Emerging Young Leader Award

Brittany Amano 


From November 2013 through January 15th, 2014, we asked: Are you a young woman who dreams of leading in politics? Or do you know one? After receiving almost 300 nominations of young women with demonstrated leadership ability and a passion to change the world, we’ve carefully chosen the 10 most outstanding nominees to be our semifinalists. Now it’s their turn. These 10 young women have a chance to get everyone voting so that they can become one of the 5 finalists. Our 5 finalists will be great role models for their peers, tireless advocates for the causes they care about, and leaders in all areas of their lives. Running Start will feature the finalists at our 8th Annual Women to Watch Awards in Washington, DC on April 2, 2014. The Finalists will share the stage with four high-powered women leaders who Running Start will also honor. The winner will be announced at the Awards ceremony.


Brittany Amano headshot Name: Brittany Amano
Age: 16
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Claim to fame: Started two nonprofits, raised over $596,000 and empowers social change.

Why is Brittany an Emerging Young Leader?

About Brittany: Brittany Amano is a junior at Iolani School. She has worked with various nonprofit organizations since the age of nine and has even started her own, too: Hawaii’s Future Isn’t Hungry and Teens Stopping Domestic Violence. She has worked with organizations such as Leahi Hospital, YMCA, and local food banks and is a member of the YWCA Young Women’s Network Board, the National No Bull Youth Advisory Council, and the Hawaii Meth Project Teen Advisory Council, and is the Executive Vice President of the National Teen Council. She also helps youth get involved in service and start their own social ventures.

Why Brittany is an Emerging Young Leader:  I am an emerging young leader because I am passionate and determined to better my community and inspire others to do the same. My past experiences have motivated me to start two nonprofits. I started Hawaii’s Future Isn’t Hungry after my grandmother became homeless and Teens Stopping Domestic Violence after seeing my mom being abused and after she took my sister and I to a domestic violence shelter. Through this, I have helped to raise over $596,000 and 84,000 pounds of food for various organizations and recruited over 400 youth volunteers. I have learned from various women leaders and I have had the opportunity to meet Condoleezza Rice, the CEO of GenerationOn, the president of the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce, and the CEO of the YWCA of Honolulu. I come from a small city located in the middle of the Pacific with people from every ethnic background. Being multiracial also sets me apart. As a minority, a young woman, and someone coming from a family living below the poverty line, people might say that I face many challenges to become a leader. I see these as what empower me and make me unique. I have been determined to become a politician from a young age when late Senator Daniel Inouye said that he saw it in me. I feel fulfillment when youth tell me that I inspired them to start their own social ventures or when a homeless man at the park thanks me for showing that I care.

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