On July 31, Kohl’s Department Stores announced the 10 national winners of the Kohl’s Cares® Scholarship Program.
According to the Kohl’s Cares® Scholarship Program release, these exceptional youth, ranging in age from eight to 17, are the recipients of a total of $10,000 in scholarships each for higher education. In addition to the scholarships, Kohl’s will donate $1,000 to a nonprofit organization of each winner’s choice.
Through the Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program, Kohl's is encouraging promising youth to further their education at a time when college costs continue to rise and parents are relying heavily on federal and private student loans to fund higher education.
Winners are chosen based on initiative, leadership, generosity and project benefits and outcome. This year’s winners were selected from more than 35,000 youth nominees nationwide for their volunteer efforts.
National scholarship recipients include:
- Paige Alenick, 17, Woodcliff Lake, N.J. – Paige launched Donate-A-Toothbrush, an organization dedicated to providing the tools to those without access or means to toothbrushes. She’s donated more than 38,000 toothbrushes to more than 20 Third World countries, shelters for battered women and children, a nursery school in Kenya, and victims of Hurricane Sandy.
- Matt Benjamin, 15, Tulsa, Okla. – Matt founded A Chance for the Children, a nonprofit organization that focuses on improving the lives of orphaned children across the world, and raised $31,500 to build a house for orphans in Uganda.
- Nicholas Curley, 8, Chicago, Ill. – In honor of his cousin who has epilepsy, Nicholas ice skated 100 miles and raised $40,000 for the Danny Did Foundation. The Foundation is using the money to purchase monitoring devices that sound an alarm when someone with epilepsy suffers a seizure while sleeping.
- Jayci Derby, 12, San Antonio, Texas – While decorating her grandfather’s grave, Jayci noticed few other war hero graves were being honored, so she set out to address the issue by starting Jayci’s Wreathes for Heroes. She collected more than $18,000 for wreaths and led a group to place them on grave sites at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery for National Wreath Day.
- Adrianna Gonzalez, 11, Kissimmee, Fla. – After seeing students in her own community attending class without adequate school supplies, Adrianna started Little Elves for Little Angels, raising nearly $42,000 to buy new school supplies for children in need and collecting new gifts for more than 200 children this past Christmas.
- Garland Jones, 17, Marietta, Ga. – Garland created the “Back-N-Pack” (Bringing A Child Key Necessities), project to provide food for poor and distressed refugee families in Atlanta, and has collected more than 16,000 pounds of food and raised more than $4,500 for the cause.
- Nur Kose, 14, Newark, Del. – After learning fresh drinking water isn’t available to everyone, Nur created a Well Project team and raised enough money to install 23 wells that provide clean water to more than 69,000 people in Africa.
- Nicholas Lowinger, 15, Cranston, R.I. – After observing many homeless children without proper shoes on their feet, Nicholas started the Gotta Have Sole Foundation, collecting new sneakers, shoes and boots for more than 7,400 homeless children nationwide.
- Sonali Ranaweera, 12, San Jose, Calif. – Sonali’s compassion for children inspired her to start Recycling4Smiles, an organization that has raised more than $3,000 to finance 13 cleft lip surgeries through Smile Train by recycling 7,200 pounds of aluminum, plastic and glass.
- Jessica Streepy, 12, Palatine, Ill. – Jessica devotes her time to advocating for the organization One Day’s Wages and has raised more than $20,000, including profits from the sale of homemade hair and hat clips and scarves from her business B-U-Barrettes, to help alleviate extreme global poverty.
In 2013, Kohl’s celebrates its 13th year of rewarding young volunteers.
Since the program began in 2001, Kohl’s has recognized more than 19,000 kids, including the 2013 winners, with more than $3.9 million in scholarships and prizes.
This year, Kohl’s recognized more than 2,300 young volunteers with more than $400,000 in scholarships and prizes.
The Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program is part of Kohl’s Cares, Kohl’s philanthropic program focused on improving the lives of children. For more information, visit the website.
Congratulations to all the scholarship recipients for their outstanding service to their communities.