Friday, May 21, 2010

Student to make a difference in India

Scholarship recognizes leadership

Express Staff Writer

Campbell Gatehouse, a Wood River High School student, won the Make A Difference India scholarship award. Photo by

Make A Difference Now is a nonprofit organization based in the Wood River Valley that focuses on improving the lives of orphaned children and youths. Its programs focus on education, health, job-skill training and income-generating activities at orphanages and community schools.

Following a contest for its India Scholarship award, Make A Difference Now announced on May 13 that it had awarded the scholarship to Wood River Valley High School student Campbell Gatehouse.

In an essay about why she wanted to make a difference in India, Gatehouse said:

"Earlier this year I spoke with a friend who went to India to help rebuild an entire community, specifically by building houses. After talking to my friend, I realized that not only did I want to do something similar, but also that I needed to. As a high school student, it is all too easy to get caught up in superficial issues, but hearing about this place where people live in constant poverty and despair made me realize that I have so much to give, and so many resources at my disposal to help others. ... Though it is unrealistic that my entire high school will have the opportunity to travel overseas to build houses, I also saw that upon returning from her trip, my friend was more aware of problems present in our own community, and became more locally active. ... After seeing poverty firsthand that seems incurable, it is my hope that when I come home I will have greater optimism that the problems that I see on an everyday level are solvable."

Gatehouse will receive a roundtrip ticket to India, leadership training with Make A Difference's directors and the chance to work on a Make A Difference project. She will be expected to make a presentation about what she learned when she returns, and to work on a project at home that makes a difference in the lives of youths in the Wood River Valley.

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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