Jack Skowronnek, founder of Chattanooga-based Jack’s Chattanoggins, has been named as a Global Teen Leader as part of the Three Dot Dash initiative of the We Are Family Foundation. This initiative was designed to recognize and support the efforts of teenagers around the world who are actively working on projects that promote a more peaceful society by addressing issues related to basic human needs. At 15, Jack is one of the youngest members of the 2014 class of Global Teen Leaders.
When Jack was 10 years old, he read Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick, a book that tells the story of the diagnosis and treatment of leukemia of 4 year-old Jeffrey, and the financial and social impact of his condition on his family and the community. Inspired by this story, Jack was determined to make a difference in the lives of kids who have cancer and their families. After a successful fundraising endeavor where he shaved his head and raised $1,200, Jack decided to form his own organization, Jack's Chattanoggins, which raises money to help improve the children's hospital in his hometown of Chattanooga. In its three years of existence, 300 volunteers have gone bald for the cause, raising nearly $100,000.
“It’s really humbling to be recognized as a Global Teen Leader with such a great group of teenagers from 11 different countries,” said Jack. "Five years ago, I never thought that shaving my head would have such on effect on my community and me. I just wanted to let kids with cancer know it’s okay to be bald.”
Three Dot Dash is a year-round leadership and mentoring program that teaches global teen leaders how to share their stories in order to mobilize peers and expand their work to broader audiences around the world to take action. The program kicks off with a “Just Peace” Summit in April in New York where global teen leaders get to share their experiences, get to know each other and partner with a Three Dot Dash Mentor, who will help them strategize and fulfill their action plans to further their projects.
“We are extremely proud of the work Jack and his family have done for Children’s Hospital at Erlanger, particularly since 95% of all local pediatric and adolescent cancer patients are diagnosed and treated right here at Children’s Hospital,” said Julie Taylor, chief development officer for the Baroness Erlanger Foundation and the T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital Foundation. “All the proceeds from his highly successful annual fund-raiser have stayed right here in Chattanooga to support our heroic children and their families. Jack’s recognition as a Global Teen Leader is a fitting acknowledgment of his generosity and caring nature.”
Jack's Chattanoggins is an annual head-shaving event benefitting the Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at T.C. Thompson Children's Hospital in Chattanooga. The event promotes awareness of children who are battling cancer and raises funds to help continually enhance the healing environment for patients and their families. To learn more, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 423 994-7680.
The We Are Family Foundation is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the vision of a global family by creating and supporting programs that inspire and educate the next generation about respect, understanding and cultural diversity. Information can be found at wearefamiliyfoundation.org. To learn more about the Three Dot Dash initiative, go to threedotdash.org.