Zak founded Autism Ambassadors after seeing his autistic cousin ostracized and alienated in the classroom. Moved by her experience he created this peer-led program to foster friendships between students with and without autism, and to teach autistic students social, emotional and academic skills.
Joseph Langerman (Coronado): Voices Against Cruelty, Hatred and Intolerance (VACHI)
Joe stood up to bullying by starting Voices Against Cruelty, Hatred and Intolerance. He has engaged and educated teachers, students and parents about the prevalence and impact of bullying, combatting intolerance at his own school and beyond.
Daniel Rosenthal (Santa Rosa): Magic is MedicinePerformances Turn “Oy” into “Joy”
As an eight-year-old, Daniel began performing magic tricks for hospital patients. Inspired by the healing power of laughter, he established Magic is Medicine, coordinating other volunteer magicians who give magic shows in hospitals, schools and rehabilitation and assisted living centers across the country. Adam Weinstein (Los Angeles): Archimedes Learning Brings Math & Science to Life for Youth
Adam’s love for math and science encouraged him to share his passion with underprivileged fifth graders in Los Angeles. He started Archimedes Learning to teach students through fun hands-on and creative activities and demonstrations – setting them up to succeed in two subjects that are vital to their and America’s future. Celine Yousefzadeh (Los Angeles), Fashion with Compassion Shows Support Israeli Youth
Celine felt a responsibility to help students in S’derot, Israel, after Gaza Strip rocket attacks devastated their high school. She began Fashion with Compassion, an annual event that turns hundreds of students into fashion show models, planners and philanthropists raising money for Israeli charities.
These remarkable teens were chosen through an arduous yet inspiring selection process from 142 outstanding nominees. Learn more about the nomination process.
The awards were launched in 2007. These extraordinary teens were recognized as the 2007 recipients: Amanda Haworth (La Jolla), Allison Hoffman (Los Altos), Justin Sachs (Carlsbad), Shira Shane (Encino) and Erich Sorger (Beverly Hills)
The 2008 recipients were: Eric Heimark (Palo Alto), Fred Scarf (Sherman Oaks), Ronit Abramson (San Diego), Sarah Van Zanten (Palo Alto), and Shelby Layne (Pacific Palisades)
The 2009 recipients were: Max Einhorn (La Jolla), Eric Feldman (Palos Verdes Estates), Aaron Feuer (Los Angeles), Jacqueline Rotman (Santa Barbara), and Erin Schrode (Ross)