Program Overview

Students who join the Tyler Clementi Foundation Youth Ambassadors program participate in the following ways:

  • Gather virtually every month to build community, develop new skills, and learn about a variety of issues related to bullying and cyberbullying. Students also gain perspective by learning about the experiences of a diverse group of peers.
  • Promote Upstander behavior, kindness, and inclusion in their community by implementing Tyler Clementi Foundation’s Upstander pledge and #Day 1 program.
  • Meet individually every month with Tyler Clementi Foundation staff for advising, coaching, and support related to their anti-bullying projects. 
  • Learn from the experiences of current and former Youth Ambassadors.
  • Develop a portfolio of anti-bullying milestones and accomplishments.

Learning Experience

Students who join the Tyler Clementi Foundation Youth Ambassadors have opportunities to learn and discuss the following topics:

  • Anti-bullying 101, best practices for preventing, interrupting, and reporting bullying behaviors, and tools for promoting Upstander behavior;
  • Tyler’s story and the history of the Tyler Clementi Foundation;
  • Strategies for creating a more positive school culture;
  • Promoting acceptance and inclusion among their peers;
  • Youth organizing tactics for policy change;
  • Effective communication and public speaking;
  • Safe and productive social-media use; 
  • Coordinating transformative events for education, raising awareness, fundraising, and community building. 
  • The basics of starting a student organization and mobilizing students to volunteer; 
  • Addressing implicit bias and discrimination;
  • Awareness of issues related to systemic inequality; 
  • Mental health as it relates to individuals’ experiences with bullying;
  • Writing and teaching lesson plans that address bullying and group dynamics;
  • Creating and publishing anti-bullying digital content including audio, video, and writing. 

How to Apply for Youth Ambassadors

Submit your application here for the 2023 Cohort 

At the Tyler Clementi Foundation, we believe that achieving our goal of ending bullying in schools should be led by ambitious, talented, and compassionate youth across the country. We welcome applications from Middle and High School youth (11-18) who are interested in volunteering their time to coordinate anti-bullying projects in their community. International students are welcome to apply, however, they are required to attend evening meetings held between 5-7 pm EST. 

The application window for the 2023 cohort is December 9, 2022 – March 13, 2023. 2023 Cohort applications will be accepted starting on December 9. The program runs from January to December 2023. In order to participate, applicants must sign and return a consent form along with a recent photo of themselves. Participation requires an internet connection, a Gmail account, and a computer with video conference capabilities or a mobile phone.

Click here to view the Youth Ambassadors program expectations.

Youth Ambassadors are eligible to receive credit for volunteer hours and/or college recommendations if they successfully complete the program.    

Please email us at if you have any questions.

2023 Cohort 

These dedicated students will be volunteering their time as Tyler Clementi Foundation Youth Ambassadors to plan anti-bullying projects in their communities. 

Ashneel Ejenkar

Burlington High School

This is Ashneel's first year as a Youth Ambassador with the Tyler Clementi Foundation. Ashneel is a 10th grade student at Burlington High School, where he participates in clubs such as Wrestling Club, Asian-American Club, and Robotics Club that he started as a Freshman last year. Ashneel loves playing all varieties of sports. He has been a part of 6 clubs mainly revolving around sports and awareness at Burlington High School. He is a member of the tennis team, and also recently participated in a charity event. Ashneel, also does much charity work with his friends for different organizations and causes. Recently, he made 200 sandwiches for the Brother’s Table organization which spotlights the elderly. He loves Burlington, although he feels that every place is able to improve even more. Ashneel hopes that he is able to spread the Tyler Clementi Foundation’s values to empower those in the community to stand up for what is right. It is Ashneel’s goal with the help of the Tyler Clementi Foundation to enact positive change.

Aaria Madan Nagpal

Austin Preparatory School

Aaria Madan Nagpal is a 14 year old freshman in Austin Preparatory School in Reading, Massachusetts. It is her first year as a Youth Ambassador for the Tyler Clementi Foundation. She enjoys swimming and dancing. Aaria has competed with her school’s varsity swim team during the winter season, and has excelled in the 50 freestyle. Aaria does many extracurriculars outside of school such as piano, tennis, Indian classical dance, and swimming. She has volunteered for many local nonprofits in her community such as Hindi Manch, IAGB, and LearnQuest. Most recently, she has helped create 200 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the Brother’s Table. Aaria joined the Youth Ambassadors program to spread awareness about bullying and how it can impact a person in the future as well.

