Young Humanitarian Award

2016 Young Humanitarian Finalists

The Youthlinc Utah Young Humanitarian Award is a $5,000 college scholarship awarded to an altruistic young person who strives to service others. One runner-up will receive a $3,000 college scholarship. Three runner-ups will receive a $1,000 college scholarship. Five honorable mentions will receive a $500 college scholarship.

Though our society recognizes young people for their accomplishments in sports and academics, this Award celebrates outstanding humanitarian service among youth, sponsored by the George S. & Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation. Youthlinc has organized this annual statewide search since 2005.

Applicants must be residents of Utah and US citizens, legal residents, or have DACA status. Applicants must be a junior or senior in a Utah high school or must be enrolled full-time in an undergraduate college or University program in the state of Utah. Graduate students are not eligible for this Award.

Click here to meet our 2016 Young Humanitarian Award Judges.

  • Erin Armstrong-Wright, George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation
  • Katie Barlow, Utah Commission on Service & Volunteerism
  • Deb Coffey, Utah Refugee Center & Granite Education Fund
  • Sean Crossland, Thayne Center for Service & Learning, Salt Lake Community College
  • Valerie Flattes, College of Nursing, University of Utah
  • Rick Foster, LDS Church Welfare Department
  • Glade Hamilton, Rotary District 5420
  • Isreal Santana, 2015 Young Humanitarian Award Winner
  • Mayor Cherie Wood, City of South Salt Lake


2016 Young Humanitarian Award Application


2016 Young Humanitarian Award Judging Rubric


2016 Young Humanitarian Award Promotional Flyer


2016 Award Winner

Carter Woolf – 2016 $5,000 Winner

Senior at the University of Utah

Carter first became aware of the refugee community in Utah after participating as a volunteer with Youthlinc and Real Life in 2012. Real Life is a peer-to-peer mentoring program for refugee teens that provides homework help and teaches critical life skills such as financial literacy and communication strategies. For the past four years, Carter has continued to work with the program both as a volunteer and a Real Life Intern at the Hser Ner Moo Community Center in South Salt Lake. In addition, Carter helps run an after-school program for at-risk teens and refugees at Granite Park Junior High through Promise South Salt Lake. Through his experiences, Carter has developed an immense amount of respect and admiration for the refugee community in Utah. He writes, “All too often we take things for granted in the United States. Things such as knowing English, understanding the education system, having parents, or owning a car. Things that can make life easy but, if not present, make it frighteningly difficult. I assist volunteers in planning lessons that help refugee teens better navigate society.”

Carter Woolf Headshot

2016 Award Runner-Up

Michaela Kowalewski – 2016 $3,000 Runner-Up

Senior at Weber High School

As a high school sophomore, Michaela learned that 48% of the students in Weber School District were on free and reduced lunch and many children in her community were going home hungry on the weekends. Michaela took action and played an integral role in starting the Weekend Warrior Food Pack Program, which provides 89 elementary students with a pack of food to sustain them over the weekend every week. Her recommender writes, “The impact the Weekend Warrior Food Pack Program has had on our community is tremendous. Michaela’s leadership and collaboration with her peers and community members has allowed this program to continue long after she graduates.” Michaela continues to increase awareness about childhood hunger in her community. In addition, she trains others on how they can start a similar food assistance program. Michaela is also actively involved in the Ogden Nature Center’s Invasive Species Task Force where she helps restore natural habitats.

Michaela Kowalewski Headshot

2016 Award Finalists

These outstanding service leaders each received a $1,000 college scholarship.

Elizabeth Morales

Junior at the University of Utah

As a first-generation student, Elizabeth has worked tirelessly to increase college access for marginalized populations. She started by volunteering with TRiO where she recruited and mentored minority high school students in their transition to college. Elizabeth later became a Diversity Scholar through the Center of Equity and Diversity where she mentored and tutored underrepresented students through the partnership of Adelante in Jackson Elementary. One of her greatest accomplishments while being a student at the University of Utah has been creating a program with Innovation Scholars and the Lassonde Institute to promote diversity into the Business School, Entrepreneur Institute, and STEM programs. Elizabeth writes, “The education system at times can be very hard to navigate around, especially when you do not fill the status quo of a good student. I encourage all my students to stand out and to be unique all while valuing their difference because I believe that is how positive change in our society will begin.”

