The Riley’s Way Call For Kindness

The Call For Kindness (C4K) gives young leaders (ages 13-22) across the country the skills, connections, and funding they need to run social impact projects that inspire kindness and strengthen their local, national, or global communities. The Call For Kindness consists of a 12-month leadership development fellowship and a startup grant of up to $3,000. Fellows receive 1:1 coaching and project support, virtual skill-building sessions, an in-person leadership Retreat, networking, mentorship opportunities, and a peer community of other young changemakers. Fellows can also apply for Continuation Grants with ongoing project support and coaching. We have created an incredible community of young changemakers and are excited to see what 2023 brings!


Call For Kindness Fellows


Continuation Grant Winners


People Reached Globally

Hundreds of applicants from across the country answered the Call For Kindness by submitting a new or existing youth-led project rooted in Riley’s Way values – kindness, empathy, youth leadership, and inclusive community – that tackled anything from pressing equity and social justice issues to building meaningful connections in schools or communities.

In addition to the general category, at least ten projects specifically focused on our 2023 special topic: environmental justice, to address the growing need for solutions in this critical space.

Riley’s Way will also continued to support one award in a special dance and performing arts category, the Yuriko Kikuchi Arigato Award (“Arigato” means “thank you” in Japanese), in honor of Yuriko, the pioneering dancer, choreographer, and keeper of Martha Graham’s flame. Yuriko was the grandmother of Riley’s Way’s Director of Operations, Laura Kikuchi Dunn.

More on The Call For Kindness

The Riley’s Way Call For Kindness offers a robust Leadership Development Fellowship for participants of the winning projects. The three pillars of the Fellowship focus on skill-building, connection-making, and project support.

Skill Building – Throughout the year-long Fellowship, participants gain skills that build their efficacy as leaders and help them further their projects. Riley’s Way provides workshops and professional development opportunities designed to enhance Fellow’s leadership and project management skills. Individual skill-building training may vary each year as we tailor the experience and sessions based on the interests and needs of each cohort. Examples of past workshops include diversity, equity, and inclusion; budgeting & fundraising; and how to get press. Professional development has included opportunities for Fellows to be interviewed by reporters and see themselves featured in podcasts, articles, or news clips; facilitate a skill or topic-based session for other changemakers; or talk on a panel about their project or kind leadership at a national conference.

Riley’s Way also brings all the Fellows together for an in-person weekend Retreat, with transportation and lodging provided by Riley’s Way.

Inclusive Community – Inclusive community is at the heart of Riley’s Way. Over the year-long Fellowship, participants will learn how to share their stories, strengthen their networking skills, and become part of a national network of like-minded youth, adults, and experts who inspire and support them. This network will continue long past the end of the Fellowship and will be a support and resource as Fellows move forward in their careers. Connecting with and learning from other young changemakers and building lasting bonds is often part of the Fellowship that participants find the most rewarding.

Project Support – Through the Call For Kindness, Riley’s Way offers direct financial support for projects (up to $3,000) and 1:1 project support, mentoring, brainstorming, and problem-solving. Staff members are available for bi-weekly one-on-one conversations and support. We may connect Fellows to other issue-based experts as needed. Fellows also get support, ideas, and encouragement from current and prior Fellows in group brainstorms and problem-solving sessions. This year, in addition to staff support, Riley’s Way will pair each project with a mentor for the year. Mentors include inspiring leaders in nonprofit or industry, past C4K Fellows, Riley’s Way staff or Board members, and subject matter experts.

Learn more about our Kindness Fellows from previous years and their projects using the links below. Be sure to check out their pages for ongoing updates.

Previous Years Fellows

2021 Call For Kindness Fellows

2020 Call For Kindness Fellows

2019 Call For Kindness Fellows

2023 Call For Kindness Continuation Recipients

Camille (she/her), Project SuperKid at HOBY, Maryland

CJ (he/him), Making Change Blanket Workshop, Georgia

Sasha (she/her) and Tamanna (she/her),Tech Inclusion Project, New York

ZaNia (she/her), Z Feeds Angel Food Project, North Carolina

Sydney (she/her) and Braydon (he/him), (BE)KIND INITIATIVE, Tennessee

Alyssa (she/her), EEqual Scholars Flex Fund, Oregon

Sunya (she/her), #MyStory, New York

Sriya (she/her), GirlsWhoSTEAM, New Jersey

Miarri (she/her), Green Goddess, Colorado

Jae (he/him) and team, Grow Kindness, North Carolina

Jeremiah (he/him), Hotels For The Holidays, South Carolina

Angeles (she/her) and team, Justice is Us Project, Florida

Jean (she/her) and team, Leaders Across the World, Washington

Avery (she/her), The Love Carries On Drive, Illinois

William (he/him), RoboRecovery, Louisiana

Solya (she/her), SoulTalksMHP, New York

Addison (she/her) and Hayden (he/him), Spread Your Sunshine, Minnesota

Join the annual Call For Kindness challenge!

Are you part of an organization or company that cares about young leaders? Add your voice to the growing number of organizations championing kindness as an essential leadership quality by supporting our Call For Kindness. Join us as we connect youth changemakers across the country who are working to make our world a better place.

The Call For Kindness, now in its fifth year, offers young leaders the chance to participate in a dynamic Leadership Development Fellowship and win up to $3,000 in funding for a project that strengthens their local, national, or global communities.

Thank you for adding  your organization to the pledge below and helping spread the word about the #CallForKindness within your community and beyond!

Sign the Pledge

When you pledge to be a Partner, we ask that you:

  1. Commit to at least one social media post, tagging us at Riley’s Way (IG: @rileyswayfoundation; FB: @RileysWayFoundation; Twitter: @RileysWayFdn), and use the #CallForKindness hashtag. We will provide sample posts! Here are a few examples of posts that will help the cause:
    • We’re proud to support the next generation of kind leaders through the #CallForKindness. Will you help us spread the word?
    • Do you know a teen who wants to change the world? Tell them to submit their project idea to the #CallForKindness for the chance to win $3,000!
  2. Include a brief description of the Call for Kindness (suggested language included upon sign-up) and a mention of the Call for Kindness hashtag #CallForKindness in your next newsletter and/or upcoming communications.
  3. Send us your logo and a quote about how your community is making a difference through acts of kindness and empathy. We would love to spotlight you throughout our campaign.

In addition, we are honored list as a partner on our website, in our press release, and in communications to members of our community.  Thank you for joining us in  the next generation of changemakers leading with kindness, empathy and inclusivity!

If you have any questions or want to learn more about partnering with Riley’s Way, please get in touch with Lauren Shenkman, Director of Partnerships & Programs.


Willkie Farr & Gallagher

The Sandler Family


TLC Starfish Foundation


A Kinder World Foundation