Media Releases

Pebble Tossers Welcomes Two New Board Members

(Atlanta, GA, September 30, 2020)…Pebble Tossers, Atlanta’s leading youth development nonprofit organization, welcomes two new community leaders to its board of directors: Brandy Brock of Google Cloud Business Solutions and Andy Dakshina of FiServ.

“Brandy and Andy bring diverse talents and experiences to the Pebble Tossers Board, which are a vital part of the Board’s success, “ said Rebecca Sandberg, Board President. “We look forward to the leadership and perspectives they will add to our team.” 

Brandy Brock
A developer of leaders in the workforce, Brandy fits right in with the Pebble Tossers mission to empower youth to lead through service. She is a strong believer in volunteerism leading to good citizenship and strong character development. Brandy is the Head of Southeast Sales for Google Cloud Business Solutions.

“I cherished my time volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters,” said Brandy. “After 15 years, I am still in contact with my little and her family and we meet up often with our families. Volunteering is a great way to grow in confidence, empathy and understanding.”

Andy Dakshina
Andy and his family are longtime Pebble Tossers members and have participated in several of our key service projects. They hold a strong belief of volunteerism as an essential part of youth and family development. They embody the Pebble Tossers mission. Andy is an Account Executive at FiServ.

2020 Board of Directors, Pebble Tossers
Rebecca Sandberg – Board President, The Brevit Group
Aaron Dixon – Board Vice President, Alston & Bird
Vijay Vaswani – Board Treasurer, Bennett Thrasher, CPA
Broughton Barry – Board Secretary, Wolters Kluwer
Brandy Brock – Google Cloud Business Solutions
Andy Dakshina – FiServ
Leslie Graham – United Digestive
Mary Ulmer Jones – Bank of America
Eric Meier – United Heathcare
Amy Merry – Amazon Web Services
Elizabeth Rasberry – ABB
Asher Royal – Davita Kidney Care
Kelly Weber – OneDigital

About Pebble Tossers

Pebble Tossers is the premier local youth service organization focused on providing families with a comprehensive path to youth development through service to others, from preschool to graduation, or “nap to cap.” Customized programming empowers youth to lead by providing them with resources and age-appropriate opportunities. With Pebble Tossers, volunteers sign up, show up, and serve to create a ripple of giving in their community.

(Click to Download the Media Release)

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Top Leaders Slated to Speak for Teen Leadership Program

Business and education leaders to share their insights, best practices and advice to the next generation of leaders as a part of the  Pebble Tossers Teen Leadership Program.

(Atlanta, GA, September 16, 2020)…Pebble Tossers, Atlanta’s leading youth development nonprofit organization, launched its Teen Leadership Program (TLP) in August and is now launching its impressive lineup of speakers.

The speakers represent a wide cross-section of the Southeast’s professional business community including nonprofit organizations, technology businesses, educational institutions, and a Super Bowl Champion. These community leaders and their chosen topics support the mission of the TLP to help the service-minded teens selected for the program to cultivate a deeper understanding of themselves and their impact on their community and the world. 

Topics will cover the multiple benefits of service, self-awareness and a personal presence, college planning, developing an understanding of society, leadership styles, relationship skills, trends in digital citizenship and more.

Scheduled to Speak:

Jann H. Adams, PhD
Associate Vice President for Leadership Initiatives and Lead Director of the Andrew Young Center for Global Leadership
Morehouse College

Leslie Anderson, M.S., LMFT, Ph.D.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Associate Professor
The University of Southern Mississippi

Beth Bristow
Educational Consultant: College Planning + Test Preparation
Beth Bristow Tutorial Services

Alex Desiderio
Director, Recruitment + Employee Engagement
Woodruff Arts Center

Titania Jordan
CMO and Chief Parent Officer
Bark.us

Malcolm Mitchell
Retired NFL, New England Patriots: UGA Football
Author
Founder
Share the Magic Foundation, Inc.

Michelle Schroeder
Artist Educator
Columbus Academy

Cherie Wilson
Director, Community Relations Manager
Bank of America

“In our inaugural year, we are excited to partner with leaders of this caliber who have generously offered their time and expertise to our teens,” said Jennifer Guynn, Founding Executive Director, Pebble Tossers. “We know the guidance and wisdom they offer will greatly benefit our young leaders now and as they move forward on their chosen paths.”

To view a complete list of speakers, bios and topics click here.

The 32 teens selected for the inaugural Pebble Tossers TLP will be initiating, developing and organizing their own service projects that will assist in their development of the three tenets of the program: Serve, Lead, Succeed.

