Cullen Corr, 17, of Irving, Texas, a senior at Episcopal School of Dallas, founded a nonprofit organization made up of student leaders from 12 Dallas-area high schools who mentor, tutor and raise money for kids at a local homeless center. When Cullen began volunteering for Family Gateway in seventh grade with his mother, he noticed there was no place there for teens to hang out, so he spent the following summer raising money and recruiting volunteers to install a teen room at the center. He then started planning monthly activities for the kids there and helping them with their schoolwork. Every time I realized there was a need, I wanted to do something to address that need and help the children, he said.
Cullen eventually formalized his support for kids at the homeless center by establishing a nonprofit and involving students from other high schools in the area. His group conducts tutoring sessions every Sunday afternoon, plans events at the center each month, hosts holiday celebrations, and runs collection drives for needed items, often aided by hundreds of volunteers. In addition, Cullens Kids Helping Kids organization raised more than $20,000 through two 5K races to buy a 15-passenger van that will enable the kids at Family Gateway to go on educational field trips, attend camps, and take part in preschool programs. And it is selling branded merchandise on its website to fund a college scholarship program for Family Gateway children.