2014 Utah Young Humanitarian – $5,000 Winner

Madison Palmer, 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

$1,000 Finalists

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