Kohl’s Department Stores, through its Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program, recently gave two Valley youths $1,000 scholarships toward higher education. Brittney Johnson, 12, of Glendale and Matthew Kaplan, 16, from Phoenix were chosen from more than 37,000 nominees nationwide for making a positive impact in their local communities.

Brittney completed more than 900 hours of volunteer work through her church, her school and organizations in the community. Additionally, working with El Sembrador International Ministries, she organizes craft projects for young children who have been abused, neglected and/or mistreated.

After witnessing his brother being bullied at school, Matthew created The Be Open to New Experiences (O.N.E.) Project, a nonprofit dedicated to developing curriculum and facilitating an interactive day seminar aimed at creating a positive and inclusive school environment. The Be O.N.E. Project uses team-building activities to connect high school students to each other through the sharing of personal insecurities and past bullying experiences.

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.

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

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