With innovation and ideas in the air at this year’s Leading Change Summit, we at NTEN were thrilled to present our second annual Leading Change Summit Awards to honor several organizations and individuals who have taken innovative approaches and blazed new paths for social change. Based on the inspiring nominations we received from the community, we were honored to select the three recipients for this year’s awards:
Leading Change Award: Sharon Stapel from the New York City Anti-Violence Project
The Leading Change Award recognizes an outstanding individual whose leadership has made a significant contribution to positively change her organization, her community, and the sector. As Sharon Stapel ends her 7-year tenure as Executive Director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP), the impact of her leadership can be seen beyond AVP to the LGBTQ community and the larger anti-violence movement. Not only is Sharon’s impact apparent in measurable ways such as the expansion of AVP’s budget, services, and the many management and service awards AVP gained under Sharon’s direction, but also in the ways that aren’t as easily measured. Her efforts can be seen in the stories from survivors of violence who’ve been helped, organizations nationwide that benefited from her tireless national advocacy, and the increased attention to issues of anti-LGBTQ hate violence and intimate partner violence. The tremendous progress made on anti-violence issues in the last 7 years is in no small part due to Sharon’s visionary leadership.
Campaign of the Year Award: “Girl Scouts is #forEVERYgirl” by the Girl Scouts of Western Washington
The Campaign of the Year Award highlights a specific campaign that utilizes an integrated model for technology-supported outreach, communications, and action. When the Girl Scouts of Western Washington were asked to return a $100,000 donation from a donor because they accepted transgender girls, they turned what could have been a defeating blow to their budget into an opportunity for advocacy and change. They risked returning a big donation and quickly launched an online crowdfunding campaign in response. Their #ForEVERYGirl campaign ended up raising over three times the amount they had to return, mobilized numerous new supporters, and promoted inclusivity for all girls.
Technology Impact Award: Simone Bernstein for volunTEENnation.org
The Technology Impact Award honors either a technical solution or innovation, from a vendor or nonprofit, that demonstrates the power of technology to connect people with resources and create a more just and equitable world. Simone Bernstein, a volunteer, founder and president of volunTEENnation, created the first national youth-led platform to engage youth in improving their local community and the greater world. Simone started volunteering at an early age to try to give back to the community, but had difficulty finding nonprofits that welcomed youth under age 16, sometimes even 18, due to liability, security, and safety reasons. As a result, Simone took action and contacted administrators, educators, government officials, and businesses to find ways to engage youth in improving her region. The success of her local volunteer service and encouragement of nonprofits willing to bring on youth volunteers inspired Simone to create volunTEENnation.org. To date, the site has connected over 1,000,375 youth to volunteer opportunities using tech and social media, and has donated over $15,000,000 and over 45,475,892 service hours to nonprofit organizations.
Congratulations to all three award winners. We’re honored, humbled, and more than a little inspired by the impact of all your efforts.