DHL AND WE HONOR THE WINNERS OF THE SECOND ANNUAL DHL YOUTH VOLUNTEER FELLOWSHIP AWARDS WITH A ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME TRIP TO ECUADOR

Press Release: Plantation, Fla. 07/12/2018

  • Six young American change-makers awarded for their outstanding commitment to social service 
  • Winners will join a ME to WE youth volunteer trip to Ecuador, where they will work with local community members on development projects
  • Winners to receive their awards in front of thousands of their peers at upcoming WE Day events

DHL, the world’s leading international express services provider, and WE, a family of organizations that makes doing good doable, today announce the winners of the second annual DHL Youth Volunteer Fellowship Awards. The award celebrates six exceptional young Americans who are leading the charge in service with their transformative actions. The two organizations will help jump-start these young leaders’ altruistic futures by providing them with the tools and support they need to continue being change-makers in their community.

Open to youth aged 13 to 18 from the states of Texas, Minnesota, Illinois, New York, Washington, and California, the award required candidates to highlight how they have successfully made an impact in their community or beyond by taking action on issues they are passionate about. A judging panel of influential thought and community leaders, led by Greg Hewitt, CEO of DHL Express U.S., and Marc Kielburger, co-founder of WE, selected the winners.

The 2018 DHL Youth Volunteer Fellowship Award winners include:

Piper Huddleston, 16, Grade 10, San Antonio, Texas

  • After a summer volunteering at CAMP (Children’s Association for Maximum Potential) with children and adults with various disabilities including autism, cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, Piper is committed to ensuring that individuals with disabilities are accepted in their communities. She has helped establish the Down Syndrome Center of South Texas where students can immerse themselves in the special-needs culture. She is also working on a literacy initiative for children in her community.

Esperanza Lee, 15, Grade 9, Minneapolis, Minnesota

  • During her time living in China, Esperanza became an advocate for mental wellness after meeting many youth who suffered from mental health issues. She raised more than $3,000 for children with special needs in China’s orphanages and later joined various training programs in the United States devoted to eliminating mental health stigmas. In 2016, Esperanza received a Youth Service America/Disney Be Inspired grant for her Stick With Hope initiative, which provides presentations on mental health stigmas at elementary and middle schools while mobilizing youth to serve as ambassadors of hope by writing notes of encouragement.

Radoslava Pierdinock, 18, Grade 12, Berwyn, Illinois

  • Radoslava fosters a love of reading to help combat illiteracy. With the help of her community, she transformed a storage room at a local school into a library for students. She organized donations for books, décor, paint and the transformation of the room into an inviting space for young children to read in. Radoslava is president of her high school’s National Honor Society and has organized countless free tutoring sessions for students. She aspires to gain enough awareness and support to solve issues in the country’s education system.

Bianka Oritz, 17, Grade 12, Central Islip, New York 

  • As a student at a large high school on Long Island, New York, Bianka became aware that the community of Spanish-speaking students was struggling due to a lack of bilingual teachers. Along with her friends, Bianka initiated tutoring sessions within her AP Spanish class, where Spanish-speaking students could seek help in various subjects from individuals fluent in both English and Spanish. She is also an active member of the Feminist Society Club at her high school, where she helps raise awareness of human trafficking, child brides and educational restrictions for girls in other countries.

Tyler Zangaglia, 19, Grade 12, Kirkland, Washington

  • Tyler is taking action on poverty and homelessness in his home state. As the founder of the Hope Festival organization, a nonprofit that serves the world through the power of hope, Tyler has already provided resources to 6,500 individuals in need, partnered with 200 organizations, raised more the $28,000 in grants and sponsorships, and led more than 1,200 volunteers. His goal is not only to serve those in need, but also to raise awareness and eliminate stereotypes on the issues that face his community.

Vivian Wang, 15, Grade 9, Yorba Linda, California

  • After visiting a local animal shelter, Vivian recognized the need for warm linens to keep the animals from getting cold while spending long hours outside. She and her sister founded Linens N Love, a nonprofit organization dedicated to repurposing discarded linens from high-end franchise hotels for animal shelters, as well as for the homeless, women’s shelters and teen outreach centers. Vivian has aspirations to expand Linens N Love on a national and global scale.

The fellowship prize package includes an immersive travel experience with ME to WE to Ecuador, where the young leaders will volunteer and explore a new culture while working alongside community members on development projects. Winners will also receive: 

  • An invitation to receive their award in front of thousands of their peers in their home state on stage at the world’s largest youth empowerment event of its kind, WE Day
  • A leadership session with Greg Hewitt and Marc Kielburger to learn firsthand from two accomplished social leaders
  • Mentorship from a WE leadership member, who will provide one-on-one support to ensure recipients have the tools and support necessary to see their action plans through

“The most powerful and effective social change always come from the ground up and as the result of committed individuals,” said DHL Express U.S. CEO Greg Hewitt. “DHL is proud to be able to invest these outstanding young Americans with the tools, trust and experience they need to continue their commitments for the larger good. We thank all of the candidates we evaluated, as well as their families, for articulating the kind of values that DHL stands for—namely, connecting people and improving their lives.”

“For the second year in a row we received incredible applications from youth across the U.S., and I’m honored to celebrate these six young Americans as this year’s winners of the DHL Youth Volunteer Fellowship Award,” said Marc Kielburger, co-founder of WE. “Through outstanding service projects, these young change-makers are demonstrating their creative approach to tackling social issues with out-of-the-box solutions that create real, lasting impacts. I’m excited to see how the award will inspire and shape their next endeavors.”

DHL partners with WE year-round to help make an impact in local and global communities. DHL Express U.S. is the Official Logistics Partner of the WE Day events for each city on the U.S. tour, where DHL provides shipping support and employee volunteers. DHL also supports the social enterprise arm of WE, having shipped since 2012 to U.S. and Canada retailers over 1.5 million pieces of jewelry handmade by female artisans in Kenya and Ecuador, helping these women earn an income to send their children to school.  

For more information about the award, please visit WE.org/dhl.