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February 6, 2012

Top 30 Under 30

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Project HOPE (hands open to people everywhere), co-led by ARDN’s own Melissa St. Dennis, has been recognized by the Alberta Council of Global Cooperation as one of the Top 30 Under 30 for contributing to positive change in the community, locally and globally. The goal of the project is for the group, 13 MacEwan students between the ages of 19 and 27, to raise $60,000, construct two high school classrooms in San Andres, Nicaragua, and become stronger global citizens.

The 2011 project will address the roots of poverty and socioeconomic injustice in Nicaragua by increasing access to education for over 500 students, 24 communities, and 32,000 individuals. Until August 2010, many children in San Andres and the surrounding region could not pursue education above the eighth grade. The 2009 Project HOPE team traveled to San Andres and constructed the first two classrooms on the only high school in the entire region. This year, the Project HOPE team will travel to the community in May 2012, construct two additional classrooms and participate in cultural activities.

Project HOPE also gives MacEwan students the opportunity to become submersed in another culture and gain a deeper understanding of themselves and their values. Team members cultivate their leadership skills, practice hands-on sustainable development, experience and understand another culture, grow in the global community, and positively affect a community in Latin America.  Project HOPE helps youth become young leaders who return to Edmonton with skills, knowledge, and ideas they use to contribute to the local community.

Since 2002, Project HOPE has raised $300,000, impacted the lives of over 4000 people in Latin America, engaged over 120 MacEwan students, and remains 100 percent student-driven.

Project HOPE is a local grassroots initiative that fosters sustainable community development through education, cultural exchange and youth activism. It is managed by Ceiba Association and offered to MacEwan University students as an opportunity to learn about community development, fundraise for necessary social infrastructure in Latin America and Africa, learn from grassroots partner organizations, and spend a full month participating in a cultural exchange.

The full news release is available here.

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