The Encouragement Foundation, sponsor of this year’s National Day of Encouragement, launched its “7 Days Across America” campaign to showcase the impressive actions of today’s youth. The tour, which began September 5 in San Francisco, will conclude in New York City awarding a $5,000 college scholarship on its third annual National Day of Encouragement, September 12.
“‘7 Days Across America’ was created to challenge the negative stereotype of teenagers today,” said Andrew Baker, executive director of the Encouragement Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that raises awareness about the benefits of encouraging others. “The campaign will honor teenagers who are positive influences. We hope their stories of generosity, sacrifice, and compassion will motivate others to become lights of encouragement by getting involved in their own schools and communities.”
The movement will visit 14 U.S. cities in seven days spotlighting stories of young people like Ashlee Smith (10) of Reno, NV, who founded Ashlee’s Toy Closet which collects toys, books and clothes and donates them to children who have lost their homes by fire, natural disaster or economic crisis.
Two other teens making a difference:
- Fernandez-Han (15), of Houston, TX, developed the a system that treats waste, fights greenhouse gases and produces food, fuel and oxygen. “Basically, it turns sunlight, CO2, and just water – it can be waste water or saltwater- turns that into food, fuel, fertilizer and sanitation,” said Javier Fernandez-Han, who hopes his project will one day help developing countries.
- Vinay Trevedi (18), of Philadelphia, honored his grandfather by founding Senior Link, an organization through which young people help residents of senior homes feel more connected to society by teaching them the skills necessary to use computers and the Internet.
The public can vote for the youth that most inspires them on a website where these inspiring stories are posted, at www.7daysacrossamerica.com. Finalists will be flown to New York for the finale, compliments of Southwest Airlines. The young winner will receive a scholarship at the National Day of Encouragement celebration at Town Hall Theater in New York City, which will also honor a team of young filmmakers by premiering their new documentary, “One Drop,” a documentary that illustrates the impact of clean water on the lives of people around the world.
The National Day of Encouragement was created in June, 2007 by a group of students at the National Leadership Forum, an experiential leadership camp for teenagers from around the country, at Harding University in Searcy, AR. It works to remedy the discouragement “epidemic” prevalent in schools and in society, which, according to the teens, can be the root of serious problems, including drugs and alcohol.
The students unanimously agreed that a day set aside to encourage others would be the first step to combating discouragement and making the world a better place. Visit the Encouragement Foundation for more inspiring stories.
(Photo courtesy of Sun Star)
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