Calling teens who want to change the world! Answer the Call for Kindness and win up to $3,000 to fund your project idea!

Applications open on January 25, 2021 and close on April 7, 2021.



Are you a teen who wants to make a difference in the world? Do you have an idea that will inspire kindness and strengthen your local or global community? We’re here to help you bring it to life. Riley’s Way is looking for teens to answer the 2021 Call for Kindness – an opportunity for you to pitch your big idea for the chance to win up to $3,000 to help you launch it!

Answer the Call for Kindness by submitting a new or existing teen-led project rooted in Riley’s Way values – kindness, empathy, leadership, and connection-making – and that tackles anything from pressing equity and social justice issues to building meaningful connections in your school or community. In addition to our general category, we’re going to be selecting up to 5 projects specifically focused on food insecurity to address the growing need for solutions in this critical space.

This year, as many as 30 teen-led projects will be awarded up to $3,000 each, and the winners will join a strong community of Kindness Fellows from across the country to work together in a fellowship program that will support your project, and expand your leadership and life skills along the way.



For inspiration, check out our past winners:


Applications close on April 7, 2021





We’re asking you to embody Riley’s Way values to design a project that inspires kindness, strengthens your community, and brings people together. Working with your school or a nonprofit partner, you can submit a brand new idea or tell us how you want to improve or expand an existing teen-led initiative.

Past projects have included school clubs that made sure no one sits alone at lunch or taught robotics and STEM to younger students; local community projects that provided birthday gifts to those in need or planted community gardens; and national projects that brought folks together from across the political spectrum or a podcast supporting those dealing with mental health issues.

For inspiration, check out our past winners:



Riley’s Way will award up to $3,000 to as many as 30 teen-led projects, of which 5 will be specifically dedicated to projects related to food insecurity.

In addition to the funding, Call for Kindness Fellows will also participate in a dynamic leadership development experience as one of our Kind Leader Fellows that will help you grow your project, your network, and your leadership skills. Each course is designed around the needs of the group of Fellows, with some of the classes taught by peers and other teen leaders.




Each project is required to have both a partner organization and an adult mentor.

The partner organization will act as your fiscal sponsor and will receive the grant on your behalf. They must be a 501(c)(3), which means they can be either a non-profit organization or a school partner. This organization’s work should be related to your project and should help further advance your initiative. If you are creating a school club or doing work more locally, you might want to consider your school as a partner. If you are doing work on a larger scale, it might be easier to have a non-profit partner. If your project is already a registered 501(c)(3), please fill out the information below and include a letter stating so. Projects with 501(c)(3) status are exempt from requiring a project partner.

Your adult mentor is a person who will help and guide you with your project and will be in touch with Riley’s Way staff as needed. If applicable, your mentor can be a part of your partner organization, but they do not have to be. They can be a teacher, coach, after school counselor, camp counselor, art/music/theater teacher, troop leader, or another adult mentor in your life. Ideally, your adult mentor is not your parent or guardian.




Step 1: Click on this link to start your application. You can submit a written or video application, and you can submit individually or with a group of peers. All applicants will need to have an adult mentor sign-on to support their project and confirmation of support from their school or nonprofit partner. Complete applications are due at 11:59pm EST on April 7, 2021.


Step 2: Our judges (made up of past Call for Kindness Fellows, Riley’s Way teens, and kind adults) will review the applications. Projects will be judged on how they embody Riley’s Way values, their feasibility, need, and impact. Click here for the judging rubric.


Step 3: We will announce the winners on May 6, 2021, in honor of Riley Sandler’s birthday.


Or email



For inspiration, check out our past winners:

Add your voice to the growing number of organizations that celebrate kindness and empathy as leadership qualities by signing our #callforkindness Partnership Pledge!