& Six Flags Friends Honor Amazing Young World Changers

Jul 06, 2010, 15:38 ET from

Six Outstanding Young People Awarded $9,000 in Scholarships from and Six Flags Friends in Recognition of their Community Action and Social Change Efforts

NEW YORK, June 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Teen social action organization and Six Flags Friends, the philanthropic arm of Six Flags, today announce the recipients of the Six Flags Friends Scholarships, recognizing the outstanding achievements of six young people who have made a real impact in their communities through social action.  Each student will receive a $1500 scholarship in recognition of their efforts.

Between March 15th and April 30th, over 1,250 young applicants from all over the nation submitted their projects and volunteer experiences through  The scholarship winners were then determined based on past, current and planned action in the community as well as the applicant's passion, commitment and proven leadership skills.

"We were truly blown away by the applications from so many outstanding young social activists," said's Amanda Ashton.  "It's been wonderful working with Six Flag Friends to give back to these young people who have dedicated so much of their time, energy, and passion to helping others."

"Six Flags Friends' mission is to inspire and encourage people to make a difference by taking action," said Jessica King, Director of Six Flags Friends.  "Our vision is never more alive than when we see today's youth leading the charge.  All six scholarship recipients exemplify entrepreneurial leadership beyond their years and are sure to be the next generation of philanthropists."


Zander Srodes, 20 – Marlington, WV

Turtle Talks

As an intern at the Smithsonian Research institute in Panama, Zander saw firsthand the destruction and alteration of the sea turtle habitat and decided to take action.  Zander founded Turtle Talks to help preserve and protect the sea turtle's natural habitat through a series of seminars, field work, and distributing over 200,000 of his own educational workbooks.  Zander is aligning his program with the eco-tourism movement to encourage low impact travel in hopes of raising more awareness and helping the project grow.

Whitten Montgomery, 20Louisville, KY

Kids Acting Against Cancer Inc.

Inspired by her mother's battle with cancer, Whitten created Kids Acting Against Cancer Inc, where she and other young actors put on theater productions to raise nearly $300,000 to make care packages for children in hospitals who are fighting cancer and to donate blood count machines to pediatric oncology units in need of new appliances.

Jeff Lakusta, 22 – Flower Mound, TX

Eyes on Africa Foundation- Mobile Outreach Testing

After visiting South Africa on a medical research trip, Jeff was amazed by the drastic effect of HIV/AIDS on South African natives.  He started the Eyes on Africa Foundation that has led groups of volunteers to Africa, established a community center next to a medical clinic, funded the expansion of a pre-primary school and donated a mobile HIV testing center.  He has raised over $100,000 for his efforts thus far.

Hannah Barfield, 22 – Thomasville, GA

Empowering Survivors of Sexual Violence

Hannah is working to raise awareness for victims of domestic and sexual violence as a hotline volunteer and victim advocate.  Her goal is to educate young people about preventing domestic violence and also to provide resources for young victims, including those raised in foster care.  To date she has raised over $100,000 for education resources, and dedicated over 1,000 volunteer hours to local centers.

Jordyn Schara, 15 – North Freedom, WI

Prescription Pill and Drug Disposal

Jordyn began her Prescription Pill and Drug Disposal initiative when she discovered that many people are unsure of how to properly dispose of unwanted and expired medications. Drugs that are flushed away can contaminate groundwater, but drugs left at home often fuel prescription drug abuse.  Jordyn recruited and trained teens to participate in community-wide drug disposal events.  Her organization has spread to 11 states and has properly disposed of over 100,000 pounds of drugs.

Margaret Mary McGlynn, 22 – Belleville, IL

NETwork Against Malaria

Malaria claims the life of one child every 30 seconds, but is preventable and often treatable. In 2006, Margaret founded NETwork Against Malaria, raising over $40,000 for malaria prevention and donating 2,400 mosquito nets to people in Uganda.  While working to expand the program, Margaret has also worked extensively on child abuse causes as a volunteer at emergency children's shelters.

First partnering with Six Flags Friends in July 2009, has been a featured Six Flags Friends partner on, offering local volunteer opportunities by zip code. Public Service Announcements are shown on over 250 screens in 11 different Six Flags parks across the country, helping inspire young park-goers to take action around causes they care about.

About is one of the largest organizations in the US that helps young people rock causes they care about. A driving force in creating a culture of volunteerism, is on track to activate two million young people in 2011. By leveraging the web, television, mobile, and pop culture, inspires, empowers and celebrates a generation of doers:  teenagers who recognize the need to do something, believe in their ability to get it done, and then take action.  Plug in at

About Six Flags Friends

Six Flags Friends is a series of programs throughout the Six Flags family of parks that make a difference in communities by encouraging local involvement, supporting the mission of various non-profit organizations, and bringing the thrill of Six Flags to children and families across North America.