16-year-old Mateo Cañamar prepared and distributed thousands of food and essentials packages for local drives in Laredo, Texas alongside his brother and cousins for Nourish Laredo; a teen-led nonprofit organization they created that donates meals and services with other nonprofits for the members of their community. He credits his grandfather for who he has become, and his passion for serving others. Mateo would join his grandfather to provide groceries to those in need and got involved with food drives through their church during the height of the pandemic in 2020, which led him to recruit a lot of his peers in his high school and the community to support vulnerable people in Laredo.

Following in his grandfather’s footsteps and as the youngest among the Laredo area nominees for the Jefferson Award, Mateo won the 2024 Laredo Area Jefferson Award as Volunteer of the Year for his efforts as co-founder of Nourish Laredo in October 2023 and hopes to inspire more young people to serve others.