Teen Leadership Program (TLP) Information

The nine-month TLP includes in-person + virtual meetings, special guest speakers, and a service project that participants will create and implement as a group. The TLP supplements valuable experiences in the lives of these passionate young people and builds the sense of self-esteem and self-efficacy that our world needs in the leaders of tomorrow. The 32 students chosen for the inaugural program are not only participants but trailblazers as they will help mold the program for future participants.

For more information, visit www.pebbletossers.org/teen.

About Pebble Tossers

Pebble Tossers is the premier local youth service organization focused on providing families with a comprehensive path to youth development through service to others, from preschool to graduation, or “nap to cap.” Customized programming empowers youth to lead by providing them with resources and age-appropriate opportunities. With Pebble Tossers, volunteers sign up, show up, and serve to create a ripple of giving in their community.

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Metro Atlanta Teens selected for New Teen Leadership Program

Pebble Tossers congratulates 32 teenagers selected for its
inaugural 2020-21 teen leadership program

(Atlanta, GA, July 22, 2020)…Pebble Tossers, Atlanta’s leading youth development nonprofit organization, is launching its Teen Leadership Program (TLP) in August, 2020. In line with the Pebble Tossers mission to empower and equip youth to lead through service, the program provides opportunities for service-minded teens to cultivate a deeper understanding of themselves and their impact on their community and the world.

The Teens

32 students
25 Metro Atlanta high schools and middle schools
One (1) 7th grader, eight (8) 8th graders, four (4) freshmen, seven (7) sophomores, nine (9) juniors, and three (3) seniors
Who are they?
Musicians, Artists, Athletes, Tech Wizards, Philanthropists, Girl Scouts, Writers and more!

The TLP curriculum covers personal and practical life-skills such as self-awareness, self-management, growth-mindset, social awareness, healthy relationship skills, and responsible decision-making skills. The scheduled activities also cover the ways these skills apply within the three tenets of the program: Serve, Lead, Succeed.

“I’m looking forward to watching a group of exceptional young people grow personally and come together to create their own service projects within the community,” said Ben Deignan, Youth Program Manager, Pebble Tossers.

The nine-month program includes in-person + virtual meetings, special guest speakers, and a service project that participants will create and implement as a group. The TLP supplements valuable experiences in the lives of these passionate young people and builds the sense of self-esteem and self-efficacy that our world needs in the leaders of tomorrow. The 33 students chosen for the inaugural program are not only participants but trailblazers as they will help mold the program for future participants.

“I am inspired. The applications submitted by these teens reflect how much good there is in our community,” said Jennifer Guynn, Founder + Executive Director, Pebble Tossers. “These teens are well on their way to being successful leaders.”

Teen Leadership Program Information

Website:
www.pebbletossers.org/teen

About Pebble Tossers

Pebble Tossers is the premier local youth service organization focused on providing families with a comprehensive path to youth development through service to others, from preschool to graduation, or “nap to cap.” Customized programming empowers youth to lead by providing them with resources and age-appropriate opportunities. With Pebble Tossers, volunteers sign up, show up, and serve to create a ripple of giving in their community.

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Teen Leadership Program 2020-2021 Members

Cameron Black Sophomore Dunwoody High School
Zoe Charles Freshman Sprayberry High School
Sofia Charles 8th Grade Simpson Middle School
Jack Covington Junior Roswell High School
Avery DeMoss Sophomore Walton High School
Nupur Desai Sophomore Walton High School
Alex Farquharson 8th Grade Cliff Valley School
Natalie Ficco Junior St. Pius X Catholic High School
Grace Ann Gearhart Freshman Roswell High School
Grayson Giguere Freshman Westminster
Anagha Gowda 8th Grade Autrey Mill Middle School
Katie Graebner Junior St. Pius X Catholic High School
Shreya Gupta 8th Grade Cornerstone Christian Academy
Jasmin Harris Junior Charles R Drew Highschool
Jane Holliday Junior Mount Vernon School
James Jones Senior The Lovett School
Adam Jordan II Junior Druid Hills High School
Cannon Kleinknecht Sophomore The Lovett School
Evie Louis 8th Grade Holy Redeemer
Rustin Makhmalbaf Junior Johns Creek High School
Grace Manning 7th Grade Autrey Mill Middle School
Ainsley McCaa Senior Henry W. Grady High School
Rachel McDonald Sophomore Alpharetta High School
Edgewood Nielsen Freshman Midtown International School
Caitlin Noble Junior St. Pius X Catholic High School
Davis O’Kelley Senior The Galloway School
Jazmin Perkins Junior Baylor School
Abbigail Purdy 8th Grade Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic
Gracie Rosenberg Junior St. Pius X Catholic High School
Angelina Sheeran 8th Grade St. Francis School
Annamarie ValeCruz Sophomore Marist High School
Ella Whiteman 8th Grade Notre Dame Academy

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Serve. Lead. Succeed. Metro Atlanta Teen Leadership Program

Pebble Tossers announces new 2020-21 teen leadership program initiatives, milestones and goals.

