The Youthlinc Utah Young Humanitarian Award recognizes service-minded Utah high school juniors and seniors and undergraduate students with a $5,000 college scholarship and $8,500 in runner-up awards.
Though our society recognizes young people for their accomplishments in sports and academics, this Award celebrates outstanding service among youth. Promoting humanitarianism among youth is the reason behind this annual tribute, sponsored by the George S. & Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation. Youthlinc has organized this annual statewide search since 2005.
This year we received a record number 146 applications from students across Utah! We are excited to announce our top-5 finalists! The winner will be announced at our Annual Benefit on Saturday, May 20th at the Utah Cultural Celebrations Center!
Angie Gamarra, Senior at Innovations Early College High School
Born in Peru, Angie has taken advantage of every opportunity to excel academically while also making service a top priority in her life. She serves as a Peer Mentor for Salt Lake Community College’s Una Mano Amigas peer mentoring program where she tutors ESL students, organizes workshops, and provides support for underrepresented students pursing higher education. Angie writes, “My mentees success is my success and their failures are my failures. I seek out ways for them to grow in their scholastic pursuits.” Angie is a recipient of the Washington DC Engineering Fellowship, Outstanding Mentor & Shining Star Award from Una Manos Amigas, and the Outstanding Commitment, Activism and Achievements, to Protect Civil Liberties Award from the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah.
Easton Bowring, Senior at Monticello High School
Easton incorporated his love for art into his service by spending countless hours sharing arts and crafts with special needs peers at Monticello High School. Easton’s service extended outside of the classroom, as he made sure his special needs friends felt welcomed and included. His recommender writes, “Easton would often escort a young man with special needs from class to class during the school day and then welcome the young man to sit with him at basketball games after school. No one assigned Easton to perform this role; he simply saw the need and made an effort to help.” Easton also serves as the Student Body President, National Honor Society President, Interact Club President, and most recently spearheaded a school-wide fundraiser, Project 17 Angels, to support needy families during the holiday season.
Kate Harris, Senior at Highland High School
At the young age of 8, Kate started volunteering with the National Psoriasis Foundation where she discovered her passion for service, which inspired her to get involved with the Salt Lake Peer Court, American Heart Association, and Real Life. As a Real Life volunteer, Kate recognized a large refugee and immigrant population at her own school and took action to secure a $12,500 grant from Valley Behavioral Health while working with school administration to launch a new site at Highland High School. Kate now serves as a Real Life Intern where she encourages volunteers to go outside their comfort zone to connect with others. She writes, “I’ve learned that to become a humanitarian you must immerse yourself in a daunting commitment to look beyond yourself and ultimately recognize that service will give you more than you will ever give back.”
Liz Cantlebary, Senior at Park City High School
Liz has contributed over 1,000 hours of community service at local organizations including The Peace House, Habitat for Humanity, and others. She is a member of Planned Parenthood’s Teen Council where she provides sex education and is a resource to her peers. Liz has had the opportunity to sit on a variety of panels and talk to students directly about issues surrounding sexual assault, mental health, and drug use. She played a critical role in the success of a World AIDS Day event to raise funds for the Utah AIDS Foundation as well as the Get Yourself Tested campaign to provide information and free STI testing. Liz writes, “Tean Council has ignited a passion inside of me to fight for equality for all people.” Liz will continue her passion for service next year as a Tradition Fellow at Cornell University where she will have the opportunity to collaborate with fellow students on various service projects.
Soe Meh, Senior at Cottonwood High School
Soe Meh moved from a refugee camp in Thailand to the United States at the age of ten. Since then, Soe Meh has been highly involved in Promise South Salt Lake’s afterschool programming. As a student, she has received lots of support from Real Life’s homework help over the past seven years. That experience motivated Soe Meh to give back and tutor young children in her own community. She currently serves on the South Salt Lake Youth City Council (YCC), where she has had the opportunity to volunteer at city events. These programs and many more have helped shape Soe Meh into who she is today – the first generation in her family to attend college. Soe Meh writes, “I am driven to be a great example to children who are from refugee background like me, I want them to know that they can achieve any goal they set their mind to!”