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Karma for Cara Foundation awards microgrants to youths 18 years of age and younger who spearhead exceptional service projects in their communities.  With her award 15 year old Tara from Zionsville, IN hosted swim clinics for children with autism, ultimately calling the project Swimming For All. Tara’s inspiration was her uncle who is mentally disabled. When her grandmother who cared for the uncle passed away, Tara quickly realized that he did not know how to swim. She is a competitive swimmer and had worked with mentally disabled children in the past. Tara ran clinics twice a month which involved pool time followed by one-on-one instruction with volunteers and students. 

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Karma for Cara Foundation awards microgrants to youths 18 years of age and younger who spearhead exceptional service projects in their communities. Meet 18 year old Sophie from St. Louis, MO who has been awarded two K4C microgrants for her service projects. Sophie is passionate about service and is currently the President of VolunTEEN Nation and Go Healthy St. Louis. Sophie’s latest project involved expanding Go Healthy St. Louis to Kansas City, MO to engage teens in building and growing multiple gardens. Kansas City is similar to St. Louis in that it has both a high rate of childhood obesity and numerous families struggling to provide healthy and nutritious food options to their children. Sophie hoped to recruit & organize teens in the area to build 8 raised vegetable garden beds at low-income daycares from August through October in the effort to raise awareness for childhood hunger in the community, increase the amount fresh and healthy produce available at food banks and at childcare facilities, and educate youth on the benefits of gardening and eating fresh produce while making a sustainable impact in the community. All produce grown through Go Healthy St. Louis efforts is donated to families-in-need and to local area food banks.

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Karma for Cara Foundation awards microgrants to youths 18 years of age and younger who spearhead exceptional service projects in their communities. Microgrant recipient Minh of Louisville, KY has been working with a nonprofit called STEMY (STEM + Youth). STEMY has focusing their energies on 90-120 local middle school students, specifically from underrepresented backgrounds in the STEM fields and want to make STEM fun for students. For Minh’s project STEMY Academy two versions of sessions exist:  A) every other week at 3 underserved middle schools for exposure purposes, and B) 3-hour sessions after school and/or on weekends for more intensive instruction. All sessions are focused on educating students about real-world problems being solved through STEM. Minh + others involved in STEMY (Betty, Priya & Allison) participated in the interview below.

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Karma for Cara Foundation awards microgrants to youths 18 years of age and younger who spearhead exceptional service projects in their communities. Music For All is a program that microgrant recipient Megan (16) created when she was 14 years old to provide free music lessons to underprivileged youth in her community. When she was in elementary school, the music program was cut. Megan identifies as an orchestra student and met many of her close friends in her music class. She reached out to Sacred Heart Community Service in 2016 to share her mission and passion of bringing free music education to underprivileged children who attend their education program. Specifically Megan used her award to run a summer school program and provide keyboards for children at Gardner Academy. Most of the children who attend this school are living below poverty level.

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Karma for Cara Foundation awards microgrants to youths 18 years of age and younger who spearhead exceptional service projects in their communities. Microgrant recipient Jessica used meditation and yoga as a way to focus some of the sadness and stress she felt after a friend took her own life into positive energy. During that time, Jessica realized that this was something she wanted to share with others as a way to deal with difficult life events. Her project, Minds Over Mats, brought yoga and mindfulness programming to after-school programs that serve underprivileged students, and she also runs her own blog entitled Yoga 4 Youths.

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Karma for Cara Foundation awards microgrants to youths 18 years of age and younger who spearhead exceptional service projects in their communities. 13 year old Ethan from Los Gatos, CA started a project in 2016 called 3 Helping Hands. Because he is aware that in his community alone, 6500 known children experience homelessness, Ethan used his K4C award to organize an event and purchase care package items for homeless children including school supplies to emphasize the importance of education, encouragement notecards, supplies and craft items. During the event he gave a “Believe In Yourself!” motivational speech and, with the help of his team, provided craft time for the children. Afterwards the children attending the event received the care packages assembled by Ethan and his team. Additional care packages were also distributed to StandUp For Kids, Reach Academy in Oakland, Seeds, and also involved street and homeless children/youth emergency shelter outreach. 

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Karma for Cara microgrants help fund exceptional service projects led by youth 18 years of age and under working to better their communities. Meet microgrant recipients, Grace and Chase, schoolmates who are both 16 years old. Over the summer, Grace and Chase were able to work at a refugee center and learn more about this overlooked population. Funding to support this particular center was unfortunately drastically reduced. The duo decided to found JaxTHRIVE (Teens Helping Refugees Integrate Via Engagement), a community initiative dedicated to educating and empowering young refugees in Jacksonville, FL. The structure of days their team is involved at the center includes tutoring in the morning, followed by lunch, and then a fun, educational activity in the afternoon.

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Karma for Cara Foundation awards microgrants to youths 18 years of age and younger who spearhead exceptional service projects in their communities. 15 year old Emma from Arlington VA started a project called Why Pollinators Matter with her award. Two years prior she began beekeeping, but the colony died because of pesticides. Emma now has successful hives, and her project involved educating the community about the importance of honey bees. Girl Scout Gold Award Project. Emma made presentations at local pre-, elementary and middle schools. She also offered personal hive visits to families so they could see inside a hive and learn how it works.

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Karma for Cara Foundation awards microgrants to youths 18 years of age and younger who spearhead exceptional service projects in their communities. 8 year old Cloe from Oklahoma used her award to purchase shovels, seeds, plants, and other supplies to create a vegetable and flower garden at her school. With the help of a group of volunteers Cloe has been able to plot out the spot for the garden, build, and now begin to plant for the upcoming spring. Cloe exclaimed, “I love my school, but it has no trees or plants outside!”

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Karma for Cara Foundation awards microgrants to youths 18 years of age and younger who spearhead exceptional service projects in their communities. Microgrant recipient Eve from Minnesota founded Students Making A Difference in November 2016. When she personally witnessed the bullying of peers because of poor hygiene and delved deeper, she realized the breadth & depth of the issue and saw a need. Her project provides hygiene kits to kids who may not have the essential items available to them. SMAD has provided 250+ kits to kids in her community through monthly drop-offs to schools, recovery centers, and Head Start programs.