The Hershey Company Announces Grants for Teens to Tackle Social Isolation

Originally posted on TheHersheyCompany.com

The Hershey Company has announced its new grant program, The Heartwarming Project Action Grants, at its first-ever Makers of Good Teen Summit in New York City. The program will award grants to 400 teen projects aimed at overcoming one of Gen Z’s most pressing issues – social isolation. The Makers of Good Teen Summit is part of The Heartwarming Project, Hershey’s initiative dedicated to helping teens, parents and teachers create more inclusive communities.

In addition to awarding the grants, The Hershey Company will continue its partnership with top digital companies involved with the summit, including Snapchat, Google and Imgur, to help teens use social media to foster positive connections. Through training programs lead by Google employees and “Snap School,” the teens will learn how to leverage their social media channels for good and promote their projects. Teens passionate about combating social isolation can also continue the conversation with #stand4good into the new school year.

“Snapchat is all about removing barriers to self-expression and creativity, and fostering important communication and connection between real friends. We’re excited to be a part of the Summit, and to stand with Gen Z and help them amplify their voices,” said Luke Kallis, VP Advertiser Solutions, Snapchat.

Despite growing up in the digital age with tools to connect online, teens face high levels of loneliness and social isolation with recent studies describing Gen Z (currently ages 13-23) as the “loneliest generation.”1 The grants are designed to combat this pressing issue and support teens leading the way to advance inclusion and connection across the U.S.

“Our founder, Milton Hershey, was a social entrepreneur who invested in youth to create opportunity and a better future. We continue that legacy by investing in teens who are taking action to create positive change and bringing people together who want to make a difference,” said Todd Tillemans, President, U.S., The Hershey Company. “Our Heartwarming Project Action Grants provide a tangible opportunity for teens to help create a new future of social inclusion.”

Teen changemakers in the U.S., ages 13 to 18, can apply at www.heartwarmingproject.com with an endorsement from a parent, guardian, educator or other adults until Oct. 31, 2019. Up to 400 teens will receive Action Grants worth $250 each to start or advance existing inclusion projects in their schools and communities.

The grants will be administered by the non-profit organization WE and supported by the company’s Heartwarming Project. Grant recipients will be notified via email from WE. Complete guidelines and information is available at www.heartwarmingproject.com.

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