By: Shannon Moss

For the past 16 years, Youthlinc has organized a statewide search for Utah’s Young Humanitarian. The goal of this award is to recognize outstanding community engagement and to inspire other people to serve their communities however and wherever they can.

There are many scholarships and awards that recognize students for their accomplishments in academics and athletics, but the Young Humanitarian Award is Utah’s largest service scholarship recognizing and celebrating Utah students who are making a difference wherever they are. It’s not just about their work serving humans but about being human. Being messy, unsure, wondering if what they are doing will ever be enough and doing what they can anyway. Utah’s Young Humanitarians have looked at the world around them, in their own communities, and decided to make a change. This change might have started small, but snowballed into something much larger.

For the past 16 years, Youthlinc has organized a statewide search for Utah’s Young Humanitarian, recognizing and celebrating Utah students who are making a difference, creating change and encouraging and inspiring others to do the same. The Young Humanitarian Award recognizes one high school and one college winner, each receiving a $5,000 scholarship. One high school and one college runner up will each receive a $3,000 scholarship and six finalists- three high school and three college students- each received a $1,000 scholarship for a total of $22,000 in scholarship awards. This award is made possible through the generous donation of the George S and Delores Dorè Eccles Foundation.

In 2018 a partnership was established with the A Ray Olpin University Union Building to give additional scholarship funds to University of Utah students. These funds are made possible through the University Union Scholarship Fund. Through this partnership, the 2020 Young Humanitarian college winner, Fiston Mwesign, received a total of $10,000 for the cost of his junior year at the University of Utah. Fiston came to the United States as a refugee and guardian of his five siblings. After working with other refugees as an americorps VISTA volunteer, he began his own non profit organization Umoja Generation to meet the needs of refugee high school students. Fiston embodies what it means to be a humanitarian, to serve other human beings while faced with his own challenges. In 2020, the University Union Scholarship Fund partnership awarded an additional $9,000 to University of Utah students who have made community engagement a central part of their lives.

All Utah students are eligible to apply for this prestigious award, regardless of their school choice. To Learn more or apply for the Young Humanitarian Award click here.

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