Elizabeth Morales Headshot

Graciela Botello

Junior at Utah State University

As a young mother and first-generation college student, Graciela has experienced the struggles of raising a child while pursing higher education. Graciela writes, “Sometimes the obstacles seem insurmountable. I decided that no one should be treated as ‘less than’ and made a determined decision to not only help myself, but to help others, as well.” Graciela partnered with a nearby technical school to create a scholarship called “My Young Mother” which provides tuition, supplies, and child care resources for a high school senior who is a young mother or pregnant. Her recommender writes, “This scholarship is one example of how Gracie truly lives a life of service and uses her own life trials and experiences to improve the lives of others.” Graciela also serves as an AmeriCorps Vista where she created the North Cache Girls program, a motivational program for adolescent girls considered ‘most at risk’ in North Cache Middle School. Graciela writes, “Providing educational opportunities opens new worlds and changes the future of generations to come.”

Graciela Botello reduced

Johanna de Gennaro

Senior at the University of Utah

For the past 5 years Johanna has volunteered at UFit – an organization run by the Exercise and Sport Science Department at the University of Utah where, for eight Fridays each semester, volunteers become “buddies” with children who have mental disabilities. Johanna worked with the same buddy for eight semesters participating in activities such as swimming and dance to promote physical activity and social skills. Johanna writes, “When I first met my buddy she was shy and would not make eye contact. Eventually, she became more talkative, especially with me. By the end of the semester, her mom said she constantly talked about seeing me at UFit. Realizing I had formed such a connection with my buddy and that I had showed her parents she could form relationships with other people, made me realize my impact as a volunteer.” Her recommender writes, “Johanna has been incredibly reliable and enthusiastic. She is an amazing role model for our UFit participants and volunteers.” Johanna now serves as the Yellow Color Group Leader at UFit where she manages 20+ volunteers.

Johanna de Gennaro reduced

2015 Award Winner

Israel Santana – 2015 $5,000 Winner

Sophomore at Salt Lake Community College

For the past six years Israel has been highly involved with Mestizo Arts & Activism Collective (MAA), a program that aims to empower high school students, living in the West side communities of Salt Lake City, to develop community-based leadership skills and undertake community-based research projects. Israel writes, “My leadership in Salt Lake City has focused on empowering young people of color to pursue a higher education, become politically aware, and maintain a sense of pride in their cultures, all while pursuing positive social change.” His recommender writes, “Israel is dedicated to changing the odds for underrepresented students to help them achieve a higher education and build a future that is better than that of their predecessors.”

Israel 1

2015 Award Runner-Up

Emilee Hamilton – 2015 $3,000 Runner-Up

Senior at Mountain Crest High School

As an 8th grader, Emilee started volunteering at a local assisted living center where she realized the loneliness many residents face each day. Emily states, “It became clear to me that by simply involving my peers in enjoyable activities with the elderly, I could help a ‘forgotten generation’ feel needed and loved.” Recognizing this need to connect the generations and build the community, Emilee started Utah YOUth Connect. In the past three years Utah YOUth Connect has paired Utah youth with 640 elderly residents, living in Cache Valley, through fun inter-generational activities. Youth volunteers have contributed over 6,100 hours of service to the elderly recipients. Emilee’s recommender writes, “Emilee saw a need in our community and has been able to rally hundreds of youth in our valley to connect with our senior residents which has brought great joy to all involved.”

Emilee Hamilton

2015 Award Finalists

These outstanding service leaders each received a $1,000 college scholarship.

Alejandra Hernandez

Senior at the University of Utah

As an America Reads tutor, Alejandra sought to help Title-One elementary-aged children become better readers in a community surrounded by low socioeconomic status and homelessness among other social justice issues. As a first generation college student, Alejandra knows firsthand the difficulties many of these children face and wanted to give back and motivate these students to pursue a higher education. Her passion to educate and raise awareness of community needs led her to become an America Reads Site Team Leader where she oversees volunteers. Alejandra writes, “Through this position I have gained valuable leadership skills, volunteer management skills, and interpersonal skills that have led me to become a civically engaged person.”

