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CC students win two $10,000 grants to implement Projects for Peace

Two Colorado College student-initiated projects have been chosen for funding by philanthropist Kathryn Wasserman Davis, founder of 100 Projects for Peace.

In celebration of her 100th birthday in 2007, Davis funded 100 student projects in pursuit of building peace throughout the world. So impressed with the projects, she decided to fund another 100 Projects for Peace in the summer of 2008. Students from 65 colleges and universities nationwide were eligible to apply for a grant.

"Cover One in Honduras," a project idea submitted by Colorado College students Erick Baer, Alina Ford, Max Green, Jocelyn Corbett, Billy Blaustein, Misael Fernandez and Jason Steiert will teach impoverished Honduran youth how to respect their bodies and practice teamwork through a 25-day sports clinic in soccer, volleyball, and American football. The team members (all varsity athletes) will work specifically in the San Miguelito community, and offer their program as a positive afternoon activity for youth in the area. "Honduras is widely affected by diabetes (especially among the young), gang affiliations and immense poverty …[Cover One] will educate Honduran children on how to identify and avoid harmful behaviors that may lead to unhealthy lives, while building the self-confidence and social support necessary to put this knowledge into action," according to the students' proposal.

"Solar Water Disinfection (SODIS) in Ecuador," the second Colorado College project selected for funding, was submitted by juniors Valerie Grosscup and Jonathan Spear. As biology majors, both are interested in "the practical social application of the knowledge [they] have gained in the laboratory," their proposal states. Half of all the hospital beds in the world are currently occupied by individuals suffering from water-borne illnesses; Grosscup and Spear will team up with members of the SODIS Foundation in the region of Santo Domingo de Los Colorados to teach people in the area to simply and inexpensively purify water at the household level. The process, which consists of leaving plastic bottles filled with water in the sun for a day, inactivates almost all water-borne pathogens and has been found to reduce cases of diarrhea as much as 90 percent in some cases.

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