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Kylee McCumber headshot smallerKylee M., 12, Massachusetts

Kylee was in shock when she found out how many kids—kids just like her—were struggling just to get food every day, and she decided then that she couldn’t allow it to continue. “The thought that someone my age could be going to bed hungry really saddened me.” To combat this issue, she founded Kylee’s Kare Kits for Kidz, Inc., which provides the children in her community food every Friday that can get them through the weekend, when they’re not being fed in school. She worked with her administration and the guidance counselors to identify the kids in need, and in order to fund the kits she organized fundraisers and accepted donations, finding that most people in her community were very supportive of her cause. “There will always be people who don't agree with what you are doing but if in your heart you feel you should be doing it then just do it!” Kylee’s Kare Kits for Kidz, Inc. has even been able to help these kids over holidays and vacations. As of right now she aids over 150 children every week, but Kylee hopes to keep expanding this number, her goal being to help as many kids as she possible can.

The thought that someone my age could be going to bed hungry really saddened me.

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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.