Headshot Photo of Andrew Plotch
2015 Award Recipient


Project Fight Apathy Campaign

Location Fair Lawn, NJ

Issue Area Civic Engagement | Education

Listening to his peers endlessly debate sneaker brands and celebrities’ latest escapades, Andrew decided he had to change the conversation. Driven by his own passion for making the world a better place, he created the Fight Apathy Campaign to encourage other students to stand up for their beliefs. Fight Apathy promotes meaningful dialogue between students about political and social issues, using one simple yet powerful tool: on a designated school day, students are given fill-in-the-blank stickers that read, “I believe in…” which they not only fill out but also wear for the rest of the day. The stickers spark discussion and encourage youth to learn more about their world. At the first event at Andrew’s New Jersey high school in 2011, more than 700 teens joined the conversation, and he realized the transformative power the stickers have.

As National Director of Activism for Junior Statesmen of America, Andrew expanded the program nationwide and beyond. Over 150,000 students have participated in 23 states, Guam, American Samoa, Ecuador, and China. The stickers catalyze substantive discussions between students and teachers in classrooms, hallways, cafeterias, and far beyond school walls on social media with the hashtag #FightApathy. Participants have shared their stories telling how Andrew’s simple event has become a catalyst for real change in their schools, impacting both students and faculty across the country.

All day in classes, cafeterias, hallways, even locker rooms, both teachers and students engaged in meaningful dialogue on controversial issues . . . [The] event broke down social barriers and prompted even the quietest students to engage in political discussions. These stories affirmed what I already knew: Fight Apathy changes a school.

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