The Helen Diller Family Foundation’s 15th Annual Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards recognize teens for their leadership in initiatives to make the world a better place.
One of this year’s recipients is Maurice Korish, from Randolph, who is a senior at Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy and a congregant at Mount Freedom Jewish Center. Maurice is also an alumnus of the Diller Teen Fellows program in Greater MetroWest which is another program of the Helen Diller Family Foundation. Maurice is only the second Diller Teen Fellows alum to receive the Tikkun Olam Award in the award’s 15-year history.
Maurice’s initiative, Deliver Together, is a volunteer not-for-profit organization that offers access to a free and reliable grocery shopping/delivery service. It serves homebound elderly and immunocompromised individuals who cannot venture beyond the safety of their homes for fear of contracting COVID-19. All deliveries are managed through Deliver Together’s website which was programmed entirely from scratch. The organization developed personalized software and a unique location algorithm to efficiently match volunteers with clients based on geographic proximity. Deliver Together has engaged in several partnerships with other nonprofits to deliver hundreds of care-packages to struggling families, assist low-income seniors, and gather groceries for vulnerable individuals.
All of this year’s award recipients are working across the globe to address urgent issues, ranging from mental health to education inequity to voter education. Each awardee will receive $36,000 to support their work or further their education. Full descriptions of all 15 Award recipients and their projects can be found at: www.dillerteenawards.org. While some awardees found innovative ways to adapt their existing projects when the pandemic hit, others developed projects in response to the pandemic, addressing pressing newly relevant concerns including mental health, education access, or senior support services. All awardees supported community needs throughout this difficult period, creating networks that mobilized their peers to take collective, meaningful action.
“These teens are being recognized for their extraordinary efforts that embody the values of tikkun olam (to repair the world),” said Phyllis Cook, Chief Philanthropic Consultant to the Helen Diller Family Foundation. “In the face of the unusual challenges of this past year, the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Award recipients exhibit courage, commitment, and compassion, bringing hope for the future. These young leaders inspire all of us to do our part to repair the world.” Now in its 15th year, the national awards recognize young Jewish leaders who are committed to ideas and impact that address the world’s most pressing challenges in the communities around them. This year’s cohort will join a network of awardees who have led marches on Washington, enacted new legislation, raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for cancer research, and fought for health and education equity and environmental justice. Past Awardees have gone on to receive recognition from prestigious institutions and leaders, including the United Nations Foundation, the Jefferson Awards Foundation, America’s Promise Alliance, and former President Barack Obama. Additionally, the recipients will have the opportunity to network and share their collective and individual achievements. This will be done through virtual settings to ensure everyone is kept safe during these uncertain times.
The 2021 Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards recipients were selected by committees of community leaders and educators located in cities across around the country. Candidates completed detailed applications describing their project’s issue area, goals, inspirations, and challenges, fundraising tactics, and measurable impacts. Eligible applicants were United States residents, between 13 and 19 years of age at the time of the application deadline, who self-identified as Jewish. For more information on this year’s awardees, visit www.dillerteenawards.org or follow Diller Teen Awards on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.