Alejandra Hernandez

Jade Bonomo

Freshman at the University of Utah

Jade started her service journey when she was in fifth grade, working with the elderly at a local assisted living center. Her service expanded as she learned about marginalized groups in her Rose Park community which led her to organize Sub for Santa, food drives, and recycling projects. As a freshman in college, Jade became an adviser for the Social Action Association (SAA) at the Salt Lake Center for Science Education where she introduces students to global and local issues associated with marginalized populations. Jade oversees the students’ planning process as they carry out yearlong service projects. Jade writes, “I see myself as a humanitarian because I instill a passion for service in young people, they then feel empowered about what they want to change in the world, and it generates a ripple effect.”

Jade Bonomo

Jessica Ramirez

Sophomore at the University of Utah

In 2012, Jessica participated in the Youthlinc Service Year trip to Peru and came home inspired to improve her own community. Jessica writes, “Towards the end of the trip when we were saying goodbye, a woman from the village approached me and in tears thanked me for what we had done. She was so happy that she could now go out and start her own business by selling soap. That inspired me to go back home and provide others with the resources they need to succeed.” Jessica came home and began volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters, The First Lego League, the ASUU community service board, and became the Program Director for Girl Scouts outreach at the University of Utah’s Bennion Center. Her recommender writes, “Jessica’s consistency, flexibility, and hard work have given this Girl Scouts location an incredible opportunity to build needed resources for the community.”

Jessica Ramirez

2014 Award Winner

Madison Palmer – 2014 $5,000 Winner

Senior at Cottonwood High School

When Madison learned that every year 100,000 American children are forced into sex trafficking, she was determined to do something.  She started educating herself, and started a school chapter of Backyard Broadcast—a nation-wide youth movement to combat child slavery.  As she learned of the horrors of trafficking, she became “more motivated than ever to make a difference.”  Although she was scared to go to the community with a topic like sex slavery, Madison started speaking out, talking to city and county councils, the governor’s office, the attorney general, and eventually testified on two bills on human trafficking at the past two legislative sessions—both bills passed unanimously.  One of her recommenders writes, “Madi demonstrates remarkable leadership and courage beyond her years.  Giving herself is at the core of all she cares about.”  As Madison continues on her path as a humanitarian, she writes, “No matter how difficult, my voice will be heard.  I will make a difference.”

Madison Palmer

2014 Award Finalists

These outstanding service leaders each received a $1,000 college scholarship.

Emily Donaldson

Senior at the University of Utah

Throughout her life of service, Emily has found a niche at the Women’s Resource Center (WRC).  Since 2012, Emily has become a respected leader, volunteering up to 10 hours a week to empower first generation, female students of color.  Emily also sits on the YWCA’s Young Women’s Council.  As a tireless advocate for social justice, Emily is a force for good, helping teach and connect women to resources that will improve their lives.  Emily writes, “I became aware of the struggles that others face, and came to the conclusion that helping others is the most important thing in life.”  Today, her life goals revolve around service.


Stephanie Hickey

Senior at Utah State University

Stephanie, like so many of her peers, felt a sense of helplessness when considering global scale issues.  But, as she writes, “starting small, creating ripples and inspiring others to do the same is what I can bring to my community.”  In this way, Stephanie has made a lasting impact.  She has served thousands of hours at the DOVE Center Woman’s Shelter, Dixie Care and Share, Hope Chest Thrift Store and AmeriCorps, and helped raise over $15,000 towards the Huntsman Cancer Center.  What makes Stephanie an outstanding humanitarian is her ability to ignite the passion of service in others, and inspire them to action.  Her recommender writes, “The students she mentors experience what it means to have someone sincerely care about them.  They in turn begin to care for themselves and others.”


Brian Parker

Junior at Brigham Young University

As founder and CEO of LIMITLESS, a non-profit focused on creating awareness about diabetes, Brian has already made an enormous impact in his community, raising thousands of dollars and educating hundreds of middle schoolers about how to stay healthy.  Over his life, Brian has consistently volunteered and advocated for people with special needs, starting the Special Olympics Track and Field program at BYU.  As head coach for Special Olympics, his life was touched by a young boy in a wheelchair when after a season of coaching the boy learned how to bowl a strike.  Brian realized that with the right tools, and unconditional love, “every human soul is limitless.”  Since then, Brian has been passionate about improving the quality of life for others.

