Meet INtown's 20 Under 20 for 2017

ByAtlanta INtown staff

Meet our ninth annual 20 Under 20 honorees. We asked public and private schools along with service organizations and the general public to nominate students who have been active volunteers in their communities.

As in previous years, we are astounded at how much time and effort these students put into their volunteer work. Thousands of hours, traveling to other countries, creating nonprofit organizations and mentoring other students are hallmarks of their service.

This year, you will find three third graders – yes, third graders! – who lead an organization that helps the homeless; two friends who created a summer camp for underprivileged kids in Brazil; and a young woman moved by her grandmother’s death to found a nonprofit to help those with severe disabilities in Jamaica.

We also received the most nominations since we began the 20 Under 20 project, which meant picking the honorees was incredibly difficult. So much so, that we also selected 17 runners-up because we felt their service also deserved recognition. We hope these uplifting stories will inspire you to give back to the community. And thank you to the businesses and schools whose advertising support makes this section possible every year.


Lyric Hawkins, 18

KIPP Atlanta Collegiate High School

Lyric is the founding student and reigning president of her school’s first community service club, KAC Cares. She has sponsored numerous community service projects including toy drives, homeless shelter drives, and toiletry drives. She is currently working on a basketball tournament and benefit concert to raise awareness of three issues: human trafficking, mental illness, and police brutality in the black community. Lyric is also planning a prom dress drive in the spring and has already started soliciting donations for this event. Lyric says: “Community service is the most essential part of my life because of my individual story. Coming from a low-income family, I know first-hand the feeling of going without. That feeling of emptiness is the driving force behind my desire to give back to people that are just like me.”


Jordyn McClusky, Treyveonne Stegall and No’elle Finney, 8

KIPP Vision Primary School

These three third graders lead Scholars With A Vision (S.W.A.V.) to provide assistance to the community through donations, community service and scholarships. Their goal is to raise a minimum of $500 per year to contribute to a KIPP scholar who has successfully completed high school and is headed to college. S.W.A.V. has donated furniture to families in need, fed the hungry in partnership with Quest Communities and is scheduled to partner with Calvary Transition Homeless Shelter to provide a formal dinner for clients and donate various personal items to mothers and children. They also adopted a family for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Jordyn had this to say about her work with S.W.A.V.: “It made me happy to volunteer and feed the homeless; they were so happy about eating something that we take for granted every day. I remember them smiling so big when they got the sack with food in it. My mom took me to a street in Atlanta where all the homeless people live right next to a shelter. One day I will feed them all and maybe find them somewhere to live.”