Local Org. Donates Masks To First Responders

For Teens By Teens Has Distributed Over 5,000 Masks

While not all superheroes wear capes, most do wear masks – especially during the coronavirus. The Coral Gables-based organization For Teens By Teens has distributed over 5,000 N95 masks out of the Sepehri family’s garage to first responders. These deliveries were especially key during the initial mask shortage and remain essential today. In partnership with Third Wave Volunteers, a global nonprofit that provides disaster relief worldwide, their dining room table is now the processing center for a national database for mask requests and deliveries.

Behind the dining room table’s computer screens is Sami Arya Sepehri, the 18-year-old co-founder of For Teens By Teens. Under the oversight of Sami’s mother Hedieh Sepehri, its young co-founders also include Brian Behnejad, who acts as delivery driver, and Sami’s sister Sophie. “We decided to make our efforts official by establishing For Teens By Teens in 2016,” says Sami about the organization, which started by helping causes like the Syrian youth refugee program. “We were sitting at home and just discussing how to help. Everyone was in need.” Since the pandemic, Sami has been overseeing requests for masks, using donated funds.

Locally, Jackson Memorial Hospital, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and University of Miami Hospitals have received masks along with over 150 nationwide shipments. They also delivered masks to nursing homes. “We identified the most in need with COVID cases, which included four large local nursing homes – each got about 400,” says Sami. Adds proud mom Hedieh, “This is our way of life. Commitment to making a difference is all that matters.”

To get involved or learn more about For Teens By Teens, visit forteensbyteens.com or contact them at 4tbteens@gmail.com.

Sami Arya Sepehri, co-founder of For Teens By Teens