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Introducing our 2014 Young Humanitarian Award Finalists!

Emily DonaldsonHeadshot

Emily is a senior at the University of Utah.  One of Emily’s most cherished service experiences was volunteering for the University of Utah Women’s Resource Center (WRC).  The WRC asked Emily to solicit donations from local companies for the center’s auction.  This was a challenging task for Emily, which was not within her comfort zone.  However, through her dedication to the WRC, Emily completed the fundraising task by reminding herself that through her efforts, needed funds would be raised.   Emily plans to continue her passion for service to her community.  She plans to earn her Master’s of Social Work to pursue a career in counseling and community education for women.   Emily stated, “I became aware of others facing the same struggles I faced, as well as others struggles I could not imagine facing, and came to the conclusion that helping others is the most important thing to do in life.”   Her ideas of volunteering truly changed as she reshaped her goals service and became a humanitarian.

Brendon HendersonBrendon Henderson

Brendon is a senior at Grand County High School, who has been active in Student Government, National Honor Society, Future Business Leaders of America, among other prestigious high school clubs.   At Brendon’s high school, he shared his personal account of bullying and attempted suicide in a speech.  After his speech, many other students shared with Brendon their struggles and contemplations of suicide.  After hearing these stories Brendon organized an anti-bullying campaign at his high school called “Rise Above It”.  During the campaign, there was a school wide assembly, where students shared their stories of bullying and contemplation of suicide.  After the very moving assembly, Brendon reflected on this experience by saying, “’Rise Above It’ truly taught me that it is possible to make an impact and achieve a goal if you’re determined and have a great group of people who all share the same interest for the greater good.”

Lismore Nebeker   Lismore Nebeker

Lismore is a freshman at the University of Utah.  During her senior year at Waterford School, Lismore served as the Community Service President.   As president, Lismore organized many projects such as feeding the homeless, environmental cleanup, and fundraising for orphanages.  She also showed great leadership through organizing and motivating volunteers to participate in these service projects.  One of the most impactful experiences that shaped Lismore into a humanitarian was traveling to a refugee camp in Thailand when she was 10 years old.  After returning to Salt Lake City, Utah, Lismore and her family continued helping the local refugee community.   Lismore stated, “Each moment I spend volunteering is a catalyst for change in my own life and in the lives of others.”

Madison PalmerMadison Palmer

Madison is a senior at Cottonwood High School.  While attending Cottonwood, Madison was the Backyard Broadcast Cottonwood Station Chief, Swim Team Captain, and Water Polo Captain.  Madison has made it a priority to dedicate her time and service educating the public about sex trafficking of children in America.  The Backyard Broadcasting Club is a grassroots youth movement at Cottonwood and many other high schools in America, to raise awareness about children in sex trafficking.  Madison testified concerning this issue and was instrumental in passing two bills in Utah to fight sex trafficking.   Madison stated, “No matter how difficult this issue is, my voice will be heard.  I will make a difference.”

Brian Parker       Brian Parker

Brian is a junior at Brigham Young University.  Over the years, Brian has participated as a Special Olympics Head Coach, served in international medical missions, served a two year religious mission, and earned his Eagle Scout.  Currently, Brian has found great passion working as the founder and CEO of LIMITLESS, a non-profit focused on creating awareness to diabetes.   LIMITLESS visits the local middle schools to teach students about the importance of eating healthy, as well as holds fundraisers to raise money to support research.  Brian takes pride in making a difference in the quality of life in those around him.  When it comes to the difference between a volunteer and a humanitarian, Brian stated, “While a volunteer focuses on the number of hours served, a humanitarian changes lives.”

Madeline Rencher   IMG_8496

Madeline is a sophomore at the University of Utah.  While attending the University of Utah, Madeline has participated in Freshman Council, Delta Gamma Sorority, Honors Student Advisory Committee, the Bennion Center, and the MUSS Board.  Along with being leader in these clubs, Madeline has also volunteered in her local community through the Big Brothers Big Sisters, Tanner Dance, Youthlinc, and Primary Children’s Medical Center.  Madeline believes that through her experience in the Youthlinc program, she has changed into a lifetime humanitarian.  Her service internationally in Kenya and Guatemala made her feel fortunate to have grown up in Utah, and created a desire to continue serving others.  Madison stated, “Being a humanitarian is not a hobby, but a way of life.”

Stephanie Southwick Hickey  Speakeasy_Headshot

Stephanie is a senior at Utah State University.  Over the years, Stephanie has volunteered at the DOVE Center Woman’s Shelter, Dixie Care and Share, Hope Chest Thrift Store, and a Speakeasy Cancer Benefit.  The Speakeasy Cancer Benefit was a 1920’s themed fundraiser that helped raise $15,000 towards the Huntsman Cancer Center in Logan, which Stephanie supervised and motivated volunteers.  Stephanie stated, “I have found out who I am through the service I’ve had the privilege of doing.”

 Jacob Valentinedownloadfile-18

Jacob is junior at Brigham Young University.   Over the years, Jacob has experience directing Kids are Scientists Too (KAST): Idaho, taught microenterprise in the Philippines, served a two year religious mission in the Philippines, and volunteered at Portneuf Medical Center.  Jacob shared how his two year religious mission to the Philippines redefined his future and desire to continue serving others.   When it comes to a lifetime humanitarian Jacob stated, “His moment of service is his life, and he freely gives it.”

 George Zamantakis Self Evident Truths Project headshot      

George is a sophomore at the University of Utah.  Some of the organizations George has volunteered for include the Utah Pride Center, Utah AIDS Foundation, RHA Sustainability Board, Social Justice Scholars Group, LGBT Resource Center, and Refugee and Immigrant Center at Asian Association of Utah.  As a volunteer at the Utah Pride Center, George has put his heart and soul into his work.  George shared, “I strive to understand the issues they are facing and the ways in which I can be an ally in combating them.  To be a humanitarian is to have a deep reverence for life, so much so that it is impossible to free my mind from questions and thoughts of social justice.”

Brian Zenger  IMG_9171_1

Brian is a junior at the University of Utah.  Over the year, Brian has volunteered for Big Brothers Big Sisters, National Ability Center, Curo Hospice, Maliheh Free Clinic, Unicef Red, and Southern Cross Humanitarian Service.  In 2010, Brian also completed his Eagle Scout.  Brian recalls that the moment in his life that he transitioned from a volunteer to a humanitarian, was after the passing of his father.  He realized that his father was more than a physician; he was a humanitarian that touched the lives of countless people.  Through is father’s example, Brian has been inspired to become a service leader and help those around him.  Brian has been able to inspire many other students to volunteer, and he shares that, “these volunteers have served in communities of need, made connections, and improved the lives of the greater community.”

Youthlinc

Youthlinc is a Utah-based 501c-3 nonprofit dedicated to creating lifetime humanitarians through local and international service. Learn more about our programs by visiting our website: www.youthlinc.org.

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