Kohl’s Department Stores announced recently that 17-year-old Michael Young of Scottsdale is one of 10 national Kohl’s Cares® Scholarship Program winners.
Michael will earn $10,000 in scholarships for post-secondary education. In addition to recognizing Michael for outstanding efforts through volunteerism, Kohl’s also will donate $1,000 to a nonprofit organization of his choice.
After observing the importance of giving back to the community from his parents early in life, Michael decided at the age of 12 that he wanted to do something to make a difference in the lives of others. Michael founded an annual charity golf tournament called “The Swing Fore Kids Golf Classic” to raise funds for Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s Animal Assisted Therapy Program. For the past six years, he has organized the entire tournament, from developing and distributing written materials to securing sponsors, donations and celebrity appearances.
The annual event is the therapy program’s main fundraiser and has raised approximately $260,000 to date, which has allowed the number of therapy dogs in the program to more than double and a new volunteer escort program to be implemented.
“At a young age, Michael has made an inspiring impact on his community,” says Julie Gardner, Kohl’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. “It’s teens like Michael who will continue to make our communities better places to live and we are honored to invest in their promising future. These generous acts have inspired and touched us and, we hope, will influence others to also make a difference through volunteerism.”
Since the program began in 2001, Kohl’s has awarded more than 13,000 youth volunteers ages six to 18 with more than $2.6 million in scholarships and prizes. This year, Kohl’s recognized nearly 2,200 nominees with nearly $420,000 in scholarships and prizes.
The Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program is part of Kohl’s Cares, the company’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 and the Associates in Action associate volunteer program. kohlskids.com.