.ORG Impact Awards Recognise STEM Educators, Helping Sick Kids and Native American SME Assistance

The second .ORG Impact Awards have recognised three more outstanding contributors that are doing their bit to have an impact on the world around them. Following Monday’s Combating Coronavirus award to Days for Girls International, winners were SMASH in the Promoting Education category, the Outstanding Volunteer award was awarded to Kayla Abramowitz, founder and CKO (Chief Kid Officer) of Kayla Cares 4 Kids and the Championing Equality, Equity and Inclusion award was awarded to Change Labs.

Tuesday they awarded the Promoting Education award to SMASH for their role in the Promoting Education category for their work to build and support a diverse and socially conscious tech workforce. SMASH levels the playing field through academic learning and experiential engagement for high school and college students.

SMASH empowers dedicated students of colour with an intensive science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, culturally-relevant coursework and access to resources and social capital to allow them to be successful in college and in their careers.

Wednesday was the Outstanding Volunteer award, awarded to Kayla Abramowitz, founder and CKO (Chief Kid Officer) of Kayla Cares 4 Kids. When she was just 11 years old, she founded Kayla Cares 4 Kids to help sick kids feel better by providing entertainment and educational items to children’s medical facilities and supporting organisations nationwide.

Based in North Palm Beach, Florida, the now 18-year-old Kayla was chosen for this award because of her positive and entrepreneurial spirit from such a young age. She has worked tirelessly, alongside her brother, parents and community to bring joy to kids across the nation facing chronic diseases and what seems like never ending hospital stays.

Kayla started with a goal of collecting just 100 DVDs for donation—today she has collected more than 28,000 items that have been donated to hospitals around the country. Kayla continues to put her heart into the mission of her organisation, “Helping Sick Kids Feel Better One Smile At A Time!”

And Thursday was the Championing Equality, Equity and Inclusion award, awarded to Change Labs, the fourth of 10 winners of the 2nd annual .ORG Impact Awards. The mission-driven organisation was honoured in the Championing Equity, Equality and Inclusion category for its work to support entrepreneurs within America’s Navajo and Hopi Nations.

Change Labs was designed to create a safe place for entrepreneurs and community members to explore and develop their ideas. The organisation provides the infrastructure, expertise and support structures for the first three years of the entrepreneurial journey.

Change Labs is taking measurable steps towards increasing the number of Native-owned small businesses operating in Native communities. The organisation provides a physical address, internet access, desk space, software access, financial planning, leadership development and other tools to allow Native-owned small businesses to develop and grow.

Award winners will receive a donation of up to US$30,000 to an eligible charitable entity of their choice. So far this week $15,000 was awarded to Days for Girls International for the Combating Coronavirus award to donate to the charity of their choice, while $5,000 went to SMASH, Kayla Abramowitz and Change Labs.

More than 500 organisations and individuals submitted entries for the second .ORG Impact Awards this year. Submissions were reviewed and scored by a panel of judges who are leaders in the internet, non-profit and marketing sectors. All nominations were required to be tied to an active website with a .ORG domain.

Day One: Combating CoronavirusMonday, November 30th
Day Two: Promoting EducationTuesday, December 1st
Day Three: Outstanding VolunteerWednesday, December 2nd
Day Four: Championing Equality, Equity and InclusionThursday, December 3rd
Day Five: InnovationFriday, December 4th
Day Six: Advancing Environmental SustainabilityMonday, December 7th
Day Seven: .ORG Newcomer of the YearTuesday, December 8th
Day Eight: Fighting Hunger and PovertyWednesday, December 9th
Day Nine: Promoting a Safer InternetThursday, December 10th
10 Days of .ORG Schedule

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