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Bay Area teen talks about philanthropy award

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Seventeen-year-old Bay Area resident Kyle Weiss is one of five teens granted $36,000 as winners of the 2010 Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Award, established four years ago by Bay Area philanthropist Helen Diller. For more information, visit www.sfjcf.org/diller/teenawards.

What did you do to win this award? My brother and I created our nonprofit called Fund-A-Field after going to the World Cup in 2006. We build soccer fields in Africa, provide equipment, and work with organizations doing HIV/AIDS work through soccer. In America, we’ve been able to mobilize high school students to volunteer 50 hours a year and raise money.

Why is this cause important to you? When you go to Africa you see all these kids, many are orphans or sick and don’t have much to live for. But to see them having fun playing soccer, which is everything to them, it’s inspiring.

What does it mean to you to be a winner? It’s a very humbling experience and I’m honored to be grouped with the efforts of the other four winners.

What will you do with the $36,000? The grant will allow me to focus more on Africa and Fund-a-Field instead of figuring out how to pay for school. I can focus on the kids, which will allow us to hopefully expand and affect more people.

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