Meet the Top Five Volunteers in Dallas

October 8, 2018

DALLAS (October 8, 2018) – Five remarkable civic and business leaders under age 40 have been selected as finalists for the annual Good Works Under 40 (GWU40) Award. Presented by The Dallas Foundation and The Dallas Morning News, GWU40 celebrates volunteers who work to improve the future of North Texas and inspire others to make an impact.

“This year’s candidates were nothing short of inspiring,” said Matthew Randazzo, president and CEO of The Dallas Foundation. “It’s been very energizing to see the passion that the next generation of leaders has for improving our community.”

Finalists will be honored at an awards ceremony at The Joule on November 7, 2018, where the grand-prize winner will receive a $10,000 donation to his or her charity of choice. The next four finalists will also receive grant checks for their respective organizations.

Voting is now also open for the People’s Choice Award, which was launched last year as a way for the community to honor one of the finalists. The People’s Choice Winner will receive an additional donation for their chosen nonprofit.

In alphabetical order, the 2018 finalists are:

  • Laura Day, director of the Dr. William B. Dean Service Learning Program at The Hockaday School, is co-founder and current board member at United to Learn, a coalition of public elementary schools, private institutions, and engaged community members who create meaningful opportunities for students to learn and lead.
  • Adan Gonzalez, founder and executive director of the Puede Network, organizes initiatives with c-level executives to provide comprehensive college access services, volunteer opportunities, and mentorship to underprivileged students in inner city public schools. By advocating the importance of higher education, parental support, and community involvement, Gonzalez has impacted more than 200,000 students and parents globally.
  • Adam Kraus, member of The Real Estate Council, founded the Dallas Autumn Ball in 2013. In addition to organizing volunteer service projects at schools in Dallas, the Dallas Autumn Ball engages Millennials through its annual black-tie fundraiser benefitting Reading Partners, an in-school tutoring and mentoring organization for Title I students in kindergarten through fourth graders who read behind their reading level.
  • Joseph Nguyen, a firefighter and aspiring Dallas Police Reserves Officer, has participated in Muscular Dystrophy Association’s (MDA) Fill the Boot Program for the last 10 years. Last year he was a camp counselor at MDA summer camp where kids and young adults with MD learn valuable life skills and participate in a variety of activities including zip-lining, horseback riding, and swimming.
  • Josh Terry, founder and president of The Garden Group and co-founder of Acis Capital Management, serves on the board of governors and as chairman of the finance committee of Uplift Education. The goal of Uplift Education, the largest charter school network in the Dallas/Fort Worth region, is to close the achievement gap between students, regardless of ethnic or socio-economic backgrounds, and ensure that 100 percent of students graduate and enroll in college.

To cast your vote or learn more, click here. Polls for the People’s Choice Award will remain open until Friday, November 2.

About The Dallas Foundation

The Dallas Foundation, established as a community foundation in 1929, serves as a leader, catalyst and resource for philanthropy by providing donors with flexible means of making gifts and bequests, the income from which primarily supports charitable causes in the city and county of Dallas. For more information, visit