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2019 Global Citizen Award Recipients

Paul Poore, AASSA Deputy Director

The AASSA Global Citizen Award sponsored by TIECARE International recognizes a student or group of students selected from AASSA Member Schools that made exemplary contributions through a school and/or community-based service program which has led either to: greater international understanding, positive local or global change, addressing a global challenge, or changed lives—thereby setting an example for us all.

This year’s four recipients selected by the AASSA Board of Trustees will each receive a monetary award which is to be used to assist the project or charity for which the award was given.

The award recipients in alphabetical order by their project are:

1. Habitat Para El Ecuador, Interamerican Academy Guayaquil, Ecuador(students: Santiago Noriega, Jiho Bang, Iris Benitez, Caden Velasquez)

These students are part of the National Honor Society and have worked with Habitat del Ecuador to build homes in the Jama region for those affected by the 2016 earthquake. They also completed a clothing and home goods drive to help supply the newly built homes. They raised funds by establishing a plastic and paper recycling program

Advisor: Caitlin O’Leary (

2. International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) Student Group, Colegio Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lima, Peru (students: Karina Vestergaard, Marry Xuan, Daniela Romina Gioia, Ga Hyun Kim, Kia Maria Cuba, Sofia Florencia Villafuerte, Skyler Jay Markham, Emilio Gutierrez, Gabriel De Romaña):

The purpose of iGEM is to create an interactive international community to make synthetic biology more accessible to college and high school students. Their project is about studying mercury in fish and they were the only school in the Southern Hemisphere to present their findings at the Giant Jamboree in Boston with teams from all over the world. They have presented to local schools in Peru as well at Colegio Roosevelt and published findings in the Journal of FDR Science.

Further sites to visit regarding iGem and the project:

Advisor: Maja Flom (

3. Project Valentina, American School of Belo Horizonte, Brazil (students: Isabela Padilha, Marcela Ortiz, Carol Maia and Camila Postay): Project Valentina is the creation of the GIN club at EABH. Through the project, students learn how to use 3D printers in order to design and build prosthetic hands for children through South America. The project is completely student lead and the four students are nominated because of the leadership they exhibit. They created the project and now teach new members of the GIN club how build prosthetic hands. The award will help them purchase a 3D printer to use at the school to make more hands and complete the work more quickly. The following are videos of Project Valentina’s recipients:

Advisor: David Ritchie ( )

4. The Service, Engineering and Technology (SET) Team, International School of Panama (students: Sofia Karter, Jose Carlos Inchausti)

The Service, Engineering and Technology (SET) Team is a student-lead organization at the International School of Panama (ISP) that has a mission of helping Panamanian communities in need gain access to technology that they couldn’t have access to otherwise. The project has led to a greater positive local change and we are hoping that with our submission it will lead to a greater global change. We are truly hoping that other schools learn about the project and ask us questions because we are always willing to share what we know. ISP believes that “It’s not about me. It’s about us” and “We look after the planet as well as we look after each other”. 

SET Team and its varied projects.

Advisor: Jose Rios (

Thanks to TIECARE International for funding this program and congratulations to this year’s recipients, their advisors and their schools for the fine work they are doing. And thank you to ALL of the applicants for your amazing work and dedication. ALL of you are winners!


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