U.S. Cellular today announced its 2016 The Future of Good program, that champions and invests in inspiring youth who make a positive impact in their communities. The wireless carrier will celebrate these young humanitarians by giving them a voice to amplify the good they've done and unique donations to help each continue building The Future of Good. This Smart News Release features multimedia. View the full release here: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20161129005958/en/
U.S. Cellular The Future of Good recipient Lia Haile with Erin Schultz, Hope House Director and Family Advocate. (Photo: Business Wire)"We're continuing this program for the second year in a row as a way to give back to local communities we support and encourage others to get involved," said Grant Leech, vice president of brand management at U.S. Cellular. "These extraordinary young people inspire so many others, and we take tremendous pride in supporting them and helping amplify the good work that they're doing." The six youths - representing four different causes - were selected by U.S. Cellular following a nationwide search. The company will feature their causes in four documentary-style videos to tell the unique stories of how each cause is impacting the community in which they live. In support of Giving Tuesday on Nov. 29, U.S. Cellular will help celebrate and support young humanitarians by pledging a combined total of $45,000 consisting of in-kind and monetary contributions to inspiring youth-led causes across the country. To further celebrate the youths and the four causes chosen for the program, U.S. Cellular will bring the children and their families to New York City on December 22, 2016 where they will ring the closing bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and bring widespread attention to their local efforts. The four inspiring causes that this year's program will highlight are:
- Jason Albaum (age 15), Colby Ellis (age 16), and Juli Ennis (age 16) in Kennebunk, Maine - Project Playback: These three teens bring joy to and awaken the minds of elderly Alzheimer's and dementia patients through music therapy, by interviewing patients and family members and creating personalized playlists on donated MP3 players for the patients. Their organization, Project Playback, has volunteered hundreds of hours to combine modern digital technology with traditional direct social interaction, to improve the mental, emotional, and overall well-being of their patients. For more information, visit https://www.projectplayback.org.
- Ryan Graham (age 17) in Milwaukee, Wis. - Teens Grow Greens: Ryan is a leading teen and board member of Teens Grow Greens, a nonprofit organization that teaches kids personal responsibility, healthy living, leadership and entrepreneurship. Under Ryan's guidance, kids learn how to grow, cook and eat healthy food. This year Ryan recruited, interviewed and hired 12 teenagers to join the nine-month paid internship program. For more information, visit www.teensgrowgreens.org.
- Raegan Junge (age 11) in Keystone, Iowa - Raegan's Tornado Relief Project: Raegan started her nonprofit organization when she was just six years old to help raise funds to provide disaster victims and affected communities with clothing and personal items by selling handmade beaded bracelets. After a tornado recently touched down in nearby Benton, Iowa, Raegan worked with the Benton County 4-H Fair Board members to help gather supplies for 48 affected families. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/raeganstornadoreliefeffort.
- Lia Haile (age 13) in Manitowoc in Wis. - Hopeful Hearts Club: Lia created her organization which consists of a community of hundreds of people who provide welcome bags, birthday parties, holiday celebrations, and other events and goods for children who are staying at Hope House, the local homeless shelter in her community. Lia is involved with U.S. Cellular's Future of Good program for the second year in a row, having last year received $10,000 from the company to Hope House on her behalf. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/HopefulHeartsClub.