Brian Head Shot

2013 Award Winner

Megan Dolle – 2013 $5,000 Winner

Megan is a student at the University of Utah pursuing a double major in Spanish and International Studies. She is a student at the Honors College and is a part of the Bennion Center Community Engaged Learning Certificate Program. One of Megan’s most fondest service activities was her trip to Yanamono, Peru with Youthlinc in 2012. She taught lessons on public health, built bridges, painted classrooms, taught English and aided in micro-finance and vocational activities.  She will be visiting Yanamono again in 2013 with Youthlinc as a Cultural Committee Mentor. Megan has also served with the Real Life Salt Lake City (RLSLC) mentoring program for teenage refugees for the past two years. This year, she serves as the Youthlinc Local Service Intern and has been able to develop meaningful friendships with both refugees and volunteers at RLSLC.  In addition, Megan has been involved with and held leadership positions in a variety of service clubs and organizations including Salt Lake County Youth Government,, Good in the Hood, Salt Lake City Rotaract, ASUU Community Service, and more. Megan strives to set an example for her peers and inspire them to make a difference in their community. She has learned the value of meaningful, dedicated service to communities and the profound life-changing effects it provokes. Megan has discovered what it takes to be a true humanitarian and will continue pursuing her passion for service.


2013 Award Finalists

These outstanding service leaders each received a $1,000 college scholarship.

Ruth Arevalo

Throughout Ruth’s life she has had an insatiable wanderlust and passion to not just learn about but to truly know other cultures and people of the world. Despite an evolving home and family life, she has persevered in her studies and maintained a hunger to understand the world.  She jumped feet first into the field of culinary arts at a young age and allowed her love of food and passion of culture to take her through multiple countries and life changing experiences.  Her work and ambitions led her to return to Salt Lake in 2007 with the desire to work with many communities locally.  Ranging from simple volunteer work with the Red Cross and the 4th Street Clinic to working extensively within many refugee communities, Ruth has had her hand in many worthy causes right here in Utah.   Working with and mentoring youth, teaching English, working with Women of the World, educating on domestic and sexual violence, working with immigrant populations, working on climate justice, fundraising, and doing outreach are all tasks that Ruth currently takes on with excitement and determination.

YHA finalist 2013-1

Sena Belgard

Sena is a student at the University of Utah studying Human Development and Family Studies with a minor in Leadership Studies. She holds multiple student leader positions in the Bennion Center, is a service-learning scholar and a member of the scholar’s leadership team. Sena is a program director for the Social Justice Gardens where she teaches underprivileged students and their parents how to grow fresh food in their community.  Sena’s service goals are to impact her community by continuing to serve the families who garden at the Social Justice Gardens, finish the service-learning scholars designation with her degree and continue to serve and make an impact in others lives.

YHA finalists 2013-2

Jessie DuPre

Jessie is a second year student at the University of Utah studying Psychology and Human Biology in the Honors Program.  This year, she has worked as a Sustainability Ambassador at the Office of Sustainability on campus and currently works with the youth at Red Butte Garden teaching kids’ science classes.  Jessie remains involved on campus as she pursues and assists with research in the Psychology Department in a Health Psych and Developmental Psych lab.  She has focused her service efforts on engaging others in service at her position as the Bennion Center Service Corps Chair, and assists in a special education classroom at Bryant Middle School where she has fallen in love with her students.

YHA finalist 2013-3

2012 Award Winner

Lisa Moynihan – 2012 $5,000 Winner

“Men and women working for and with others” – this Jesuit motto has inspired Lisa’s commitment to service. Lisa, a senior at the University of Utah, will graduate with a BA in History and an Honors Certificate. Lisa served as the Intern for Youthlinc’s Real Life in Salt Lake City program which is a mentoring program for refugee teens. She is also a member of the Youthlinc 2012 Peru Team traveling to Yanamono, Peru this July. Lisa has organized a school wide food drive for the Utah Food Bank in 2008. She has been a College Buddy for the Best Buddies Program which fosters friendships between students and young adults with intellectual disabilities. She also participated as a mentor in the International Rescue Committee’s Youth program. In 2010 she was a member of the Youthlinc Kenya team and contributed over 100 local service hours before her trip to Kiamuri, Kenya where she taught, started a library, helped build a school, and fulfilled a lifelong dream of dancing in Africa!


2012 Award Finalists

These outstanding service leaders each received a $1,000 college scholarship.