Caiden Failing

The Aquinas Institution

This is Caiden’s first year as a Youth Ambassador for Tyler Clementi Foundation (TCF). Caiden is a 10th grade Student at The Aquinas Institution, where he participates in the Theatre department as the Assistant Stage Manager. He is also in Student Government and Advanced Choir. Caiden loves music, especially singing and songwriting. Caiden wants to improve not just his community but the world around him so everyone can have a place in this world. This starts with ending bullying of all kinds. Caiden’s goal with Tyler Clementi Foundation is to see change and more people accepting themselves and doing what they love. To push back the stereotypes and be who they are meant to be. “I joined the Tyler Clementi Youth Ambassador Program so that people can find themselves and what they love without being afraid of being bullying, judged and feared. I want people to be able to look up to someone and see that they can help them through whatever difficulty they may face. I would love to be that light and figure for somebody because everyone needs a role model; we all need different role models because we’re all different in unique ways.”

Danielle Apfelbaum

Miami Country Day School

Danielle is a high school junior from Miami who attends Miami Country Day School. It is Danielle's first year as a Youth Ambassador and she has joined to create a safe community within her high school. Danielle works to end bullying within her school by being a Peer Counselor and is the head of creating awareness and inclusion for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities at her high school. Along with this, Danielle is the President of Generation SOS, a club that creates an open conversation about mental health and destigmatizes addiction. Danielle's goal as a Youth Ambassador is to make everyone on her school campus feel accepted and valued.

Jahara Dawn Anderson

Josephine Dobbs Early College High School

My name is Jahara Dawn Anderson. I'm a junior in high school from Durham, North Carolina, and I attend Josephine Dobbs Early College High School at North Carolina Central University. I take part in a variety of groups and extracurricular activities, including the National Honor Society, the Yearbook Club, and SGA (Student Government Association), where I had the opportunity to hold the vice president and president positions. Political Science is a field of study that interests me, and I plan to major in it in college. As a Youth Ambassador for the first time, I am very excited to learn from this experience. Making a difference in my community and getting more involved are my top priorities, along with creating a safe and more positive space for everyone at my school.

Avery Eichel

American Heritage in Plantation

Avery Eichel is a 15 year old high school student at American Heritage in Plantation, Florida. She enjoys riding horses and baking. This is Avery’s first year as a Youth Ambassador and she is so excited to be a part of this amazing organization. Avery hopes to help in the fight against bullying by nurturing kindness amongst youth and encouraging compassion within her community. She is currently the president of March For Our Lives (MFOL) at her school and is also on the speech and debate team. Avery couldn't be more honored to be standing up for what is right, right beside TCF.

Hayley Cohen

Dwight Englewood Middle school

Hayley is a 13 year old 8th grader at Dwight Englewood Middle school in Englewood, New Jersey. Hayley applied to the position of a Youth Ambassador to be involved in the anti-bullying initiative and in creating the mission of the Tyler Clementi Foundation: to stop on and offline bullying. Hayley is the Editor-In-Chief of “PaperCut”, her middle school newspaper, where she creates a space and publication for students to share their writing on different current issues in the world. She is also the Editor-In-Chief of “OpenRoads,” her middle school literary magazine where students can share any piece of writing or images. Hayley takes part in her school clubs that allow students to express themselves through literature and can share with their school community and others. Hayley wants to create an outlet for people to be able to express themselves and be reassured that they are never alone and that their story should be told.

Audrey Mitros

Audubon, New Jersey

Audrey Mitros is a 17-year old junior from Audubon, New Jersey. At her high school, she is a part of the swim team, track team, Environmental Club, Project Memorial, Spanish Club, band, choir, Interact Club, Intergenerational- along with many other activities- and her favorite subject is science. She also spends a lot of time volunteering at her community library, and during the pandemic, she founded some influential events for it: Safe(r) Space, a program for teens of marginalized identities to meet and feel connected to one another despite the struggles of worldwide shutdowns, and WRDB (We Read Diverse Books)- a program to spotlight a variety of books by diverse authors, because books are one of the most powerful forms of activism. Safe(r) Space received an NJLA Innovative Program Award for recognized excellence within the community in June of 2021. This is her second returning year as a Youth Ambassador for the Tyler Clementi Foundation, and she is very excited to continue to make a difference and spread awareness in her community because she believes that change starts within yourself. When you act with empathy and compassion, it will ripple and pave the way for other people to act with kindness too. She is passionate about stopping bullying in its tracks because no one deserves to feel alone, and being an ally to people who might not always have the opportunity to have a voice is so extraordinarily important. “Try to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.”

