Thursday, February 11, 2010

Teenagers Allocate $1 Million Via Best Buy’s @15 Exchange Program to Non-Profits


MINNEAPOLIS — Created by Best Buy, @15 Exchange answered its commitment to shine a light on the voices of American teenagers by empowering them as important community participants. These community participants recently helped chose a charity to receive funding from Best Buy.

Over the course of a year, participating teens will help donate $1 million. Teens do this by competing in activities, earning points, and then using those points to help fund specific charities.

“The overwhelming response to the @15 Exchange demonstrates that teens are motivated by opportunities that allow their voices to be heard,” said Brian J. Dunn, chief executive officer of Best Buy. “Best Buy is thrilled with the efforts of the nonprofit partners to bring the @15 mission to life and empower teens to use these diverse and powerful voices for social good.”

Teenagers choose from four different non-profits that are posted on the @15 Exchange Web site and then allocate the points they’ve earned during a four month period. Points are earned by creating a profile, referring a friend, taking surveys, posting comments in forums, and by playing games and quizzes.

“Best Buy’s @15 Exchange offered Do Something a great opportunity to motivate all of our awesome Do Something members, especially our Youth Advisory Council, to take the lead and get involved,” said Aria Finger, chief marketing officer at Do Something.

Do Something received the most points during the last non-profit voting. Do Something provides tools and resources for people to convert ideas and energy into positive action.

For example, Maggie Doyne dreamed of opening an orphanage in Nepal. Do Something awarded her $100,000 to help open the Kopila Valley Children's Home, which provides food and shelter for children who would otherwise live on the streets.

“One of Do Something's core beliefs is that teens can lead right now, so putting teens in the driver’s seat and giving them the power to decide how the funding was allocated, was a great way to show that young people can be key influencers and promoters of social good,” Finger said.

@15 Exchange’s success of maintaining teenagers interest and participation is with a variety of motivational endeavors. These ventures include: community impact challenges; political participation; personal growth; short film contests; and participating journalist camps around the country.

Recognizing the important role our youth holds, @15 Exchange creates an environment that enables them to utilize the necessary tools to accomplish their goals. @15 Exchange is investing in the future by helping teens communicate, practice social advocacy, and share their experiences while doing social good.

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