21 September 2005
New York, USA:
NetAid today announced the honorees of the 2005 NetAid Global Action Awards. The awardees are high school students from the United States who have taken outstanding efforts to fight poverty. Their projects ranged from providing eye glasses to tsunami victims in Sri Lanka to raising awareness on genocide in Sudan.
The 2005 NetAid Global Action Award honorees are:
- Katie Reed (age 17 from Beaverton, Oregon) rallied fellow students to support the education of children in rural Matale, Uganda. Katie's Sponsor-a-Student project will allow more than 150 children orphaned by AIDS to continue their education, and raised resources to build Matale's first library.
- Annalise Blum and Katharine Kendrick (ages 18 from Berkeley and San Francisco, California) teamed up to raise awareness among students about the genocide taking place in Darfur, Sudan. Their awareness and fundraising project, which spread to a dozen high schools, purchased more than 1,200 chickens for refugees from Darfur.
- Rob Stephens (age 18 from Winston-Salem, North Carolina) organized events from charity basketball games to jewelry-making workshops to support homes for AIDS orphans in Kenya. He also led 20 students and teachers from his state on a study trip to Kenya, where they learned about the HIV/AIDS pandemic firsthand and visited the orphans.
- Mihiri Tillakaratne (age 18 from Mission Hills, California) raised funds to help a rural village in Sri Lanka build its first preschool and community center, and collected over 20,000 pairs of eyeglasses for Sri Lankans who could not afford them. In the wake of the tsunami, she mobilized students and members of her religious community to collect money and supplies for emergency relief.
A distinguished panel of 14 individuals, including Nobel Peace Laureate Elie Wiesel, selected the honorees from hundreds of applicants based on their innovation, leadership and impact. The young leaders will receive US$5,000 for college tuition or donate to a charitable cause of their choice.
"I was impressed by the breadth of the work undertaken by this year's honorees. From Darfur to tsunami-stricken Sri Lanka, these inspiring young people are tackling head-on the major challenges facing humanity today," said Eric Nonacs, foreign policy advisor, Office of William J. Clinton, who served as a judge for the Global Action Awards. "They are role models for all Americans—young and old, alike—who believe that the antidote to these tumultuous times is active and hopeful engagement in our world."
For the second year, the NetAid Global Action Awards honor high school students in the U.S. who have organized and led a project that has improved the lives of people in poor countries, or raised awareness about issues of global poverty in their own communities. The efforts of this year's honorees will be celebrated on November 9 in a high-profile event at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, on Broadway at 60th Street, New York City.
"These honorees demonstrate how much today's youth can achieve when they set their sights on fighting global poverty," said Kimberly Hamilton, president of NetAid. "They are our greatest local ambassadors and we are extremely pleased to recognize their global contributions."
NetAid (www.netaid.org) educates, inspires and empowers young people to take action against global poverty. Using technological innovation, peer-to-peer education, and leadership training, NetAid provides the knowledge, perspectives, and skills to create a new generation of informed global leaders. NetAid is an independent, non-profit organization based in New York and founded in 1999 by the United Nations Development Programme and Cisco Systems.
Read the full biographies of the 2005 NetAid Global Action Awards honorees