Sunday, October 30, 2005

Berkeley woman awarded $5,000 college scholarship

NetAid Global Action Award given for genocide education

Inside Bay Area

BERKELEY — An 18-year-old Berkeley woman has been awarded $5,000 for college following a campaign to educate her peers about the genocide in Darfur, Sudan.
Annalise Blum and classmate Katharine Kendrick, 18, of San Francisco, both graduates of the College Preparatory School in Oakland, were awarded the NetAid Global Action Awards.

The awards honor American high school students who have organized and led a project that has impacted people in poor countries, or raised awareness about global poverty in their own communities, NetAid officials said.

Blum and Kendrick will each receive $5,000, which they can use for college or give to a charitable cause of their choice, NetAid organizers said.

The awards were given because the students educated others at their school about the genocide by selling green ribbons, the color of Darfur awareness, and donating the funds to Sudanese refugees.

Students wore their ribbons on backpacks, baseball hats, shoelaces and T-shirts.

The students also spoke at school assemblies, screened documentaries and hosted guest speakers to teach their classmates about ethnic cleansing.

Following the success of the ribbon campaign, the duo designed small wearable pins with pictures of baby chicks to raise money for the displaced. The price of the pin covered the cost of a live chicken for a family displaced from Darfur.

The chicken's eggs provided a source of food for the hungry and raising chickens provided an alternative livelihood for the refugees.

The campaign, which spread to a dozen other high schools, raised enough money to buy more than 1,200 chicks, NetAid officials said.

Blum has deferred her admission to Stanford University for a year to do tsunami relief work in Thailand and then go to Cuba in the spring to film a documentary about Fidel Castro's education program.

Awards have also been given to young people who have shown leadership in the areas of HIV/AIDS prevention, easing hunger and improving access to education.

A panel of 14, including NBC Anchor Ann Curry and Nobel Peace Laureate Elie Wiesel, selected the honorees from hundreds of applicants based on their innovation, leadership and impact. They will be honored Nov. 9 in New York City.

New York-based NetAid is a nonprofit organization that educates, inspires and empowers young people to fight global poverty.

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