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State Honoree

Mihir Chaudhary

Georgia

Mihir Chaudhary, 18, of Alpharetta, Ga., a senior at Alpharetta High School, formed a club at his school to raise money to help rebuild, refurbish and re-supply war-ravaged schools in northern Uganda. "I became involved in this activity after witnessing the brutal treatment of the children of northern Uganda in a poignant documentary by the nonprofit international organization, Invisible Children," Mihir said. He was particularly bothered by the fact that many Ugandan children are abducted and forced to fight as soldiers. "My access to flowing water, hot food and a soft bed have made the deficiencies of the northern Ugandan children all the more poignant," he said. After receiving permission from school administrators, Mihir formed a partnership with the Awere Secondary School in Gulu, Uganda. He then recruited teen volunteers and planned a series of fund-raisers, including dodgeball tournaments, penny collection jars, and candy sales. Mihir also solicited donations from businesses and other organizations. So far, Mihir's Schools for Schools club has raised more than $10,000 to provide clean water, teacher training and new books for disadvantaged Ugandan students attending the Awere Secondary School. "My hope is that every dollar earned will be a step in educating a new leader for future generations of northern Ugandans," Mihir said.