MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. – Local teen Nicholas Lowinger has been selected as one of 10 winners from across the country of the Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program, which awards $10,000 each to youth who have spearheaded volunteer initiatives, Kohl’s Department Stores announced Wednesday.
Lowinger, a 15-year-old Cranston resident, was selected for his work with the Gotta Have Sole Foundation, which he created to provide sneakers, boots and other shoes for homeless children. The organization has already served about 7,400 children nationwide.
In addition to the $10,000 prize, which comes in the form of a scholarship for higher education, Lowinger will also get to select a charity to which Kohl’s will donate $1,000.
From about 35,000 nominees, the 10 winners, aged eight to 17, were chosen for their leadership and initiative skills and the success of the volunteer efforts they had led.
This is the competition’s 13th year. Beyond the top winners, Kohl’s awarded more than $400,000 to more than 2,300 youth across the country this year.
Lowinger, who originally founded Gotta Have Sole in 2010 as his bar mitzvah service project, has made headlines for his work, including an appearance on the Today Show. The We Are Family Foundation also named him a 2013 Global Teen Leader.
The nonprofit relies on donations from footwear manufacturers. Lowinger told PBN in January that he hopes to be operating in more than half the country by the end of the year. He also said he plans to start additional programs serving military families and disadvantaged tennis-playing youth.