Giselle Davey is the recipient of the 2018 Gandel Young Leader award. Giselle used her love for swimming to support a cause close to her and her family’s hearts. After completing the Stand Up ABC social justice journey, as part of her UJEB Bat Mitzvah program, Giselle decided to raise funds in support of the Ardoch Youth Foundation. Giselle raised over $1300 by challenging herself to swim as many laps as physically possible over the course of one hour, and managed to cover an amazing 4km through her efforts. The Ardoch Youth Foundation was founded by Giselle’s great aunt, Kathy Hilton, and is focused on improving educational outcomes for children and young people in disadvantaged Australian communities.

The Gandel Young Leader Award is presented each year to outstanding young changemakers and future leaders who have completed the Stand Up ABC program in Melbourne and Sydney. “Each year we continue to see the positive impact that the Stand Up ABC B’nei Mitzvah Program is having on these young participants” says Grant Manager for Gandel Philanthropy’s Jewish and Israel programs, Nicole Brittain. “The engagement they develop and the personal growth they experience is quite amazing. Through the program these young students witness what is happening outside their own world. The program also allows them to learn and explore social justice, understand the importance of having a strong moral compass and importantly make a difference through their own ‘Social Justice Action Project’. On behalf of Gandel Philanthropy, I would like to congratulate Giselle for her outstanding contribution to making the world we live in, a better and safer place.

“I graduated out of Stand Up ABC wanting to make a change”, said Giselle following the award ceremony. “Making a change in the world is possible even if you are not in a position of power. Doing something small for a few people is still a significant change. Swimming is something that I enjoy, and wanted to combine my passion with helping others. I raised money for the Ardoch Youth Foundation because everyone should have access to a good education and a bright future ahead of them. I am so grateful for the Gandel Young Leader Award and I hope I have inspired others to take action to help the community around us”.

Through the generous support of Gandel Philanthropy over the past five years, the Stand UP ABC program has continued to grow in both Victoria and NSW, attracting hundreds of boys and girls from Jewish and non-Jewish schools. “It is wonderful to watch Jewish youth find their own voice on important social issues during the program, and develop confidence in their own abilities to activate change”, explains Stand Up CEO, Gary Samowitz. “Giselle has shown great skill in planning her swim-a-thon action project, and the perseverance and dedication to complete it so successfully. Well done!”

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