(Atlanta, GA, July 9, 2020)…Pebble Tossers, Atlanta’s leading youth development nonprofit organization, is launching its Teen Leadership Program (TLP) in August, 2020. In line with the Pebble Tossers mission to empower and equip youth to lead through service, the program provides an opportunity for service-minded teens to cultivate a deeper understanding of themselves and their impact on their community and the world.

The TLP curriculum covers personal and practical life-skills such as self-awareness, self-management, growth-mindset, social awareness, healthy relationship skills, and responsible decision-making skills. The scheduled activities also cover the ways these skills apply within the three tenets of the program: Serve, Lead, Succeed.

The nine-month program includes in-person + virtual meetings, special guest speakers, and a service project that participants will create and implement as a group. The TLP supplements valuable experiences in the lives of these passionate young people and builds the sense of self-esteem and self-efficacy that our world needs in the leaders of tomorrow.

A maximum of 30 rising 7th through 12th graders will be accepted into the program that kicks off on August 24th with a virtual meeting. Throughout the 2020-21 school year, the selected teens will participate in eight (8) meetings, several special events and presentations, and as a group they will create, develop, plan and execute a service project of their own.

“For the past eleven years, Pebble Tossers has engaged youth in service to provide the experiences they need to become leaders in our community,” said Jennifer Guynn, Founder + Executive Director, Pebble Tossers. “Our Teen Leadership Program takes this to the next level as we target fundamental social, emotional and leadership skills teens need to handle the challenges of adulthood.”

Teen Leadership Program Information:

Teen Leadership Program Website

Teen Leadership Program Application

Teen Application Due Date: July 17, 2020

Advisor Application

About Pebble Tossers

Pebble Tossers is the premier local youth service organization focused on providing families with a comprehensive path to youth development through service to others, from preschool to graduation, or “nap to cap.” Customized programming empowers youth to lead by providing them with resources and age-appropriate opportunities. With Pebble Tossers, volunteers sign up, show up, and serve to create a ripple of giving in their community.

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Atlanta Area Production Company Partners with Pebble Tossers for Their June Volunteer Project

Brownieland Pictures, a full-service production company in the Atlanta area who partners and supports nonprofits throughout the Atlanta area, chose our Virtual Workshop with Atlanta Community Toolbank.

(Atlanta, GA, June 30, 2020)… As we continue to experience the challenges with the ongoing health climate, Pebble Tossers is working to curate volunteer opportunities for you and your family to continue to safelyserve from home. Several of the available opportunities include a virtual element such as a Zoom Cooking Classes with Two Thumbs Up.

This past week The Atlanta Community ToolBank hosted a Virtual Workshop via Zoom for Pebble Tossers Volunteers. They showed basic hammering techniques while showing those attending how to build a small Keepsake Box. This project was perfect to show kids how to use a hammer (with adult supervision).

Pebble Tossers was excited when they heard that Brownieland Pictures, a full-service production company in the Atlanta area who partners and supports nonprofits throughout the Atlanta area, chose this event as their June volunteer project. We received several pictures from their participants with big smiles on their faces. Be sure to check out what they had to say about this project by visiting Brownieland Pictures blog.

To see pictures of this volunteer project and many more, be sure to follow us on bothInstagram and Facebook.

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Atlanta Teens Change Their World

Pebble Tossers COVID-19 Youth Impact Grant recipients display their strength and leadership by helping others.

(Atlanta, GA, April 29, 2020)… Pebble Tossers, Atlanta’s leading youth development nonprofit organization, gave out $10,000 to metro Atlanta teens. The Pebble Tossers COVID-19 Youth Impact Grant required teens to submit ideas for innovative projects which would positively benefit low-income/at-risk youth and their families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The ten $1,000 mini-grants were awarded on April 6, 2020 and the teen grant recipients completed their grant projects with impressive benefits to the community.

From a pool of 48 submissions, recipients were selected and given a week to implement their projects. In providing youth with a voice and a platform to make a change in their community, the COVID-19 Youth Impact Grant fulfills Pebble Tossers mission of empowering youth to gain leadership skills through service.

