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State Honoree

Monica Pasternak

Connecticut

is co-founder of the “Kids’ Council,” a local kids volunteer group based at the Connecticut headquarters of Save The Children, Inc. After seeing the plight of needy children in countries like Ecuador, Egypt and Peru, Monica wanted to find a way to improve the lives of disadvantaged children worldwide. “Kids’ Council” began as a satellite of Save The Children, Inc., working with staff members there to learn about specific ways of giving both physical and moral support to children in crisis. Council members decided to contribute any money they raised to one local and one international project each year. In October of 1998 the “Kids Council” organized a family festival complete with music, dancing, roaming performers, interactive talent, games and cultural exchanges. The event raised $250,000, which was sent to help children in Bridgeport, Conn., Mexico and Kosovo. The following year, the festival raised more than $300,000 for after-school programs at the Bridgeport Community Center and Mississippi River Delta projects, and for a nutrition and maternal/child Advocacy Program sponsored in collaboration with UNICEF and the Vietnamese Ministry of Health. “Our goal is to positively impact the lives of children who clearly are the world’s future parents, educators, scientists, journalists, voters and business, government or nonprofit leaders,” said Monica.