Lauren Kim

New Jersey

Lauren is ecstatic for her first year as a Youth Ambassador with the Tyler Clementi Foundation! She is a high school sophomore from New Jersey. Lauren enjoys staying involved with her community and is able to do so through activities such as student government, yearbook club, and volunteering with Project Engage NJ! Lauren was enticed to become a Youth Ambassador because she believes the morals of the Tyler Clementi Foundation are essential to stand up for those whose voices have been silenced. Lauren feels grateful to have received the proper education on bullying and hopes to spread the message to those who currently do not have access to anti-bullying resources. She hopes to reach younger audiences in order to educate the youth on bullying prevention methods and to create inclusive environments in schools. Lauren hopes to promote acceptance and respect in communities and is content to work alongside such a dedicated team!

Peyton Eichel


Peyton Eichel is currently 15 years old, and a freshman at American Heritage School Plantation. She is proud to be a part of the Tyler Clementi Foundation Youth Ambassador Program because she wants to make a change for the better in her community. She wants to use her voice to fix major reoccurring problems throughout her community. As a Youth Ambassador, she hopes to work as a team to spread a powerful message to the community about putting an end to bullying, cyberbullying, and harassment.

Program Impact

Tyler Clementi Foundation Youth Ambassadors prevent and interrupt bullying in schools across the country. Their actions create lasting change by raising awareness about the harmful effects of bullying. The Fall 2020 Youth Ambassador cohort collectively achieved the following milestones:

  • Shared the Tyler Clementi Foundation #Day 1 program with over 1,000 students
  • Recruited over 2,000 individuals to sign the Tyler Clementi Foundation #Upstander pledge. 
  • Raised awareness on social media with messages reaching over 5,000 users.
  • Founded clubs and local organizations with a total membership of over 100 students.
  • Created original content including videos, lesson plans, and musical performances shared with over 500 individuals
  • Visited elementary and middle school classrooms to facilitate original lessons and projects promoting kindness and empathy. 
  • Volunteered over 500 hours of their time toward interrupting and preventing bullying in their communities. 

This amazing group dedicated themselves to promoting #Upstander behavior each day. Individually, they completed a variety of anti-bullying actions by starting clubs, volunteering in classrooms, organizing assemblies, producing videos, coordinating social media campaigns, and much more. Learn more about their efforts and accomplishments below. Keep reading to hear about the great work of Anushka, Katherine, Shreya, Jared, Melissa, Abby, Michael, Pelin, and Emma. Youth Ambassadors participate in monthly research-based, interactive, virtual learning sessions on various topics including cyberbullying, effective communication, and #Upstander strategies. They also develop relationships with peers and receive 1-1 coaching for event coordination and production. They turn inspiration and learning into action by coordinating two anti-bullying actions. 

Anushka Dalvi

“I joined the youth ambassadors program last year because I have always been in a safe space and have never experienced bullying. Reading the news, it upsets me that not everyone has a safe and comfortable environment. This is why I want to take an initiative to help others live in a positive community”. Background: Anushka is a first-year student at the University of Michigan where she is studying Biology pre-med. She aspires to become a medical professional.  Anti-Bullying Achievements: 

  • Created the Kindness Grows program at her High School in Troy, Michigan. This innovative program promoted a more positive school culture by providing students the opportunity to publicly share kindness and appreciation for one another. 
  • Raised Awareness at Health Occupation Students of America chapter meetings, through which Anushka educated young people on issues related to mental health and bullying. Aligned with her interest in a medical career, she is interested in how experiences with bullying have the potential to affect anxiety and depression. 
  • Produced an educational video series on bullying, kindness, mental health, and stress response. 
  • Influenced her peers through the use of social media by posting about the need for kind actions and #Upstander behaviors. 
  • Recruited over 100 of her peers to sign the Tyler Clementi Foundation #Upstander pledge.


