Marietta, GA Mission To encourage tolerance through theater How Integrate Spanish and English speakers in bilingual theater performance Impact Raised over $30,000; performed multiple plays for diverse audiences; partnered with many community organizations @15 Goal Launch “Mr. Ooba’s TEAM” performances – a play about bullying developmentally disabled children
  19. 20. Box City Vigil Molly, 17 – Bloomington, MN Mission To increase awareness about youth homelessness How Hosting the annual Box City Vigil on the Capitol lawn and lobbying the State Legislature Impact Hundreds of participants encouraged MN legislature to pass Runaway Homeless Youth Bill @15 Goal Increase visibility and scale of event to month-long learning experience
  20. 21. Job-Link Racine David, 17 – Racine, WI Mission To provide homeless teenagers the opportunities to escape poverty How Linking homeless teens with part-time jobs and professional development Impact Gained support of school district, community homeless organizations, and local United Way @15 Goal Support basic assistance to participants, including: bus tokens, professional attire, and work permits
  21. 22. Tote-ally Awesome Jasmine, 17 – Los Angeles, CA Mission To provide holistic alternatives to plastic grocery bags How Selling recycled and organic tote bags in local grocery stores Impact Donates 60% of proceeds to charity: Heal the Bay and the Santa Monica Red Cross @15 Goal Expand inventory, increase advertising, and develop complementary educational materials
  22. 23. SEAS (Students Extending Assistance to Students) Will, 16 – Chappaqua, NY Mission To relieve the hardships of youth affected by Hurricane Katrina How Raising money and directly engaging affected youth through “You Are Special” inspirational campaign Impact Raised upwards of $10,000 and engaged 150 youth directly in “You Are Special” letter writing @15 Goal Initiate “Save the Music” campaign to send instruments to after-school music programs for kids in New Orleans
  23. 24. School Yard Habitat Zachary, 17 – Pittsburgh, PA Mission To increase awareness on environmental issues How An Environmental Education Center at North Hills Junior/Senior High Campus Impact Created an eco-friendly flower garden and started a junior high environmental club to be mentored by the high school environmental club @15 Goal Complete construction of the Environmental Education Center: organic garden, composting facilities, and outdoor amphitheater
  24. 25. Team Ultimate Kayla, 17 – Shirley, MA Mission To empower inner city girls to lead healthy lifestyles How Teaching girls teamwork through the sport of Ultimate Frisbee Impact Mentors approximately 100 girls per year, giving girls productive physical and emotional outlet @15 Goal Make project sustainable and expand into new cities  
  25. 26. Wild and Water Swimming Laura, 18 – New Orleans, LA Mission To improve swimming and water safety skills among low-income children How Free swim lessons in metropolitan Atlanta and New Orleans Impact Conducted lessons for over 150 youth @15 Goal Expand program to other universities in Atlanta and New Orleans; start Lifeguarding Classes Program
  26. 27. The Resychos Travis, 17 – Coventry, RI Mission To reduce the ecological footprint of their school and community How Recycling efforts, reducing energy use through solar power, bio-diesel bus Impact Introduced an effective school recycling program @15 Goal Convert an old school bus to bio-diesel and produce a sing-along music CD to inspire younger generations to be environmentally responsible
  27. 28. Sayre Philemon Society Rebecca, 17 – Georgetown, KY Mission To instill good citizenship in students by providing practical leadership learning How Raising and allocating funds, as a student-run foundation, to organizations that address the root causes of abuse and poverty in central Kentucky Impact Raised over $50,000 in 3 years, donating money to over 10 agencies @15 Goal Increase donor giving and further establish the Philemon Society’s reputation in the community
  28. 29. D.A.N.C.E. DaTrice, 18 – East Lansing, MI Mission To provide the art of dance and mentorship to underprivileged youth How Free dance lessons and school tutoring services to inner-city youth Impact Educational achievement and confidence increased among 5 th grade participants @15 Goal Expand program into new cities and provide more scholarship opportunities
  29. 30. Hats for the Homeless Rachel, 16 – Fort Collins, CO Mission To provide warmth and comfort to the homeless How Delivering hand-made hats, scarves, and blankets to local homeless shelters Impact Donated over 1,000 items to local shelters; raised awareness in community and school @15 Goal Increase production by 80% by purchasing new sewing machines and materials; extend efforts to Denver
  30. 31. 24/Y News Myles, 15 – Bronx, NY Mission To provide creative pre-professional learning to underserved urban youth How Project-based youth training program in partnership with established news outlets Impact Increased skills among young people; only youth reporters at both Democratic and Republican National Conventions @15 Goal Produce daily newscast and news stories for underserved young people in partner schools across the country