2009 Utah Young Humanitarian – $5,000 Winner

Emily Smoot

For the past ten years Emily has worked with a range of communities providing service and solutions. She has worked with children in Make a Wish Foundation, adults learning ESL at Horizonte, the elderly at Highland Care Center, and her peers through Salt Lake City Peer Court. She also worked with indigenous populations in Ecuador leading self-sustainability projects and was the Expedition Leader for a group of thirty as they traveled to Peru for a medical mission. Emily is a senior at the University of Utah and currently works 30-40 hours each week with ten refugee families through Catholic Community Services.


$1,000  Finalists

Catherine Lake

Two years ago Catherine started the charitable organization, Underneath It All. This organization provides children in the Utah Foster Care System with a week’s worth of new underwear in a colorful knapsack. Last year Catherine donated 150 knapsacks to the Utah Foster Care program and she continues the program today with aspirations to service all 1,000 children. Catherine also serves as Senior Class Vice President at Juan Diego Catholic High School and is a member of the Human Rights International Club. In the past she has worked with the Salvation Army and Doctors for Global Health.

Caleb Larkin

By the time he turned eighteen-years-old, Caleb had already been on two international humanitarian missions – one to India and the other to Ecuador. During his junior year, Caleb worked most weekends to save money in order to travel to Kayathar, India where he taught English to over 100 children for ten weeks. Just before starting his sophomore year at Northridge High School, Caleb spent two weeks in Ecuador with the Orphanage Support Service Organization. He has also volunteered as a Teacher’s Assistant in the Head Start Program and tutored in Clearfield Elementary School’s After School Program.

Elham Nazzal

Ellie fills her week with service to the community. On Mondays and Wednesdays she is an ESL tutor for a Burmese refugee mother of six. On Tuesdays and Thursdays she works in the IRC Youth Mentor Program. On Thursday afternoons Ellie can be found teaching art to fourth graders at Mountain View Elementary School. In addition to these weekly activities, Ellie also serves as an IRC Family Mentor and works with a refugee family from Nepal. A sophomore at Salt Lake Community College, Ellie has also traveled on a humanitarian mission to Kenya with Youthlinc and volunteered at the Neighborhood House, U of U Rehab Center, and Muscular Dystrophy Association Summer Camp.

Billy Rutter

A senior at Weber State, Billy has worked with Habitat for Humanity for five years participating in everything from fundraising to construction to volunteer supervision. He is currently the Campus Chapter President for Habitat for Humanity International. While at Weber State Billy saw the need for education about homelessness and organized Homeless Awareness Week and Cardboard Campout which give students the opportunity to understand the issues surrounding homelessness on local, national, and global levels. Last year Billy founded Freedom Riders, a therapeutic program for children with cerebral palsy.