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Santa Barbara teen honored for program that brings peers together to learn languages

The Helen Diller Family Foundation

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – A local Santa Barbara teen was one of 15 teenagers nationwide receiving a 2023 Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Award and prize from the Helen Diller Family Foundation.

Romy Greenwald will receive $36,000 in recognition of her work leading MiSendero, an intercultural student-to-student tutoring program.

The program coordinates students learning English or Spanish to find tutors as well as pairing those with existing language skills to share their knowledge in a peer-to-peer style.

"What started as a way to help some of my friends learning English participate in activities at my school has turned into a much bigger dream of creating pathways for immigrant student integration and success across the country," explained Greenwald.

Since 2020, more than 1,000 high school students in California and Florida have participated in MiSendero and hundreds are receiving weekly tutoring.

The Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards are in their 17th year and get their name from "tikkun olam", a Jewish value meaning "to repair the world".

“Young people are striving to solve critical challenges in their communities with creativity, hard work, resourcefulness, and a commitment to tikkun olam,” said Phyllis Cook, Philanthropic Consultant for the Helen Diller Family Foundation. “We are inspired by their leadership and committed to recognizing them as role models for other teens by celebrating how young people can make an impact in communities across the country.”

Applications and nominations for the 2024 awards will open in August of this year after the Awards celebration in San Francisco.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Award
Helen Diller Family Organization
language skills
Santa Barbara

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