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2018 Spark Boston Impact award winners announced

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Neighborhood Services

Mayor Walsh and SPARK Boston honored a diverse slate of young adult residents making a positive impact in our City.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and SPARK Boston announced the six 2018 SPARK Impact Award winners and 18 finalists at an award ceremony on Thursday, June 21st at the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.

“The eighteen finalists for the 2018 SPARK Impact Awards are setting the standard for Boston’s next generation of civic leadership,” said Mayor Walsh. “They are creating new ways for our City government to connects with citizens, empowering youth through education, mentoring their peers and youth, and working tirelessly to make Boston a healthy, thriving City. They prove that no matter your age, you can make a true impact on our City and I am proud to recognize their passion and dedication to improving Boston’s future.”

Mayor Walsh put out an open call for nominations for the 2018 SPARK Impact Awards this summer. A selection committee comprised of SPARK Boston Council members reviewed over 125 nominations in order to select these finalists, whose personal stories can be found on SPARK Boston’s website. A round of online voting determined the winners in each category, to be announced at the award ceremony. In addition to the award presentation, the event featured a networking reception and keynote speech by State Senator Joe Boncore, member of the State Legislature’s Millennial Caucus.

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2018 SPARK IMPACT AWARD WINNERS AND FINALISTS:

Category: Entrepreneurship and Innovation
  • WINNER: Tuan Ho (resident of Dorchester), nominated for his work founding ScholarJet, to help students earn scholarships based on their skills set instead of writing essays.
  • FINALIST: Scott Everton, nominated for creating SolarFlair, the first ever mobile pop-up optical shop which promotes affordable eyewear for the Greater Boston Community.
  • FINALIST: Yulkendy Valdez, nominated for co-founding Project 99.
Category: Arts and Culture
  • WINNER: Crystal Chandler (resident of Dorchester), nominated for her "Dear Little Project," a video series and photo exhibition designed to flood Greater Boston's black community with positive messages to “empower the little black boys and girls in our lives and the ones that live inside of us.”
  • FINALIST: Eva Rosenberg, nominated for her work with the Boston Foundation’s Live Arts Grant.
  • FINALIST: Mu-Chieh Yun & Iliana Panameño, nominated for founding We, Ceremony, to empower and celebrate women of color through storytelling.
Category: Community Building and Neighborhood Improvement
  • WINNER: Jeffrey Lopes (resident of Dorchester), nominated for his service as a Boston Police Officer and work creating "We Belong," an organization dedicated to empowering at risk youth with education.
  • FINALIST: Jill Valdes Horwood, nominated for leadership as Director of Policy at Boston Harbor Now.
  • FINALIST: Justin Mott, nominated for his work with start-ups and coworking space in Boston.
Category: Activism and Issue Advocacy
  • WINNER: Alvin Tran (resident of Jamaica Plain), nominated for his advocacy work around body image acceptance and eating disorder prevention in Boston.
  • FINALIST: Kelly Dennehy, nominated for her work as the Chairman of the Lovin’ Spoonfuls Friends Advisory Board of Directors.
  • FINALIST: Leah Moschella, nominated for founding Girls’ Leadership, Organized Women (Boston GLOW).
Category: Public Service and Civic Leadership
  • WINNER: Reilly Zlab (resident of Fenway), nominated for her pioneering work in government innovation and technology in the City of Boston.
  • FINALIST: Natalia Urtubey, nominated for her work shaping the first major strategic plan in the City of Boston.
  • FINALIST: Max Alderman, nominated for his commitment to public health education and access for people across the Commonwealth and in the City of Boston.
Category: Unsung Heroes
  • WINNER: Tena Reynolds (resident of East Boston), nominated for her work as a leader in the service industry as the General Manager of the Merchant Kitchen & Drinks, mentor to colleagues industry-wide, and active member of the Boston Downtown Business Improvement District.
  • FINALIST: Rick Aggeler, nominated for creating the Music Clubhouse at the Blue Hills Boys and Girls Club.
  • FINALIST: Sandra Hinderliter, nominated for her work in Educator Preparation to ensure all new teachers are ready for their students on day one.
About Spark Boston

Boston is home to a large and diverse millennial population. SPARK Boston (formerly ONEin3) is a City of Boston initiative that aims to empower the millennial generation to play a greater role in planning for the future of our City.

SPARK Boston focuses on engaging the next generation of civic leaders and social entrepreneurs in the work of City government. This will shape how the City designs and develops policies, convenes stakeholders for important initiatives and works collaboratively with young people to shape Boston's future. Learn more about Spark Boston online.