Tyler started Kids Helping Kids, a nonprofit organization that raises funds to help children in Ghana. As part of Kids Helping Kids, he helped establish a leadership academy that teaches kids how to be leaders in their own communities by focusing on social responsibility and integrity, plus time and money management. So far, Kids Helping Kids has raised more than $130,000.
Athman Adiseshan of San Jose, Aitan Grossman of Palo Alto and Kyle Weisse of Danville also represent the Bay Area in this national competition.
Ultimately 10 Huggable Heroes will be selected. Each will receive $10,000 – a $7,500 educational scholarship and $2,500 from the Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation to be donated to the 501(c)(3) charity of their choice. In addition, the Huggable Heroes will win a trip for themselves and a parent or guardian to St. Louis, home of Build-A-Bear Workshop World Bearquarters and will be featured in the 2012 Huggable Heroes calendar.
Build-A-Bear Workshop launched the Huggable Heroes program in 2004 as a way to recognize young people making a difference in their communities and the world around them. Former Huggable Heroes have been honored for their work with such causes as helping children in underdeveloped countries, raising funds and awareness for medical conditions and medical research, empowering kids to make a difference, helping animals and serving the elderly.
Huggable Heroes are young leaders 8 through 18 who demonstrate strong levels of kindness, compassion and leadership to help make the world a better place.