Three Orlando-area youths awarded $1,000 scholarships from Kohl's

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Sarah created the Just One Book organization and launched a bookmobile to collect and distribute books to low income families throughout Central Florida.
MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. —

On Wednesday, the Kohl’s Department Stores’ (NYSE: KSS) Kohl’s Cares® Scholarship Program honors nearly 200 deserving volunteers with $1,000 scholarships toward higher education. Three youths from the Orlando-area were chosen from more than 37,000 nominees nationwide for making a positive impact in their local communities.

“Kohl’s is proud to recognize the 182 regional winners nationwide for their dedication to making their communities a better place to live,” said Bevin Bailis, Kohl’s senior vice president, communications and public relations. “We commend these bright volunteers for being inspiring examples for others as they have made a difference in their own communities and touched the lives of others through their efforts.”

Local recipients of $1,000 scholarships are:

Sarah Dewitz, 14, Orlando, Florida
Motived by her love of reading and desire to help others, Sarah created the Just One Book organization and launched a bookmobile to collect and distribute books to low income families throughout Central Florida. To date, Just One Book has provided more than 200,000 books to children in Florida and is expanding services to New Jersey this year.

Rachel Jimenez, 17, Port Orange, Florida
After recognizing local hotels throwing out items that could be repurposed, Rachel started the Clean for a Cause project, dedicated to collecting gently used pillows, sheets, personal care items and mattresses that hotels are looking to dispose of and give them to people in need. Rachel collected more than 5,500 items and donated them to local organizations to help those in need.

Olivia Russo-Hood, 12, Deltona, Florida
Olivia launched the Leave a GOOD Footprint Campaign, dedicated to collecting gently used shoes for those in need around the world, through her nonprofit Save the Earth Projects (STEP). To date, Olivia has collected 6,000 pairs of shoes that have been sent around the world.

Winners are chosen based on initiative, leadership, generosity and project benefits and outcome. Each regional-level winner qualifies for one of Kohl’s 10 national scholarships, which will be announced at the end of July. National winners will each receive a total of $10,000 in scholarships, and Kohl’s will donate $1,000 to a nonprofit organization on each national winner’s behalf. In total, Kohl’s will recognize more than 2,300 young volunteers with nearly $400,000 in scholarships and prizes.

Since the program began in 2001, Kohl’s has recognized more than 22,000 kids, including the 2014 winners, with more than $4.3 million in scholarships and prizes. The Kohl’s Cares® Scholarship Program is part of Kohl’s Cares®, Kohl’s philanthropic program focused on improving the lives of children.

For more information on the Kohl’s Cares® Scholarship Program visit kohlskids.com.