Whitney Smith

Whitney has raised funds to serve in El Salvador where she promoted healthy living, nutrition, and dance therapy lessons for troubled youth and orphans. During her stay, she started to grasp an understanding of global poverty in Central America, but also in many places around the world. She continued her service for the next few years in the Fijian Islands, Russia, and Uganda. In her endeavor to fight poverty, she has found opportunities to serve locally. Last year she worked as an AmeriCorps volunteer promoting healthy living to low-income families and currently mentors African women refugees with the Salt Lake City Chapter of the International Refugee Committee. With her desire to continue living altruistically, she has since returned to school for a second bachelor degree to study nursing at the University of Utah. With a background in health, she plans to continue advocating for the less fortunate while finding opportunities to improve health education.


James Baird

James is currently a student at Utah State University and will be transferring to the University of Utah in the fall of 2012. In 2005 James cofounded with his parents Youth Making A Difference (YMAD) and helped take 20 high school students to Northern India to work with four different orphanages. In August 2009 he moved to Kulu India for four months and opened The Home for Peace, YMAD’s first orphanage. While there, he moved seven children into the facility, enrolled them in school, taught English, and helped build a sustainable curriculum for the orphanage. James is still very involved with YMAD and serves as an active member of the board of directors and as Country Director for summer college expeditions.


McKenzie Weeks

McKenzie has served as the Student Body Service Officer, a National Honor Society Representative, a Sports Marketing Team member, and Girls Soccer team captain. McKenzie organized a yearlong project called “Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed Mission” where the group found ordinary ways to make extraordinary differences in the lives of others. She recognizes that often times some of the most meaningful service opportunities come as people are just going about their daily lives. Serving is a big part of her life and has taught her how to sincerely care about the circumstances of others. She has learned that she can always make a difference in the life of a friend, family member, leader, teacher, acquaintance, and even a stranger.


2011 Award Winners

Cara Cerise – 2011 $5,000 Winner

A humanitarian stands up against bigotry, is actively engaged in his/her community, embraces the humanity of others, and uses empathy to show the world we are one.” These words become daily action for Westminster College sophomore, Cara Cerise, who was awarded the title of the 2011 Utah’s Young Humanitarian.  Cara is dedicated to the equality and inclusion of all people no matter what age, race, social status, religion or sexual orientation.  She served as a camp counselor at Camp Anytown, a human relations/student leadership retreat ran by the Inclusion Center for Community and Justice and has been a dedicated volunteer since.  At age 16 she became president of her high school’s social justice club, BOND (Building One New Dream), and founded the Utah chapter of COLAGE: People with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Parents. After high school, Cara spent a year living in Paraguay working with the organization Amor y Esperanza where she worked hands-on with special needs elementary students in the rural villages.  Now she serves on the Board of Directors of the Inclusion Center for Community and Justice.  Cara is working toward HIV prevention as a Woman’s Health Intern at the Utah Pride Center where she is also a translator.


2011 Award Finalists

These outstanding service leaders each received a $1,000 college scholarship.

Andrew Hagedorn

Andrew Hagedorn has directed his passion for service toward the homeless in Salt Lake City. Has been involved with Youth for Youth for the last four years where they have been raising money for the Road Home and is president of the Youth Government Commission. Through his leadership, the groups met their goal of raising over $200,000. They have raised enough money to open two houses for aged-out foster care teens and are in the process of building housing units that will provide housing, case workers, and a transitional shelter for the homeless in Salt Lake.  Andrew has also has served with the Neighborhood House, Peer Court and The Children’s Center. He travelled to Mexico on a Youthlinc humanitarian trip in 2010. He believes, “A humanitarian works for change. A volunteer is someone who shows up to help.” Andrew continues to do both.


Emily Gillespie

Emily Gillespie was raised with a firm belief in hard work and service.  As a senior at Timpview High School she began and was president of the HOPE taskforce for three years where she worked with the school social workers and counselors to help at-risk students with depression.  Emily also volunteered at Canary Garden Family Grief Counseling Center helping those coping with the recent loss of a loved one. After high school she had the opportunity to spend time in Mexico working on projects in two orphanages and building homes for poor families.  As a student at Utah Valley University, she spent the summer of 2008 in Uganda with HELP International holding teacher improvement classes, building libraries and adobe stoves and working with children with disabilities and their care takers. She was able to help in the recovery efforts of the February 2010 earthquake in Machali while serving her LDS mission in Chile.  She has been volunteering with the Service-Learning community at UVU and plans to attend graduate school to study to be a recreational therapist and continue to serve.


