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Distinguished Finalist

Bela Gowda

Rancho Santa Fe, California

Bela Gowda, 13, of Rancho Santa Fe, California, an eighth-grader at The Bishop's School, has collected and donated 2,000 books and $1,300 to The African Library Project, helping establish libraries in Ghana and Uganda; her efforts include fundraising by selling cookies and lemonade and soliciting book donations from community members, used book stores and her local library. Bela also recruited her family to help her count, organize and package book donations.