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KENS CARES: Champions for Change working to improve the community

A special group of 13 young people chosen as KENS Cares Champions For Change are determined to make life better for others in San Antonio and the rest of the area.

SAN ANTONIO — They are team players, they stand up for what is right and now, they are champions!

A special group of 13 young people chosen as KENS Cares Champions For Change are determined to make life better for others in San Antonio and the rest of the area. 

It all started with the Rowan Windham Memorial Cereal Drive. Until his death at the age of 10, Rowan Windham worked to make sure kids did not go hungry in San Antonio. In his honor, KENS Cares asked people to nominate other kids and young people who exemplify the passion to serve the community.

Eight-year-old Mason Cortez fits that to a tee. The Salinas Elementary School student is known for his wacky hair and baseball skills, but when he is not on the diamond, he is raising money for childhood cancer research and sharing encouragement on social media. Mason raised $700 as part of the Methodist Children's Hospital St. Baldrick's team. Then, he shaved his head to show his commitment to helping other kids his age. 

See more about his story below: 

Addison Sanchez is another Champion for Change! The 9-year-old attends Carnahan Elementary School. When she noticed people getting wet going to and from school, she created the "We Gotcha Covered" program. The program provides free raincoats and umbrellas for those in need. She also raises money for the Lupus Foundation for America. We are inspired by this amazing student!

See more of her story below:

Another one of our Champions for Change is 18-year-old Bella Delgado from Reagan High School. She is volunteer for the non-profit group, Blankets for Hope. The organization give handmade fleece blankets to cancer patients who are undergoing treatment. Thank you, Bella, for your passion for the community and hard work!

See more of her story below:

Akeila Tejwan from Brandeis High School is another Champion For Change! This unique student started her own bakery inside her home using healthy ingredients. She donates part of her profits to local charities. She truly embodies the values of our Champions For Change!

See more of her story below:

And an 8-year-old Champion for Change is already known around the world! Mateo Alcorta was inspired to start making masks when his favorite boy band cancelled concerts due to coronavirus. From there, he began making masks for healthcare workers, law enforcement and anyone in need. He is even getting requests from other countries for his unique designs!

Check out more of Mateo's story here:

Another of our Champions for Change, Jadon Torres, lost his sister to a rare brain-stem tumor. That tragedy inspired him to help find a cure and help other kids like his sister. He actively helps the nonprofit established in his sister's honor and in 2017, he illustrated a book explaining pediatric brain cancer. We very honored to have this impressive young man as a Champion For Change!

See more of Jadon's story below:

The next Champion for Change shines bright in our community. Bryce Widsom is a football player at Judson High School who has battled cancer twice. Video of the Judson student body marching with Bryce caught the attention of Ellen DeGeneres herself. He is truly a role model for his fellow students and we are proud to have him as a Champion for Change!

Our next Champion for Change, Chloe Christiansen, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was just six years old. Since then, she attended a summer camp for kids with diabetes...first as a camper and now as a junior counselor! The Reagan High School student works to inspire kids to overcome their disease. Thank you, Chloe, for your passion for the community!

See more of Chloe's story below:

Our Champion for Change Greenly Van Orden suffers from a rare disease that limits her ability to write or create art. But she is a fighter and doesn't let it hold her back. During this pandemic, she has been able to create art to raise money for the Food Bank and for COVID-19 research. Congrats to this inspiring student!

See more of Greenly's story below: 

Our next Champion for Change, Gabriel Gonzales, stood up to bullying and took action when a tragedy struck his school. He started a program called "Be a Buddy, Not a Bully" to combat bullying in schools. We applaud Gabriel's efforts!

See more of Gabriel's story below:

Another Champion for Change, Abby Redin works to make a difference in her community and world. The Smithson Valley High School senior started a student-led shoe drive as a service project for the nonprofit, Soles4Souls. She more than doubled her goal and continued her mission by collecting shoes from every school in her district the next year! She brought together an entire school district and is truly a Champion for Change!

See more of Abby's story below:

Congratulations to our next Champion for Change, Raul "Trey" Duron, III. He has worked as a volunteer for Methodist Hospital, but is particularly passionate about helping with mental health programs for students. He assisted in opening a mental health resource center. Thank you, Trey, for your committment to the community!

See more of his story below:

Congratulations to Styra Goldblatt, our Champion for Change! She raised money for Hurricane Harvey victims and created coloring books for kids at Methodist Children's Hospital. She donates the proceeds to organization helping with child hunger. What an inspiring student!

See more of Styra's story below:

RELATED: KENS CARES: Donate to the 2020 Rowan Windham Memorial Cereal Drive to help fight childhood hunger

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RELATED: KENS CARES: Methodist Children's Hospital seeks kids to honor as 'Champions for Change'