Jeffrey Scott

As a senior at Judge Memorial Catholic High School, Jeffrey is the development manager and founder of the Apache Project, a partnership between St. Charles Elementary on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation and Judge Memorial.  When Jeffrey first visited the Apache Reservations he was appalled by the poverty and hopelessness.  Since that visit the Apache Project has sent over 3.5 tons of school supplies and clothing to the Reservation.  Jeffrey plans to study medicine and return to the reservation to work as a physician.  In addition to his dedication to the Apache Project, Jeffrey has also worked with the Ulster Peace Project since 2008 which promotes peace in Northern Ireland by hosting workshops in Salt Lake focused on communication and conflict resolution.  He is Student Body President at Judge Memorial and is a member of Rotary Interact Club.


2010 Award Winners

Kajsa Vlasic – 2010 $5,000 Winner

Kajsa loves to immerse herself in any culture or situation where there is a need. While attending West High, Kajsa volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters, ESL tutoring, Girls on the Run (acting as a mentor and coach to at risk teens), and the International Rescue Committee, mentoring refugee families in Salt Lake City. While juggling all these service activities, she was able to graduate with an International Baccalaureate diploma. While dedicating many hours each week to serving locally, she has also found time to serve internationally in Kenya and Costa Rica, with Youthlinc and Amigos respectively.  Kajsa says, “I see myself as a humanitarian because I am happiest when I serve. The experience I have had serving others has helped me to be both more independent and more humble.”


2010 Award Finalists

These outstanding service leaders each received a $1,000 college scholarship.

Brian Johnson

Brian started his humanitarian journey with Boy Scouts. In college he was president of his Rotaract club, leading various local service projects including canned food drives and raising money to provide wheelchairs to needy children around the world. In 2008 he traveled to Uganda for 3-months to work with local teachers, improving their skills and helping assess village needs. “Brian put his heart and soul into his work, set high goals for himself, and pushed continually to make them happen,” says Meghan Muyanja, the Uganda Project Manager.  Brian wants a career in medicine, currently attending Southern Utah University. Brian says, “My belief is the greatest humanitarian effort we can possibly render to others is providing them with the skills, education, and opportunity to help themselves.”


Jerika Michel

Jerika’s humanitarian spirit has touched lives in Utah, Kenya, Mexico, Venezuela, and Brazil. In 2006 Jerika was instrumental in founding the Brighton H.S. Interact Club. Jerika currently belongs to the Salt Lake Rotaract Club, will be Service Coordinator for the Westminster College Institute of Religion, and is a Trustee of the Michel Foundation serving Utah Youth and other worthy organizations locally. Jerika volunteers teaching English to adult refugees from Burundi with the ESL Center, and tends her ‘Service Garden’ in Sandy, growing produce donated to local food charities. She wants to examine the impact and effectiveness a small garden could have in relieving hunger in the community. Jerika says, “It is not always large, complicated projects that make a humanitarian, it is a constant awareness of others’ needs both big and small and trying to help your community and world.”


Hanne Paine

For the last 4 years Hanne has dedicated her time to the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center, logging nearly 1500 hours, and becoming their first certified master programmer. Hanne’s principal service goal is to inspire girls of all backgrounds to pursue education in science, technology, engineering and math. Hanne graduated from West H.S with an International Baccalaureate diploma and was a West High Service Learning Scholar. At West, Hanne tutored English Language Learners, assisting in after school events and home visits, and helped establish a comprehensive ELL program. Hanne says, “Everyone benefits when we use our own passions to help those in need. My greatest experiences have been sharing my love of learning and the empowerment it brings with students seeking higher education, classroom skills and, most importantly, dignity.”


Ryan Price

Ryan volunteers at the Therapeutic Preschool at the Salt Lake Children’s Center. When local food banks were low on resources, Ryan – not wanting to see any of the Center’s children go hungry – started a very successful food drive with donations coming in from all over the valley. Penney Gregersen of the Children’s Center says, “Ryan stands out among the other volunteers because he quietly and steadily works to improve conditions for real people in concrete ways.” Ryan, a Pre-Professional Physics major at the University of Utah, says he is “ever striving to find the balance between academics and humanitarian endeavors” and is happiest when the two merge. For example, Ryan has developed a tutoring support program for Math and Science students. He serves as the Bennion Center’s Student Program Chair, responsible for leading U of U students in humanitarian service.