Do Something has been one of my favorite organizations since they produced a shirt that Andrew Shue wore on Melrose Place back in the 90s. Yes, I'm easy. The rule of Do Something is: "No Money, No Car, and No Adults." The organization gives teens easy ways to take action and get involved in dozens of causes and issues. Plus, they offer two $500 seed grants every week to people wanting to get their project or cause off the ground.
Next week, they will announce the Grand Prize winner of the 2009 Do Something Awards, who gets a $100,000 grant (the four other finalists will get $10,000 each--not too shabby). Go watch a video about these finalists and vote for your favorite.
They all deserve a spotlight, so check out their action:
Marvelyn Brown, 25, Nashville. At 19, Marvelyn tested positive for HIV after being talked into not using a condom. Shunned by her neighbors and told to lie about it by her mother, Marvelyn chose to tell her story on The Marvelous Connections Tour, urging people to protect themselves and get tested.
David Burstein, 20, Weston, CT. In 2004, David, then 16, wished more young people voted in the presidential election. Instead of just moping, he launched 18 in '08. First he made a film. Then he took it across the country and held screenings with politicians and activists. He registered 25,000 new voters.
Maggie Doyne, 22, Mendham, NJ. The summer after high school, Maggie went backpacking in Asia. Moved by the many orphans she met in Nepal, she used her life savings to buy an acre of land build the Kopila Valley Children's Home. She currently cares for 24 kids and has helped find families for over 700 orphans. Her next plan: build them a school./p>
Eric Glustrom, 24, Boulder, CO. When Eric was 17, a trip to Uganda made him want to help people there, so he founded Educate! to work with socially responsible leaders in Africa and provide them with scholarships, funding, leadership seminars and mentorships. Educate! has trained 165 scholars and impacted over 82,000 people through their locally-grown community initiatives.
Darius Weems, 19, Atlanta, GA. Darius suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), a genetic disorder that claimed the life of his older brother. Darius and friends drove from small-town Georgia to California, hoping to convince West Coast Customs to Pimp his Wheelchair. They documented their trip and made a film called Darius Goes West. Through DVD sales and an educational tour across the country, he has raised almost $2 million for research towards a cure.