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Joined in May 2020

About Us

Riley’s Way Foundation sees a future where kind leaders build a better world. We empower young people to use kindness, empathy and meaningful connections to drive that change. A nonprofit organization, Riley’s Way supports and connects young leaders around the country to become powerful voices and kind leaders in their communities. Our three flagship programs provide teens the tools and resources to envision change and achieve it: Riley’s Way Councils, The Call for Kindness, and annual Youth Leadership Retreat.

1)   Riley's Way Councils bring together communities of students from different perspectives and supports them in becoming kind leaders. Currently, Councils consist of partnerships between public and private high schools. Council members work directly with a community group to make a different on a social justice issue through the lens of empathy and kindness. Topics have included women impacted by incarceration, immigration reform and providing support to teens in immigrant detention centers.

2)   The Call for Kindness is a national contest that funds teen-led projects that inspire kindness, strengthen communities, and bring people together. Winners receive up to $3,000 to fund their project and join a cohort of fellows from across the country to participants in our Kind Leadership Series, learning from experts and each other. Proposals can be for new projects or ideas that improve or expand existing teen-led initiatives. The award money is granted to the teens’ school or nonprofit partner to fund the project. This year’s winners include: a political discussion group in Washington State, "PurpleAmerica," to connect teens from “Red” and “Blue” states; a free app centered on self-empowerment for women in Florida called Womaze; and on the ground initiatives to provide meals and clothes to homeless LGBTQ+ youth in Texas, build shared vegetable gardens in low-income communities in in Missouri, create youth empowerment workshops and STEM after-school programs in New York, and throw birthday parties for those affected by poverty, addiction, or abuse in Illinois.

3)   The Youth Leadership retreat brings together nearly 100 inspirational young women and their mentors from around the country who are kind leaders and change agents in their communities. The weekend in September or October includes leadership skill building sessions, teen-led workshops, mentorship opportunities, and developing a network of like-minded peers. #rileyswayretreat

 Riley's Way Foundation was established by Mackenzie & Ian Sandler in 2014 in memory of their daughter Riley Hannah Sandler. They honor Riley's spirit and kindness by helping young leaders create connections in their communities to build a better, kinder world.

Riley’s Way Foundation sees a future where kind leaders build a better world. We empower young people to use kindness, empathy and meaningful connections to drive that change. A nonprofit organization, Riley’s Way supports and connects young…

Issue Areas Include

  • Children & Youth
  • Community Development
  • Education
  • Philanthropy
  • Volunteering

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