Join us as we celebrate the inspiring stories of this year’s winners, selected from a pool of 8 exceptional entrants, all of whom have left an indelible mark on their respective communities across the globe. Our heartfelt congratulations go out to these outstanding individuals for their unwavering commitment to service and their dedication to making the world a better place.
Malia Skaret, Paraguay, 1st Place
In 2020, following six years of service in Bogotá, Colombia, Malia and her family relocated to Post Asunción amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Discovering a nearby leper colony, Santa Isabel, she embarked on a journey to understand the realities of Hansen’s disease. Overwhelmed by the suffering and stigma faced by the residents, Malia resolved to help and founded Project Willing, a U.S. 501(c)(3) initiative.
Through generous donations, the project has provided vital resources to the Santa Isabel Leper Colony, including pasture improvements, fence posts, wire, gauze, bandages, clothing, and care packages. Malia is also committed to facilitating human interaction, organizing live music performances, learning the residents’ names, and offering support.
Despite challenges, such as maintaining privacy and limited access for potential donors, Malia remains dedicated to bringing attention and aid to those forgotten by the world. Malia’s transparency and effective use of funds have garnered trust and ensured that a minimum of 93 cents per dollar donated directly benefits the residents and caretakers at Santa Isabel.
As we visited the lepers-only cemetery, the agony of their lives came upon me, as I realized their quarantine doesn’t even end in death. But it’s worse than that. Their shame is in vain. That’s the tragedy of leprosy today. Hansen’s disease is easy to prevent, treat, and cure. In fact, the good people at Santa Isabel are no longer contagious but they’re ashamed all the same. This is just too unfair. I bucked up and told Sister Juanita, “I’m willing to help.”– Malia
Joy Clark, Fiji, 2nd Place
Joy’s passion for becoming a midwife led her to create and produce a Midwifery Conference in Fiji as part of her Grade 10 Personal Project at her IB school. Through extensive research, Joy identified the need for updated midwifery knowledge and medical equipment in rural areas to reduce maternal mortality rates.
With the support of her family, friends, the Fijian Ministry of Health, and the British High Commission, she raised funds and organized the conference, bringing licensed nurses/midwives from the United States to teach. The event saw an overwhelming response, with around 110-120 participants, including university students studying maternal health. The topics covered were informative and interactive, receiving positive feedback from participants and impressing local healthcare authorities. Joy’s project was featured in local newspapers, and her dedication of approximately 90 hours of volunteer time made a significant impact on the Fijian community. Her successful endeavor not only solidified her passion for midwifery but also contributed to the improvement of healthcare in Fiji, inspiring the planning of future conferences.
I found that most public healthcare areas in rural villages are basic and inefficient, and a major cause of Fijian women’s mortality is hemorrhage, sepsis, infection, hypertensive disorders, and abortion. Many of these deaths could be prevented by up-to-date medical equipment as well as more midwifery knowledge. After researching this information, I determined that this conference was necessary and would impact the Fijian community.– Joy
Saha Irwin, Bangladesh, 3rd Place
Saha’s project, New City, New Issues, aims to address the mental health challenges faced by transient teens in the Foreign Service. Recognizing the alarming rise in teenage mental health issues, Saha developed a comprehensive guidebook and website to provide practical support during frequent relocations.
By conducting surveys, interviewing professionals, and investing over 100 hours in research and development, Saha created a valuable resource offering tips, activities, and strategies for a positive transition to new environments. Already proving successful within her school community and shared with other institutions, Saha’s project has the potential to make a broader impact. Her dedication to raising awareness and providing accessible solutions to mental health issues is an inspiring step towards fostering well-being among transient teens and addressing the global mental health crisis.
Mental health is a crucial aspect of life that can shape a person’s well-being and future aspirations and my hope is that this guidebook is a piece of a larger solution to the global mental health problem.– Saha
Congratulations to this year’s winners!
This short video is from the Foreign Service Youth Foundation’s Awards Ceremony, where Clements’ CEO recognized the amazing Community Service Award winners.
Thank You to All of This Year’s Winners
Clements Worldwide is proud to support the Foreign Service Youth Foundation and congratulates this year’s winners on their outstanding service to others.
Our journey in becoming a preferred global insurance provider began in 1947 with the creation of the first expatriate program providing international insurance for the U.S. Foreign Service exclusively. With clients served in 170+ countries, we now manage worldwide insurance portfolios for ambassadors, diplomats, foreign service officers and specialists, the military overseas, contractors, educators, and professionals abroad. Additionally, we provide a range business insurance solutions targeted to cover organizations’ operations in high risk and emerging areas.
Past Award Winners
Alessandra Veveiros, Kenya, 1st Place
Alessandra made a significant impact at Fruity City Schools in Nairobi through fundraising for school supplies, planting fruit trees, establishing a library, and planning scholarships for financially disadvantaged high schoolers.
Asher Stock, Qatar, 2nd Place
Asher’s volunteer work at a U.S. Army camp in Qatar involved assisting Afghan refugees, distributing essential items, organizing a soccer ball drive, and contributing to the establishment of an education center, bringing communities together and raising morale.
Brent & Elizabeth Haney, 3rd Place
Siblings Brent and Elizabeth Haney founded Team Ascension Martial Arts, the first unofficial U.S. State Department sports team, providing a virtual platform for their fellow Foreign Service youth to stay connected, develop martial arts skills, attend events and summer camps, and raise funds for charitable causes through campaigns like “Punching4Ukraine,” making a positive impact on their community.
In 2021, there were 4 winners of the award, all of whom went above and beyond to serve their communities during a time of global turbulence.
Allie Frerichs, Panama, 1st Place
Allie organized a successful fundraiser with the Embassy in Panama, raising $3,000 to purchase essential supplies for quarantined police officers and dedicated several hours per week over three months to coordinate the procurement and delivery of the supplies.
Cesar Lionel Miranda, Mexico, 2nd Place
Cesar, stationed in Ciudad Juarez, established the NGO Youth4Youth International, created a blog, visited Casa Uedes shelter to assess the needs of 44 young girls affected by violence and trafficking, collaborated with The Social Good Fund to raise funds, and personally delivered essential materials during the pandemic, prioritizing the well-being of the girls at the shelter.
Ann Carew, Ecuador, 3rd Place Tie
Ann, stationed in Ecuador, identified underserved areas lacking health information and supplies during the pandemic, and through funding from the J. Kirby Simon Foreign Service Trust, she diligently assembled and distributed over 500 “gift bags” containing medical supplies and virus-related information to community members, with plans to continue expanding her efforts.
Micah Dieterle, China, 3rd Place Tie
Micah, residing in Beijing, learned of the needs at the Yingkang Elderly Apartment and selflessly organized the construction of a spacious arboretum, raising funds and contributing his own savings to provide outdoor shade and a vegetable-growing space for the retirement home.
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