About the Awards

Young people have the power and passion to create ripples of good and repair the world.

Every year, the Helen Diller Family Foundation awards up to 15 Jewish teens with $36,000 each for their leadership efforts to change the world. From the environment to social justice to access to education and beyond, these young people are tackling big challenges in their communities and having tremendous impact.

Helen Diller Family Foundation

The Helen Diller Family Foundation supports programs and institutions in both the Bay Area and throughout the world, with a focus on education, science, and the arts. The Foundation invests in Jewish teens, creating powerful experiences that strengthen both their Jewish identity and their leadership abilities.

About the Foundation >
Statement of Values

The Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards is a program of the Helen Diller Family Foundation. Jewish values inform the work of the Foundation. In the words of Helen Diller, “It’s never too late, too early, or too often to give back and make the world a better place.”

The Foundation is committed to engendering respect for all humanity and building bridges of understanding between different cultures. We welcome diversity within the Jewish community and embrace its racial, ethnic, and religious differences.

The Foundation denounces any organization or ideology associated with hatred, including but not limited to racism, misogyny, anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination, antisemitism, and any other form of bigotry or harassment. The Foundation and its grantees support the State of Israel and its right to self-defense and security, while striving for peace and co-existence, and condemn attempts to delegitimize Israel’s right to exist.

Two teenage girls sit in an atrium in front of a large arched window having a conversation and smiling.

Applications are open Applications will open August 2024 Nominations will open August 2024


Describe your project and its impact.

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Recommend a Jewish teen who is repairing the world.

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Key Dates
  • Nomination deadline

    December 22, 2023

  • Application deadline

    January 5, 2024

  • Semifinalist announcements

    March 2024

  • Finalist announcements

    April 2024

  • Awardee announcements

    June 2024

Eligibility requirements

Applicants and nominees must be:

  • 13-19 years old (on January 5, 2024)
  • Identify as Jewish
  • A resident of the United States
  • Volunteering without any compensation
  • Currently serving in a leadership role on one project or initiative that embodies the values of tikkun olam — repairing the world
Project criteria

To qualify, applications should:

  • Focus on a single project or initiative led by the applicant
  • Demonstrate that the applicant has made a significant and impactful contribution in a leadership role, either in initial project creation or over time
  • Show the project’s measurable impact
  • Provide a clear articulation of an issue area, geographic region, and community that the project serves
  • The project can serve the Jewish community or the broader community

Frequently asked questions

More questions?
  • Who is eligible to apply for the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards?

    Applicants must be:

    – 13-19 years old
    – Currently serving in a leadership role on a project/initiative aimed at repairing the world
    – Identify as Jewish
    – Volunteering without any compensation
    – Residents of the United States

    Note: Teens who have created and co-led projects with others are welcome to apply individually for the Tikkun Olam Award. In such cases, each applicant will be considered and evaluated separately, and no more than one applicant per project will be chosen as an award recipient.

    Note: Teens are not eligible for the Award if they have a sibling who has received a Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Award in the preceding five years.

  • What can Award recipients do with the Award?

    The $36,000 Award may be used to further the recipient’s philanthropic work or for their education. Recipients can speak with philanthropic advisors at the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, who will explain their financial options.

  • What kinds of projects/initiatives does Diller look for?

    Projects can have a local, national, or global focus benefiting the Jewish or general community. Applicants can create a new project or contribute to an established initiative if they demonstrate a current, significant leadership role in an existing organization or project. We recommend you view past Award recipients to get an understanding of the types of projects that have been recognized.

Meet some of the Awardees

Bold. Inventive. Optimistic. Extraordinary. These Jewish teen leaders are making their mark in significant ways.

Learn More
Three teens sitting outside working on a project together.

Where is 2009 Awardee Erin Schrode Now?

Erin Schrode 2009 Awardee

Erin Schrode was a recipient of the Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Award in 2009 for her leadership in Teens Turning Green (now called Turning Green), a student-led movement that empowers and mobilizes youth through education and advocacy around climate justice, environmental sustainability, and public health. Since receiving the award, Turning Green has expanded its programs to work with millions of elementary, middle, high school, college, and graduate students on campuses worldwide, including the annual 30-day Project Green Challenge and Conscious Kitchen to reimagine school food service. Some of Erin’s major milestones include:

  • To date: Turning Green has worked directly with over 4.1 million students on more than 19,916 campuses in 50 United States and 169 countries. Erin has contributed to ABC, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29, and is frequently tapped for and featured in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, CNN, NBC, FOX, Seventeen, Forbes, and more.

  • 2020: Erin began driving Turning Green’s Conscious Kitchen program to transform school food supply chains, sourcing and serving over 20 million organic, nutritious meals to students and vulnerable populations near her home in the Bay Area, as well as rural Guatemala.

  • 2017: Erin led World Central Kitchen’s #ChefsForPuertoRico as COO to serve 3.7+ million meals after Hurricane Maria, for which founder Chef José Andrés was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, then investing in local, sustainable agriculture and food systems island-wide.

  • 2016: Erin ran an unprecedented political campaign in her home district in California, as the youngest candidate to ever run for U.S. Congress.

“It is never too late, too early, or too often TO GIVE BACK AND MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE”
Helen Diller