How This High School Senior is Spreading Smiles

April 21, 2021

By Lindsay Cummings

Lindsay Cummings is the Head of Adult & YA Services at the Upper Dublin Library in Fort Washington, PA. For the last 9 years, she has encouraged and supported teens in becoming community leaders and helpers.

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This past year may not have given us many reasons to smile. But Upper Dublin teen Aidan Nadell is committed to turning frowns upside-down.

Aidan is a senior at Upper Dublin High School and works as an assistant teacher in the aftercare preschool program at Chabad Garden School. When the shutdown happened last spring, the preschool took the opportunity to refurbish their playground. Aidan saw this as a way to give back to the preschool kids while combining it with his senior culminating project, a meaningful project that every Upper Dublin High School senior must complete before graduation.

“I knew that graduation would be a hard stop of working with the kids at the preschool,” Aidan said. “I wanted to do something that would outlast my tenure at Upper Dublin.”

To garner donations, Aidan turned to one of his assets – his smile. “If you can’t tell by now, I really like to smile!” he said, his face beaming.

Thus, the Spread Smiles Movement was born. Aidan created a website and sold products with the Spread Smiles logo and positive message, including masks, t-shirts, and touchless keys that are 3D printed by a 12-year-old entrepreneur, hoping that he could raise $5,000 for the playground by the time of his graduation.

“To my surprise, I was able to do it before the start of the school year,” Aidan said. “We had a lot of momentum and knew the message was speaking to people. I thought, maybe it’s more than a culminating project. Maybe we can influence others’ actions and behaviors. During this time of uncertainty, what’s something we can all relate to? We all have a smile and it’s just a matter of finding something to bring out that smile.”

For more information about Aidan and the Spread Smiles Movement, visit: https://spreadsmilesmovement.square.site

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