Katherine Gelshenen

“I believe that the best way to prevent bullying is to begin teaching acceptance, respect, and inclusion from a young age. My goal is to help children build awareness of how to help others and themselves deal with bullying and to be positive role models in their communities.” Background: Katherine is a Junior at Ridgewood High School in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Through a variety of volunteer roles, she has dedicated herself to promoting awareness of acceptance, respect, and inclusion among young children. Anti-Bullying Achievements:

  • Co-founded #Day 1 Reps of Bergen County, trained a group of eighteen Bergen County High School students to coordinate #Day 1 events and other anti-bullying actions in their schools. 
  • Co-founded #Day 1 Leaders of New Jersey and #Day 1 Reps of New Jersey, a program that works with over 60 students from around New Jersey to coordinate #Day 1 events and other actions. 
  • Co-created the #Upstander Challenge, a bullying prevention video challenge along with #Day 1 Reps from around Bergen County. 
  • Facilitated several #Day 1 Reps meetings and events that raised awareness about the harmful effects of bullying and the importance of #Upstander behavior.
  • Coordinated a #Day 1 assembly at Ramsey High School in which over 500 students participated in #Day 1 and signed the #Upstander pledge. 

Shreya Krishnan

“Bullying is a serious issue that we can address through kindness, compassion, and empathy, but also by exploring the impact of hurtful words and actions through art.” Background: Shreya is a Junior at Discovery Canyon Campus in Colorado Springs. She is a musician and dancer who volunteers her time teaching these skills to young students. Anti-Bullying Achievements:

  • Advocated for anti-bullying policies as the spokesperson for the anti-bullying and suicide prevention campaign spearheaded by the Colorado Springs Conservatory. Through this program, Shreya spoke to over 10,000 elementary and middle school students in the Pikes Peak region. She also delivered her anti-bullying message to the Colorado Springs City Council and El Paso County Commissioners meetings.
  • Served as Young Champion Ambassador for the City of Colorado Springs, a youth leadership program, through which Shreya was selected to be a torchbearer for the Tokyo Olympic Games in Ancient Olympia Greece, the birthplace of the Olympics.
  • Composed and performed original music and dance performances for students that address the dangers of bullying and the need for kindness, compassion, and empathy. 
Jared Orlov

“I believe that my personal mission is to help others to the best of my ability, thus ensuring a better future for the following generations. I do this by preventing and intervening in bullying, working to end prejudice, bias, bigotry, and by raising awareness about its implications for suicidal thoughts and actions.” Background: Jared Orlov is a 16-year-old social activist in New York City who hopes to become a kindergarten teacher and model behaviors that help kids develop and nurture kindness, which he believes can create profound change. Jared believes if children develop kindness and thoughtfulness at a young age, they will be less prone to bullying others and more prone to working to understand others.

Anti-Bullying Achievements:

  • Created original lesson plans for elementary and middle school students about social-emotional learning and anti-bullying skills. Available for download here.
  • Volunteered at his Taekwondo Dojang to deliver the #Day 1 program and #Upstander pledge to over 100 students.
  • Taught lessons to younger students about how to be kind and supportive to each other, and how to look out for kids who feel isolated. He emphasized the value of cooperation and the concept of the “indomitable spirit” – when you get knocked down, you get right back up again; you may have a bad day being bullied, but hang on to your self-worth and keep moving forward.
Melissa Reifman

“Combating bullying became an important cause for me after seeing its devastating effects in the news, particularly in the form of youth suicides. Seeing kids younger than me taking their lives because of others’ mean words and actions broke my heart and motivated me to start making a difference.” Background: “Melissa Reifman is a High School Senior from Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. At her school, she is Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper, a lead defense attorney on the Mock Trial Team, and President of Rotary Club. Outside of school, Melissa enjoys teaching and practicing taekwondo, as well as volunteering with her town’s historical society.” Anti-Bullying Achievements:

  • Created an initiative called P.A.S.T. Bullying, which stands for Putting A Stop To Bullying. The week-long campaign included daily PSA’s (public service announcements), hand-outs, as well as an evening program. At the program, she interviewed Mrs. Clementi about her son Tyler, as well as Jenna Rose, who faced bullying as the result of a viral YouTube video.
  • Facilitated an anti-bullying workshop for middle school girls as well as made cards and bracelets for victims of bullying. In addition to preventing bullying, Melissa is passionate about her schoolwork and extracurricular activities.
  • Co-founded #Day 1 Reps of Bergen County, trained a group of eighteen Bergen County High School students to coordinate #Day 1 events and other anti-bullying actions in their schools. 
  • Co-founded #Day 1 Leaders of New Jersey and #Day 1 Reps of New Jersey, a program that works with over 60 students from around New Jersey to coordinate #Day 1 events and other actions. 
  • Co-created the #Upstander Challenge (below), a bullying prevention video challenge along with #Day 1 Reps from around Bergen County. 
  • Facilitated several #Day 1 Reps meetings and events that raised awareness about the harmful effects of bullying and the importance of #Upstander behavior.
  • Coordinated a #Day 1 assembly at Ramsey High School in which over 500 students participated in #Day 1 and signed the #Upstander pledge. 
Abby James-Vickery

