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Distinguished Finalist

Robert Wachen

Potomac, Maryland

Robert Wachen, 15, of Potomac, Md., a sophomore at Winston Churchill High School, co-founded an initiative two years ago that has mobilized more than 300 volunteers to donate 1,500 birthday cakes to area charities, helping kids and senior citizens in need feel special on their birthdays. Robert manages volunteer recruitment, fundraising and web presence for the operation, which has grown to become the nation’s largest regional chapter of the nonprofit Birthday Cakes 4 Free.