Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2017 – A Kid’s Tale: A Story of Social-Entrepreneurship

Name: Chris Scazzero
From: New York, NY
Grade: Junior (2015-2016), currently a senior
School: Regis High School
Votes: 0

While
attending the Catapult Incubator Program at the University of
Chicago’s Center of Innovation, I was introduced to Kids Tales, a
social nonprofit helping underserved children find their voice by
composing and publishing their own short stories. After hearing its
mission, I immediately fell in love with Kids Tales. I’ve always
enjoyed being with young children and serving those in need; Kids
Tales perfectly combines the two. For the first time ever, I was
helping a classroom full of students refine their essential literacy
skills, and inspiring them to enjoy writing. Although developing
student interest proved to be challenging at the beginning, after
implementing shorter lessons and greater teacher engagement our
students couldn’t put their pencils down!


Today,
as an Executive Board member, I have the ability to make strategic
decisions for the organization, and the freedom to carry out my own
initiatives. For example, to grow our influence, I launched an
expansion program creating a 55-page handbook with step-by-step
instructions on how to run a workshop. I then established
relationships with dozens of schools and community centers, recruited
top high school students, and led a city-wide fundraising campaign;
that summer, we held 10 workshops with 75 volunteers and 250 children
in the NYC area. But, we did not stop there. I then launched a
large-scale marketing/social media campaign, enhanced the curriculum,
and helped to expand our footprint globally. Last summer alone, we
ran 37 workshops in 5 countries with 500+ published stories!

Looking
back, I’m so grateful for my time with Kids Tales. Who knew that
while I was trying to change their lives, they would in fact bring
such profound joy to mine; my volunteer work, which totaled about 10
hours of work almost every week for two and a half years, has without
a doubt created some of my closest friendships and held some of my
happiest memories.
And, I
take great pride knowing that I have brought the joy of writing into
so many young lives while giving high school students across the
world the opportunity to become change-makers. In both cases, I
believe our influence has helped spark a future of ambition,
achievement and passion.

I
will never stop looking forward, or stop dreaming of a better future.
With Kids Tales and beyond, I know I will dedicate my life to
improving our world, one idea at a time.


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