Grant Recipients (grants awarded to individuals or small groups)

  • Adam Jordan, 10th grade – Druid Hills High School
  • Anna Banner, 7th grade – Westminster School
  • Angela Sheeran, Allie Knight + Hunter Knight, 7th grade – St. Francis School
  • Grace Manning, 7th grade – Autrey Middle School
  • Kimberly Guzman, 8th grade – Peachtree Charter Middle School
  • Hayden Jacobs, 11th grade – Riverwood High School
  • Chad DeWitt + David DeWitt, 10th + 12 grade – St. Pius X Catholic High School
  • Jasmin Harris, 10th grade – Charles Drew High School
  • Thomas James + Ryan James, 7th grade – Peachtree Charter Middle School
  • Juliette McKinley + Nicholas McKinley, 11th grade – Capstone Academy

Impressive overall impact:

  • 900+ people benefited;
  • 3,000+ meals provided;
  • 17 computer tablets provided access to online education;
  • Hundreds of critical items, such as PPE, cleaning supplies, hygiene kits, and feminine products delivered;
  • Hundreds of comfort items, such as reading materials, games, & toys delivered;
  • Critical care documents translated into multiple languages;
  • Inspired others to join in to increase funding and reach;
  • Leadership skills, such as project management and budgeting, gained;
  • Teens empowered to directly help their communities.

Detailed results:

  • 1300lbs of food delivered to the Community Action Center;
  • 150 “sunshine boxes” delivered to three youth-care nonprofits to assist low-income youth shelter in place mandates;
  • 17 baskets of personal hygiene and snack items delivered to 17 at-risk teenagers at the Rainbow House;
  • 34 fully stocked hygiene packs (two-month supply each) delivered to 34 teenage girls at Social Justice Cafe for Girls;
  • 17 tablets purchased and delivered to 17 elementary school children in need to provide access to their classes and connect their families with internet services;
  • 13 food boxes plus translation services for families in quarantine Clarkston, GA through Friends of Refugees;
  • 208 breakfasts, 40 boxed lunches, 185 dinners and 172 snacks provided to the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities – Scottish Rite;
  • 25 3D printed facemasks for first responders at Smyrna Fire Department Headquarters and the Tillman House plus 90 meals;
  • 35 no-sew masks made and distributed;
  • Bilingual uplifting signs placed throughout communities;
  • Delivered food, hygiene and cleaning supplies to the 80 teens sheltering at Covenant House.

“I see the impact our youth make on our community every day and yet I am continually impressed by their creativity, compassion and desire to lead,” said Jennifer Guynn, Founder + Executive Director, Pebble Tossers. “In a very short timeframe, these teens created, planned, executed and reported on a project that had real impact on other kids hit hard by this pandemic. Many of the kids were able to stretch or add to their grant funds by reaching out to their community.”

The winning projects ranged from creative food drives and care packages to 3-D printing of masks and software tutorials. All recipients of donated items are considered at-risk community members and organizations hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. A complete list of winning projects is available on the Pebble Tossers website, www.pebbletossers.org.

About the Grant

The grant program, organized by Halle Tecco, an entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist, started on March 19, 2020 as an initial investment of $50,000 by Ms. Tecco and quickly grew to $400,000 as additional donations poured into the fund. Within days, 362 applications were submitted and Pebble Tossers was one of 36 nationwide recipients. For details: https://medium.com/@halletecco/supporting-the-helpers-during-covid-19-7cd506ec219d

About Pebble Tossers 

Pebble Tossers is the premier local youth service organization focused on providing families with a comprehensive path to youth development through service to others, from preschool to graduation, or “nap to cap.” Customized programming empowers youth to lead by providing them with resources and age-appropriate opportunities. With Pebble Tossers, volunteers sign up, show up, and serve to create a ripple of giving in their community.

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Ten Atlanta Teens Awarded $1,000 grants to help
those in need due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Pebble Tossers announced grant recipients from a pool of nearly 50 applicants

(Atlanta, GA, April 7, 2020)…Pebble Tossers, Atlanta’s leading youth development nonprofit organization, awarded ten $1,000 grants to greater Atlanta teens. Each grant is being used to provide immediate assistance to low income/at-risk youth and their families in greater Atlanta affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pebble Tossers selected ten grant recipients from 48 applications and each winner developed a concept encompassing an innovative, goal-oriented project. Based on grant guidelines, each project will be developed and executed rapidly to ensure immediate impact on the community.

“The creativity and ingenuity presented in all of the projects was inspiring. This opportunity came up quickly and our local youth continue to amaze us with their passion and commitment to helping their community,” said Jennifer Guynn, Founder + Executive Director, Pebble Tossers. “Our youth want to have a voice in providing solutions during this COVID-19 crisis. These ten grants provide them with a platform and an opportunity to make a significant impact in their community.”

