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Kohl's Department Stores Recognizes 10 Youths With $10,000 Scholarships for Outstanding Community Service

Ten national winners chosen from more than 35,000 Kohl's Cares Scholarship Program nominees for volunteer initiatives

Submitted by: Kohl's Department Stores

Categories: Philanthropy & Corporate Contributions, Corporate Social Responsibility

Posted: Jul 31, 2012 – 08:00 AM EST


MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis., Jul. 31 /CSRwire/ - Today, Kohl’s Department Stores (NYSE: KSS) announced the 10 national winners of the Kohl’s Cares® Scholarship Program. These exceptional youth, ranging in age from six to 18, are the recipients of a total of $10,000 in scholarships each for post-secondary education. In addition to the scholarships, Kohl’s will donate $1,000 to a nonprofit organization of each winner’s choice. At a time when student loan debt has surpassed $1 trillion, Kohl’s is helping support the futures of these 10 outstanding youth.*

“Kohl’s is honored to have the opportunity to recognize and thank the 10 Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program national winners for their inspiring efforts to improve the lives of others,” said Julie Gardner, Kohl’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. “Whether it is sending care packages to military personnel or campaigning for the use of recycled products at fast food restaurants, these children stand as an example to us all of how generosity, devotion and initiative can change the world. Kohl’s is privileged to support the futures of these children who we are confident will continue to improve countless lives through their volunteer work.”

This year’s winners were selected from more than 35,000 youth nominees nationwide for volunteer efforts reaching far above and beyond what is normally expected of children.

National scholarship recipients include:

  • Sidney Ornstein, 6, Marlton, New Jersey – After attending an American Girl fashion show at the Ronald McDonald House, Sidney decided she wanted to help and raised more than $1,000 by selling her homemade butterfly and heart-shaped pins.
  • Gabrielle Levy, 9, Centreville, Virginia – Gabrielle founded Caring Kids Cards, a nonprofit organization that sends cards and care packages, more than 10,000 to date, around the world to firefighters, police officers, senior citizens, people in the hospital, military personnel, veterans and children who have lost their parents.
  • Kaitlin Riffel, 11, Fresno, California – Kaitlin founded Kids on a Mission to build a playground at the Rescue the Children Community in Fresno and through recruiting volunteers, creating a newsletter, organizing lemonade and bake sales and creating a video to raise awareness of her mission, Kaitlin has raised more than $26,000 of the $75,000 needed to build the playground.
  • Cole Rasenberger, 11, Davidson, North Carolina – To save the animal habitats of endangered species and plant species that live in the North Carolina coastal forests, Cole made postcards with drawings of animal habitats that he had children from his school sign and sent them to a major fast food chain. A year later, the chain changed its bags to 100 percent recyclable fibers.
  • Leyla Cook, 11, Garden Grove, California – Leyla created Project Soldier, a volunteer program at her school where once a week students come together to execute a service project that benefits military personnel and their families. 
  • Brianna Moore, 15, Detroit, Michigan – Brianna created Operation Warm Up/Heart and petitioned local businesses to donate food items to feed disadvantaged families over the holiday season. Brianna collected, decorated and delivered food baskets that fed more than 400 families in her community and also collected hats and gloves for approximately 320 local school children to keep them warm during the harsh Detroit winter.
  • Saajan Bhakta, 17, Wichita, Kansas – After visiting and witnessing the poverty in India, Saajan created PovSolve, an organization whose goal is to send $10,000 worth of support and goods each year to those suffering in India. To date, the organization has positively impacted the lives of more than 3,000 people and has inspired more than 600 volunteers to aid those in need.
  • Matthew Ferguson, 17, Hillsboro, Oregon – After his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, Matthew raised $150,000 to create Matt’s Chemo Bags, which consisted of comfort items and were given to cancer patients to keep their mind off of the treatment.
  • Aunjanna' Million, 18, Middletown, Ohio – Aunjanna’ founded Love You Like a Sister, a leadership academy for elementary-age girls. The academy has collected more than 16,500 pounds of food for Feeding America, 1,000 baby items for a local pregnancy center that serves mothers in need and 500 backpacks for a local program that donates school supplies to disadvantaged children.
  • Garrett Neville, 18, The Woodlands, Texas After meeting a homeless man who had his feet amputated due to frostbite, Garrett created Good Soles Montgomery County Shoe and Sock Donation Center to give clean shoes and socks at no charge to those in need. Under Garrett’s leadership, the organization has collected more than 10,000 pairs of shoes, created a 24-hour drop box for donations, enlisted corporate sponsorships and marketed the organization through print and radio advertisements.

In 2012, Kohl’s celebrates its 12th year of rewarding young volunteers. Since the program began in 2001, Kohl’s has recognized more than 17,000 kids, including the 2012 winners, with nearly $3.5 million in scholarships and prizes. This year, Kohl’s recognized more than 2,200 young volunteers with more than $420,000 in scholarships and prizes. For more information or a complete list of Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program national, regional and store-level winners, visit

The Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program is part of Kohl’s Cares, Kohl’s philanthropic program focused on improving the lives of children. Kohl’s Cares benefits children’s health and education initiatives nationwide through its merchandise program, featuring special books and plush toys where 100 percent of net profit benefits children’s initiatives; fundraising gift cards for schools and youth serving organizations and the Associates in Action associate volunteer program. For more information, visit

About Kohl's

Based in Menomonee Falls, Wis., Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS) is a family-focused, value-oriented specialty department store offering moderately priced, exclusive and national brand apparel, shoes, accessories, beauty and home products in an exciting shopping environment. With a commitment to environmental leadership, Kohl’s operates 1,134 stores in 49 states. In support of the communities it serves, Kohl’s has raised more than $208 million for children’s initiatives nationwide through its Kohl’s Caresâ cause merchandise program, which operates under Kohl's Cares, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kohl's Department Stores, Inc. For a list of store locations and information, or for the added convenience of shopping online, visit, or join the discussion on Facebook or Twitter

*Forbes. “Student Loan Debt Hits $1 Trillion -- Pre-Paid College Tuition Plans May Make a Comeback.” Nancy Anderson. 2012.

For more information, please contact:

Phone: 262-703-5241
Phone: 262-703-1061

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