With over 150 applicants for the 2013 Student Leadership Awards, the 2012-13 academic year was yet another fruitful one for student-led groups and organizations on campuses all across America, as our youth continue to mobilize and translate their passions into action. The Jenzabar Foundation held two ceremonies, one in May in Orlando, Florida, and the other in December in Cincinnati, Ohio, honoring a total of nine student organizations for their significant contributions and humanitarian efforts.
The Jenzabar Foundation’s annual Student Leadership Awards recognize student groups and leaders for their honorable service endeavors and provides support for them to continue their work. Our 2013 winners have exemplified a commitment to making a positive impact in the world, and each received a $5000 grant for their noble work and continued success.
The 2013 Student Leadership Award Recipients are:
- Buena Vista University’s Alternative Week of Offsite Learning (A.W.O.L.) Program: As BVU’s student-run alternative spring break program, A.W.O.L.’s mission is to engage its students in volunteerism in different states and countries, advocating social action and service/civic engagement. We commend A.W.O.L. for their efforts in raising awareness and making an impact on the local, regional, national, and international levels.
- Claremont University Consortium’s Social Enterprise Initiative (SEI of the Claremont Colleges): Formerly named the Microfinance Task Force, SEI is a student club that emphasizes business models as their approach to social issues and global poverty solutions. In the Spring of 2013, the students travelled to Nicaragua with their microfinance development methods, partnered a women’s cooperative and together, implemented a business plan. Our congratulations to SEI of the Claremont Colleges for their innovative and successful solutions.
- Flagler College Chapter of Enactus, Passport Pretzels Project: The Flagler College chapter of Enactus has been committed to improving the lives of others through service leadership projects. Students employ their entrepreneurial skills to serve their community through projects such as their 2013 endeavor, Passport Pretzels (recent winner of the best Enactus project in the U.S.), a business/job-training program at St. Augustine’s homeless shelter, in which the residents make pretzels and gain food service industry skills and certifications for the future. We applaud Flagler College’s Enactus group and their Passport Pretzels Project for their forward-thinking in addressing the issues of homelessness and joblessness.
- Ursuline College’s A.R.R.O.W.S. (Academic Readiness Requires Outstanding Work and Support) Mentoring Program: Pairing Ursuline College students with Warrensville Heights High School students, the A.R.R.O.W.S. program aims to promote academic success and foster ambition for further education through peer mentoring, and student-led workshops covering topics such as financial aid, the college application process, and goal-setting. It is an honor to support Ursuline students and their high school mentees in their aspirations for a successful education in the face of socioeconomic hardships.
- New York College of Podiatric Medicine: NYPCM received a special “Boston Strong” Award, for their noble community service in the medical tent at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. We are inspired and heartened by their courage and efforts amidst the tragic crisis that took place, as well as by their ongoing work to fight diabetes.
- Campus Kitchens Project– Washington & Lee University and the University of Georgia Campus Kitchens: In 36 Campus Kitchens on campuses across the country, student volunteers plan, develop, organize, cook, and fundraise, recovering/reusing food to prepare meals to their communities. With the goal to “strengthen bodies, empower minds, and build communities,” the Campus Kitchens at Washington & Lee University and the University of Georgia have done an outstanding job combating hunger, promoting nutrition, and reducing food waste.
- GlobeMed –Columbia University, Middlebury College, University of Colorado-Boulder, George Washington University (via the National University of Rwanda) chapters: At each of the GlobeMed university chapters, a partnership is formed with a unique grassroots organization, and together the groups design and implement projects, raising money and awareness to address health disparities.
- The Columbia University chapter is partnered with Gulu Women’s Economic Development and Globalization (GWED-G), Uganda’s first grassroots human rights organization focused on women. GWED-G aims to help communities become self-reliant agents of change for peace and development, and GlobeMed at Columbia holds awareness, fundraising, and community building events to this end. This year, for the first time, the student group will travel to Gulu, Uganda to visit GWED-G, working together on their projects to promote HIV awareness and gender equity.
- GlobeMed at Middlebury College works with Gardens for Health International (GHI) in Kigali, Rwanda, aiming to improve the health and socioeconomic status of Rwandans living with HIV/AIDS by providing sustainable approaches to nutritional independence. In 2012-13, GlobeMed at Middlebury raised $20,000 to support the expansion of GHI’s work with a new health center.
- At the University of Colorado-Boulder, GlobeMed student members partner with Himalayan HealthCare (HHC), a grassroots NGO that provides primary health care, education, and income generation to communities in remote and impoverished regions of Nepal. During their trip to Nepal in the summer of 2013, GlobeMed at CU-Boulder will conduct latrine and health and sanitation surveys, provide English grammar lessons to students, meet with political leaders, and assist with HHC’s Kami Income Generation project and Women’s Empowerment classes.
- Students of the George Washington University’s chapter of GlobeMed joined forces with Rwanda Village Concept Project (RVCP), a grassroots organization run by students from the National University of Rwanda with the goal of empowering local citizens to become self-reliant and build the infrastructure for improved, sustainable healthcare. The partner student-groups are working to reconstruct a maternal health clinic destroyed by the genocide, develop a maternal health education program (MHEP), and create a women-owned farming cooperative.
As GlobeMed student members learn and train to become advocates for global health, partner organizations are given resources they need and a greater capacity to serve their community. We, along with GlobeMed, “believe in health and justice for all,” and wish all chapters the best of luck.
- Nourish International– Boston University, Claremont Colleges, UCLA, University of Minnesota, University of New Mexico, University of Texas at Austin chapters: Launched in 2003 as student organization at UNC at Chapel Hill seeking to eradicate global poverty, Nourish International’s model of aid is focused on community involvement and sustainability. Students are trained to develop and implement social business ventures on campus, and partner with organizations and communities in impoverished areas. By working together and directing their profits into poverty reduction projects, student members of Nourish International are creating a lasting impact on extreme poverty and we are inspired by their success and expansion.
- Swipes for the Homeless – USC and UCLA chapters: Founded by students at UCLA, “Swipes” began with students “swiping” into their dining halls for meals to-go and delivering the meals to people on the streets of Los Angeles. After institutionalizing the program, meal swipes are now transferred into non-perishable foods to be delivered to the local homeless population, and the movement has spread across the country. In 2013, after four years of operating solely on volunteerism, Swipes became an international non-profit organization with chapters throughout the world, whose growth we are excited to support.
Once again, we would like to congratulate our 2013 Student Leadership Award honorees! We are humbled and moved by these students’ continued efforts and service work in humanitarian aid and advocacy for the underserved, and proud to empower those serving others across the global community.