The winning projects range from creative food drives and care packages to 3-D printing of masks and software tutorials. All recipients of donated items are at-risk community members and organizations hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. A complete list of winning projects is available on the Pebble Tossers website, www.pebbletossers.org.

Announced only ten days prior to awarding the grant, Pebble Tossers quickly mobilized its community of nonprofits and youth volunteers to spread the word of the opportunity. The original $10,000 grant was provided to Pebble Tossers by Halle Tecco.

To learn more about the Pebble Tossers COVID-19 Youth Impact Grant and its winners please visit: www.pebbletossers.org/COVID19grant

About the Grant

The grant program, quickly organized by Halle Tecco beginning March 19th, started as an initial investment of $50,000 by Ms. Tecco and quickly grew to $400,000 as additional donations poured into the fund. Within days, 362 applications were submitted and Pebble Tossers was one of 36 nationwide recipients. The proposals were based on the following criteria:

  • The non-profit is solving an emergent problem created by COVID-19 vs. supporting ongoing operations stretched by COVID-19.
  • The use of funds is clear, compelling, efficient, and measurable.
  • The non-profit has a leadership team and board which is diverse and representative of the population they are serving.
  • The organization has already shown commitment to ameliorating the impact of COVID-19 (e.g. this isn’t a new program they invented to get a grant).
  • The non-profit is a registered 501(c)3 or is working with a registered fiscal sponsor.
  • More details: https://medium.com/@halletecco/supporting-the-helpers-during-covid-19-7cd506ec219d

About Pebble Tossers

Pebble Tossers is the premier local youth service organization focused on providing families with a comprehensive path to youth development through service to others, from preschool to graduation, or “nap to cap.” Customized programming empowers youth to lead by providing them with resources and age-appropriate opportunities. With Pebble Tossers, volunteers sign up, show up, and serve to create a ripple of giving in their community.

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Local nonprofit committed to youth receives $10,000 grant
for COVID-19 Projects

Pebble Tossers to disperse $10,000 to ten groups or individuals

(Atlanta, GA, March 2020)…Pebble Tossers, Atlanta’s leading youth development nonprofit organization, is one of 36 recipients nationwide of a $10,000 grant from Halle Tecco, an entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist. The grant will be used to provide immediate assistance to low income/at-risk youth and their families in greater Atlanta affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pebble Tossers will mobilize youth volunteers and provide ten individuals or small groups with “mini-grants” of $1,000 each to create innovative solutions to problems resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis. Through these grants, Pebble Tossers will mold a new generation of servant leaders, philanthropists, and community activists.

“We are honored to be able to offer this leadership opportunity to greater Atlanta’s youth. Our goal is to equip and empower youth to reach their leadership potential through service,” said Jennifer Guynn, Founder + Executive Director, Pebble Tossers. “Our world has dramatically changed over the past four weeks and our youth need positive and impactful opportunities to create ripples of giving that will last their lifetime.”

To apply for the Pebble Tossers COVID-19 Youth Impact Grant, please visit:
www.pebbletossers.org/COVID19grant

Based on grant recipient guidelines, the time period for the projects is short.

Application Due Date: Friday, April 3rd
Grants Awarded Date: Monday, April 6th
Project Completion Date: Monday, April 13th

About the Grant

The grant program, quickly organized by Halle Tecco beginning March 19th, started as an initial investment of $50,000 by Ms. Tecco and quickly grew to $400,000 additional donations poured into the fund. Within days, 362 applications for the grants poured in and Pebble Tossers was one of 36 recipients. The proposals were based on the following criteria:

  • The non-profit is solving an emergent problem created by COVID-19 vs. supporting ongoing operations stretched by COVID-19.
  • The use of funds is clear, compelling, efficient, and measurable.
  • The non-profit has a leadership team and board which is diverse and representative of the population they are serving.
  • The organization has already shown commitment to ameliorating the impact of COVID-19 (e.g. this isn’t a new program they invented to get a grant).
  • The non-profit is a registered 501(c)3 or is working with a registered fiscal sponsor.
  • More details: https://medium.com/@halletecco/supporting-the-helpers-during-covid-19-7cd506ec219d

About Pebble Tossers

Pebble Tossers is the premier local youth service organization focused on providing families with a comprehensive path to youth development through service to others, from preschool to graduation, or “nap to cap.” Customized programming empowers youth to lead by providing them with resources and age-appropriate opportunities. With Pebble Tossers, volunteers sign up, show up, and serve to create a ripple of giving in their community.

News Coverage

CNN Article

https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/03/us/volunteering-coronavirus-kids-spring-break-trnd/index.html