USA TODAY - Adults and Teens honored for caring about others

In some cases, winners are adults who help young people with tutoring or job counseling; in other cases, it’s young people being honored for helping other kids.

Five adults and six teens have been honored by the non-profit Caring Institute, which annually names the USA’s most caring people. This year’s adult winners:

•Karin Walser, a former congressional staffer from Northern Virginia who founded Horton’s Kids more than 18 years ago to tutor and mentor children attending schools in tough neighborhoods of Washington, D.C.

•Dominic Avellani, who immigrated to Boston with his Italian family in the 1950s and started the East Boston Adult Education Center to teach English to more than 40,000 immigrants and refugees.

•Father Greg Boyle, commonly known as G-Dog, who founded Jobs for a Future, which offers job counseling for former East Los Angeles gang members. He also started Homeboy Industries, in which about 1,000 youths work together to make a living.

•Rose Espinoza of La Habra, Calif., who started Rosie’s Garage to tutor low-income students. Her “tutorial tune-ups” began in her garage and have expanded into four branches that serve more than 200 children.

•Constantin Asavoaie, who has established homes in Romania for at-risk children, adult homeless shelters and asylums for the elderly. Each year, one caring person is nominated from outside the USA.

The young winners, who each receive a $2,000 educational scholarship, include:

•Jourdan Urbach, 15, Roslyn Heights, N.Y., who was 7 years old when he started Children Helping Children to raise money for medical charities.

Mollie and Jackie Singer, 18-year-old twins from Las Vegas who started Diabetic Angels, a club that educates children about the disease. They have collected more than $500,000 for diabetes research.

•Lauren Beeder, 16, of Newbury Park, Calif., who survived cancer as an infant and founded kidsCANCERvive, which connects young cancer patients through online support groups.

•Davin Singleton, 18, of Pasadena, Md., who knows what it is like to struggle in school because of dyslexia. He designed a workshop for dyslexic people.

•Emily Wernhoff, 18, of Creston, Neb., whose project encourages the use of smoke alarms in households. She also founded Practice Your Fire Escape Plan Day, which has been celebrated statewide for three years.

Thousands of people are nominated by politicians, business leaders and community members. After consideration of such factors as type of service, depth of commitment and impact, the winners are chosen by a panel of judges made up of former members of Congress and the Cabinet.

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