Press Releases

Committee for Children Announces The Imagine Neighborhood™ Podcast’s First Teen Force! Fellowship

High School Storytellers Teach Children Social and Emotional Skills


SEATTLE—June 28, 2021, 9:00 A.M. E.T.—As communities grapple with calls for social justice, a global climate crisis, and an increasingly polarized political sphere, teens have stepped up to lead their neighborhoods, mentor young children, and build a kinder and more just world for everyone. To empower high school storytellers, Committee for Children is thrilled to announce the first The Imagine Neighborhood Teen Force! fellowship. The award-winning podcast’s new fellowship, along with other programming from Committee for Children promoting youth empowerment and family engagement, were made possible by a $220,000 grant from The Allstate Foundation.

“We’re thrilled to have the generous support of The Allstate Foundation to amplify youth voices and empower the next generation of social-emotional learning podcasters,” says Mia Doces, vice president of Innovation at Committee for Children and executive producer of The Imagine Neighborhood. “The Teen Force! fellows are an exceptional group of young storytellers from across the nation who are dedicated to teaching young children the social-emotional skills needed to bring communities together and build a better world for us all.”

The Imagine Neighborhood podcast is built on the framework of Committee for Children’s award-winning Second Step® social-emotional learning (SEL) programs. Hosted by Scotty Iseri, each episode features lively characters and fun, original stories to help children and adults spark important conversations about growing up and develop and practice foundational social-emotional skills.

Each Teen Force! fellow receives a stipend to apprentice with a professional podcast production team, participates in a series of virtual workshops, and creates a segment of The Imagine Neighborhood, which has nearly 500,000 downloads.

The 2021 Teen Force! fellows are:

  • Miranda Zanca
  • Mutanga Lamin
  • Emmy Berger
  • Carolyn Neugarten
  • Samarah Bentley
  • Myles Brown
  • Luke McCloskey
  • Aja Gladden
  • Natalia Romero
  • Maria Marquez
  • Eamon Ryan
  • C.J. Gordon
  • Amelia Rowniewski
  • Maybelle Patterson
  • Esther Chu

Kids and grown-ups can listen to The Imagine Neighborhood Teen Force! segments this fall at or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, SoundCloud, Stitcher, or anywhere podcasts are found.


About Committee for Children

Committee for Children is on a mission to ensure children everywhere can thrive socially, emotionally, and academically. Best known for our innovative social-emotional learning programs that blend research and rigor with intuitive design, we empower children and adults with skills that help them realize their goals in the classroom and throughout their lives. Since 1979, we’ve been connecting experts in the field to share experiences and advance the cause of educating the whole child. We also help pass policies and legislation that place importance on creating safe and supportive learning environments. Today our programs reach more than 20.5 million children in 34 percent of all US elementary schools. By lifting up children today, we’re helping them create a safe and positive society for the future. Learn more at

Media Contacts

Alan Winnikoff

Co-principal, Sayles & Winnikoff Communications



M’Bilia Meekers

Public Relations Manager, Committee for Children