One of the great pleasures of my job is that I get to work with so many incredible people. Through the Walk to End Genocide in each of its locations, to our advocacy events, fundraisers and speaking engagements, I have come to know hundreds of activists. The youngest activist I met was an adorable three year old who carried a Walk sign; the most senior is Helen, the amazing Holocaust survivor who has been featured in many of the Walk PSAs and advertisements and who has come to many Walks although she is now in her nineties.
This past summer, JWW was fortunate to receive two incredible teens from the Federation’s Community Teen Initiative program. Gabby Blum and Emma Aaronson worked with us for a whirlwind month during which time they helped plan the new Teen Ambassador Program (they will be its first co-Presidents), created a great video that appears on our website, and met with Representative Karen Bass to discuss issues relating to genocide prevention, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Gabby Blum was nominated for ABC Channel 7’s Cool Kids award, a program which celebrates the achievements of teens that make a difference in their communities. The station sifted through the hundreds of applications they received and selected Gabby to be interviewed, receive a substantial cash award and trophy, and to spread her message to the Los Angeles community. Reporter Mayde Gomez wrote of Gaby:
“Our ABC7 Cool Kid for Thursday, Aug. 18, is Gabriella Blum, who volunteers at the Jewish World Watch to advocate and educate others about global genocides and mass atrocities.
“These genocides, to get them to stop, people need to be educated about what’s even going on in the first place so that these historic events aren’t going to happen in the future,” Gabriella said.
The 16-year-old is working on creating a teen ambassador program for kids interested in learning about past and recent massacres and most importantly how to prevent them.
“The number of people that she’s touched already and educated, not only about the organization but about the cause, is amazing. Last year she reached about 3,000 campers,” Gabriella’s mom, Rachel Blum, said.
She dreams to be a representative one day.”
Congratulation Gabby! This is a well-deserved honor!
Watch Gabby’s ABC7 Cool Kid video: