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Student Celebrations

Garfield student honored as Hasbro Community Action Hero for her work to support education in Rwanda

June 15, 2011 | Audience: Families, Community, Staff | Contact: Communications, (206) 252-0200


Jessica Markowitz, 15, a sophomore at Garfield High School, was honored as a Hasbro Community Action Hero on June 3. A tireless advocate for global education and social justice, Jessica founded Richard's Rwanda-IMPUHWE when she was 11 years old to support educational opportunities for young girls in the rural area of Nyamata, Rwanda.

She will be traveling to Rwanda for the fifth time this summer to lead a cross-cultural service learning trip for 16 students from across the United States who will teach English to students in Nyamata.

Fund-raising efforts support costs such as school fees, supplies, shoes, insurance, and lunch. Jessica’s nonprofit has already expanded to seven chapters in Seattle, two on the East Coast and two in Rwanda. Jessica's efforts are about building and sustaining relationships, not just raising funds because she believes in the power of providing a fishing pole, not just the fish.

Jessica asserts that advocating for girl’s education will ultimately allow girls and women to end the vicious poverty cycle, decrease infant, child, and maternal mortality rates, reduce occurrences of HIV-AIDS and malaria while also improving national peace and security.


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