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Emily-Anne, 19

emily anne

Emily-Anne, Virginia

As a victim of severe bullying, Emily-Anne was compelled to start WeStopHate.org, a nonprofit changing the way teens view themselves through the power of online videos and social media.  Emily-Anne’s project focuses on teen-esteem because she believes that when self-esteem increases, bullying will decline, as people who are happy with themselves do not put others down.

WeStopHate is more than just an anti-bullying program; it is a call to action to stop hate:  to stop hating on yourself, stop hating others, stop letting others hate on you. After just 8 months, WeStopHate was ranked the 27th All-Time Most Subscribed Nonprofit YouTube channel and has created a dynamic community for expression and conversation for over 100,000 teens. Many well-known YouTubers and celebrities, such as Lady Gaga, have responded to her mission and have helped Emily-Anne and WeStopHate spread its message. Emily-Anne believes, “It is my life’s work to help others turn self-hatred into self-love.”

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2015 peace first prize winners

Brennan

brennan projectBrennan Lewis, 18, Apex, NC

Growing up a member of the LGBTQ community in North Carolina, Brennan saw firsthand the difficulties and feelings of isolation that LGBTQ youth can endure in a heteronormative environment. And while Brennan was very fortunate to have a loving support system in their family and friends, they saw others who weren’t as lucky. So with a strong sense of compassion, Brennan and a friend took action and courageously created QueerNC.

Grace

grace projectGrace Callwood, 10, Abingdon, MD

Grace is a cancer survivor who learned, through giving away clothing that didn’t fit her post-treatment, that anyone and everyone can help brighten the day of their neighbor. The girls who received Grace’s donation had just moved into a homeless housing complex and were thrilled to be getting new clothes for school. After hearing what a difference her donation made in their day, Grace wanted to help other children who were going through tough times.

Jasmine

jasmine projectJasmine Babers, 19, Rock Island, IL

After watching her best friend and sister endure bullying and witnessing the devastating effects that it can have on them, Jasmine decided it was time someone created an outlet to promote compassion and tolerance among young women.

Xiuhtezcatl

xiuhtezcatl project 2Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, 15, Boulder, CO

Growing up, Xiuhtezcatl’s father emphasized his obligation to taking care of the land – a privilege and responsibility that, in a world ravaged by climate change, he does not take lightly. He has been on the front lines of the fight for the environment since he was four, attending and leading rallies and summits, always willing to confront adult leaders for the current climate crisis we see today.

Yasmine

yasminearringtonactionphototwoYasmine Arrington, 22, Washington D.C.

2.7 million young people in the US have an incarcerated parent, and statistics show that they are more likely to drop out of high school and go to jail themselves because of it. Yasmine is one of those 2.7 million; she has experienced firsthand the financial and emotional burdens, and the marginalization that a family goes through as a result. And through building a meaningful relationship with her incarcerated parent, by forgiving him, she was motivated to do something to support her peers and help them find their own peace of mind and end this cycle of incarceration.