and Jessica Markowitz is living proof.
The Seattle Times reports that Markowitz was
just a sixth grader when she learned about
Rwandan children who were orphaned
by genocide and war.
She rallied her classmates to raise money
to support Rwandan girls, and three years later,
has raised nearly $40,000.
By the way, she's only 14 years old.
Markowitz is the founder of a charity
called IMPUWE -- the Rwandan word
for compassion -- that currently sends
22 needy Rwandan girls to school.
IMPUWE, which also stands for
"inspire and motivate powerful,
undiscovered women with education,"
is expanding with five more
chapters at Seattle high schools.
On Nov. 5, the Garfield High School
freshman will receive the 2009 World of
Children Founders Award at
UNICEF in New York.
The award honors people around
the world who are creating innovative
programs for children in need.
With the $15,000 prize, Markowitz
plans to help build a library
in Rwanda focused on girls.
She has gone on to partner with a local
girls school in Rwanda and spent the past
summer teaching English to Rwandan
schoolchildren. These experiences have clearly
given her a wisdom beyond her years:
"I just think it's really crazy at this age
how much you can make a difference,"
she said. "I guess what's really changed
me is just being thankful for everything
and never forgetting or giving up,
no matter hard it gets sometimes."
Jessica is just one young social entrepreneur
working to change the world.
Check out our youth activists slideshow
to see even more fresh-faced world-changers.Link here