“I have always had an interest in raising awareness of bullying, especially when it has to do with race, gender, sexuality, and religion. I believe that people deserve to be themselves without fear of what others will do and that kids should live their life to the fullest and be accepted.”

Background: Abby James-Vickery is a 17-year-old high school student in Hackensack, New Jersey. Abby is president of the Social Justice Club at her school and serves as treasurer of the student council and is a member of the Spanish Honor Society. She became involved in TCF by joining #Day 1 Reps.

  • Designed and implemented a two-week anti-bullying Instagram campaign in cooperation with her High School’s guidance department. Anti-bullying posts reached over 3,700 Instagram users and her stories were viewed by nearly 5,000 individuals.
  • Currently coordinating an anti-bullying digital design poster contest in tandem with her high school’s art and digital design departments.




Michael Reifman

“I applied to be a Youth Ambassador after seeing the amazing of the Tyler Clementi Foundation. I wanted to take part in their mission to stop online and offline bullying.” Background: Michael is a sophomore at Northern Highlands Regional High School. He is involved in his school newspaper, A Capella, and Model UN. Anti-Bullying Achievements


  • Co-founded #Day 1 Reps of Bergen County, trained a group of eighteen Bergen County High School students to coordinate #Day 1 events and other anti-bullying actions in their schools. 
  • Co-founded #Day 1 Leaders of New Jersey and #Day 1 Reps of New Jersey, a program that works with over 60 students from around New Jersey to coordinate #Day 1 events and other actions. 
  • Co-created the #Upstander Challenge (below), a bullying prevention video challenge along with #Day 1 Reps from around Bergen County. 
  • Facilitated several #Day 1 Reps meetings and events that raised awareness about the harmful effects of bullying and the importance of #Upstander behavior.
Pelin E. Cokuslu

“I have always had a deep curiosity for learning all branches of knowledge. I wanted to live out Tyler Clementi Foundation’s mission to prevent bullying by educating young children on the important virtue of empathy in my local community.” Background: Pelin E. Cokuslu is a 15-year-old sophomore in Fairview, New Jersey. She attends Cliffside Park High School.

Anti-Bullying Achievements:

  • Founder and President of Bergen Young Leaders for Kindness and Empathy (BYLKE). BYLKE’s mission is to put an end to bullying and discrimination by educating elementary school students about core values of acceptance, diversity, kindness, empathy, and respect.
  • Designed original lesson plans for BYLKE’s partnership with elementary teachers which focused on promoting social-emotional skills for bullying prevention.
  • Served as a program leader in the #Day 1 Reps program. 


Emma Balfay

“As a friend and ally to the LGBTQ+ community, I have dedicated my life and time to making the school environment a better place for teens of different gender identities and sexualities. Being born and raised in Texas, one of the most diverse places in the nation, but also one of the least accepting states in the nation, has become integral to my identity as well as my motivation for activism.” Background: Emma Balfay is a 15-year-old sophomore at McKinney Boyd High School living in McKinney, Texas. Emma’s goal is to encourage inclusivity and diversity throughout all high schools in America. Emma first started taking action in middle school as a part of the YMCA’s Youth and Government program, which awakened her to the disparity in equality legislation towards LGBTQ+ people; forming her end goal of changing legislation in Texas to become more inclusive and fair towards all Texans.  Anti-Bullying Achievements:

  • Founded Students for Diversity and Inclusion (SDI), which provides information, assistance, opportunities to students concerning issues of equal opportunity, microaggressions, racism, and discrimination.
  • Represented the student body on the district’s Equity board, advising on issues including curriculum and school policy. 
  • Served as a member of her local chapter of Diversify our Narrative, which works to bring more inclusive and anti-racist texts into schools.
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