Paige Kirschner is a senior at Waukee High School in Des Moines, Iowa. Paige is a creative thinker that has worked hard to make her community a better place for children and teens. For the past four years she has served as a board member of Community Youth Concepts’ uVoice: Youth Philanthropy Board, and is in her second year as Co-Chair where she not only helps plan and facilitate meetings but also provides leadership in recruitment, marketing, event planning, communications, and speaking at community meetings to share why uVoice and youth voice is vital to change in the community. Paige presented at the Iowa Youth Philanthropy Conference and prepared grant proposals so uVoice could receive additional funding. Paige also volunteers with Community Youth Concepts and helped to plan a youth-only event to accompany the Science Center’s Mind Matters Exhibit, which tackled mental health-related issues.
Juan Carlos Oropeza is a senior at North High School in Des Moines, Iowa. Juan Carlos leads the CORE Diversity Team at North High School and is a state representative for the Iowa Department of Education Equity Team. He has participated in Al Éxito (AÉ) programs since he was in 6th grade and through the years has led his peers in addressing important social justice issues and in activities such as “get out the vote” campaigns, educating and advocating through professional development opportunities, and working in partnership with local community organizations to share LatinX story and issues. Juan Carlos has continued to develop his leadership skills and has been placed in paid leadership roles like AÉ’s youth-led business |drēm|sēd| creative team, participated in numerous other prestigious programs in the community, and recently spearheaded a youth mental health summit with MidIowa Health and Science Center. Juan Carlos maintains a 4+ GPA and will be attending ISU in the Fall.
Janna Noori is in 6th Grade at Merrill Middle School in Des Moines, Iowa. At 12-years-old, Janna advocates for kindness and stands up for people living in the margins. Janna immigrated to Iowa from Iraq as a child and has faced discrimination and challenges with strength. Janna spent much of 2019 helping plan workshops and youth-led events for Arab youth in Des Moines that address topics like bullying, gender roles, and mental health in Arab communities. Janna also joins her mom in helping with Support for Arab Families in Iowa (SAFI), a sister program incubated by Monsoon Asians & Pacific Islanders in Solidarity, a nonprofit serving victims/survivors of gender-based violence in Asian and Pacific Islander communities in Iowa. Janna has a big heart and loves serving others.
Every year, on the third Thursday of March, thousands of adults send notes, emails, letters, texts, videos (you choose!) to encourage and inspire young people across the country. 2020 AIKD is March 19.
Participating in AIKD is a simple, meaningful way to let youth know how much they are appreciated. Words are powerful – young lives are changed by this day and simple act of your encouragement, love, and kindness.
Here are some resources to help you write a kid in your life:
If you’re interested in being an event sponsor or holding an event in your workplace, please contact us!