Align Technology has recognized the community efforts of a hundred youths between the ages of 13 and 19 as part of its Invisalign ChangeMakers program. Launched in partnership with the National 4-H Council, each teen will receive a one-time $5,000 cash award to continue to bring positive change to their hometowns.
Applications from across the United States were accepted between January and March 2021. Thirty of the winners are active 4-H members. All of the winners will be recognized during a virtual awards ceremony on July 10 on YouTube hosted by executive producer and actor Marsai Martin, one of the stars of “Black-ish” and the upcoming “Paw Patrol: The Movie,” as well as an Invisalign patient.
The inaugural group of Invisalign ChangeMakers shared a wide variety of volunteer projects with judges, including delivery of handmade face masks and food to those in need during the height of the pandemic and making weighted blankets for children with autism. The winners also included:
• Sidney Keys III, 15, of Atlanta established “Books N Bros” to donate books to kids and help other boys get excited about reading books. He also stepped up additional volunteer efforts during the pandemic by collecting and donating more than a hundred boxes of food and masks to the needy.
• Benjamin Kagan, 15, of Chicago created Chicago Vaccine Angels, a service to help senior citizens schedule their COVID-19 vaccines and vet each location to ensure it was legitimate and accessible.
• Sruthi Sudarsan, 16, of San Ramon, California, recruited volunteers as president of her local 4-H club to create facemasks for healthcare and frontline workers from the onset of the pandemic. To date, more than 34,000 masks have been donated.
“At Align, we know the power of a smile and are inspired by the positive energy and commitment shared by all of the Invisalign ChangeMaker applicants who are leading the way to bring positive change and more smiles close to home,” said Raj Pudipeddi, chief innovation, product, and marketing officer and senior vice president at Align Technology.
“We congratulate the Invisalign ChangeMakers award recipients and look forward to celebrating these young leaders to recognize their community-focused accomplishments,” Pudipeddi said.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Invisalign brand and empower a hundred young leaders who are building a better and brighter future for us all,” said Ivan Heredia, senior vice president and chief marketing officer with the National 4-H Council.
“Through the ChangeMakers program, 4-H will continue to create opportunities for young people across the country as they discover their passions, build leadership skills, and develop confidence and compassion,” Heredia said.
“As an actress, bringing a smile to people’s faces is my greatest joy,” said Martin. “The power of a smile is limitless, as is the potential of these teens who are Invisalign ChangeMakers. They’re proof that even when you’re young, you can make a big impact.”
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