In 2009, frustrated with finding a place to volunteer, then 17-year-old Simone Bernstein and her 15-year-old brother Jake created a website listing St. Louis volunteer opportunities for area teens. president obama’s shout-out to them during a Back to school speech in September 2011 spurred them to go national in March 2012 and launch volunTEENnation.org. The website has since helped more than 8,000 teens engage with 4,700 volunteer opportunities.
Now, the Bernsteins have been named to Forbes Magazine’s prestigious “30 Under 30” list, along with such luminaries as mark Zuckerberg and Lady Gaga. “it was extremely humbling to be listed with so many remarkable individuals,” simone Bernstein says. the siblings are now focused on promoting volunteerism and convincing more organizations that “teens can help in a meaningful way.”