2017 YOUTH AWARD
Founder, Shred Kids’ Cancer
When Teagan was eight years old, his friend was diagnosed with cancer. Teagan immediately wanted to find a way to help, but the community organizations he contacted said that he was too young. Rather than give up and simply stand by as his friend suffered, Teagan decided to leverage his passion for music to raise money for cancer research. He came up with the idea to host a battle of the bands to battle children’s cancer. Shredfest was born.
Today, Teagan’s organization, Shred Kids’ Cancer, is a youth-run organization that empowers young people with the ability to make a difference for other children who are suffering. Through the power of music, Shred Kids’ Cancer raises funds for cancer research and shows children diagnosed with cancer that other young people are fighting the disease alongside them. Since launching eight years ago, Shred Kids’ Cancer has hosted 25 events, run by thousands of young people, and raised over $350,000 to fund nine clinical trials. Teagan, now 17, is also working with the Kumbar Lab at University of Connecticut Health to develop a new way to treat tumors and avoid harming healthy cells. This would allow children to undergo a less harsh cancer therapy and improve recovery.
Teagan and Shred Kids’ Cancer’s ultimate mission is to develop a market for pediatric cancer research and spark more innovation in the field, while also proving that children are uniquely suited to make a difference through their creativity and passion.
In partnership with the Jefferson Awards Foundation, Teagan will also become a 2017 GlobeChanger in the GlobeChangers program, an incubator for young social entrepreneurs that provides mentorship, training, and a support network for the country’s most promising leaders ages 5-25.