August 09, 2021

7 for 17 Award Winners

The 7 for 17 Award recognizes young Utahns working to achieve the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while exemplifying Utah Global Diplomacy’s core values of respect, social responsibility, and open dialogue. This year's winners will be recognized at our International Youth Summit held on Thursday, August 12.



Congratulations to our 2021 winners!

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Aarushi Verma

Passionate about eliminating food waste and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Aarushi leads the Granite Clean Energy Team to commit Granite School District to a resolution for 100% clean energy. Throughout the past year, her team grew the student coalition to upwards of 30 members, representing all school district areas, faculty, and community members.


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Ameena Ahmed

SDG #16 Peace, Justice, & Strong Institutions
Ameena, a student at Granger High School, is dedicated to tackling civic engagement and voter education by teaching other students about the process of registering to vote. She was also recently featured on Good Morning America as a 2020 Youth Fellow for a nonprofit organization called The Civics Center.


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Fiston Mwesige

SDG #1: No Poverty
As a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Fiston recognizes firsthand the value of education. He created a nonprofit called Umoja Generation that focuses on providing academic and college-prep support for high school refugee students and assists newly arrived refugee families with Utah's educational systems. Fiston was recently featured in a UNHCR blog and is a GLSF recipient.


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Gabriel Glissmeyer

SDG #3: Good Health and Wellbeing
Gabriel's work initially began to increase LGBTQ+ commercial tobacco health education in Utah and providing cultural competency training to various healthy departments and groups. In 2020, Gabriel began working for the National LGBT Cancer Network, ensuring federal and state commercial tobacco policies included health equity measures for the LGBTQ+ community, especially queer people of color.


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Jacob Crane

SDG #8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
Jacob Crane is the executive director for the SLC Air Protectors, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the natural environment, improving air quality, and supporting the rights and responsibilities of Indigenous Peoples to be stewards of the land. In addition, Jacob is a social entrepreneur and enjoys building startup companies that positively impact Native communities. He is working to see more conscious tribal investment for future generations.


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Jenessa Jimoh

SDG #4: Quality Education
Jenessa started a nonprofit called Diversity, Inclusion, Values, Action. (D.I.V.A.), a womxn-led, multicultural organization seeking to educate, bring awareness, and create a safe space where people of diverse backgrounds can share their stories and broaden their life perspectives.


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Leonardo Lupiano

SDG #9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
Leonardo, a Dixie State University student, founded and runs Legal Clinic, which provided free legal advice to all students and eligible employees from Dixie State University, providing guidance on housing issues, domestic violence, child support, and so much more.



Honorable Mentions

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Kripa Thapa

SDG #6: Clean Water & Sanitation
Kripa has dedicated her academic life to researching mountain hydrology and glaciers in relation to climate change and the intersectionality with vulnerable communities in Nepal. She published the paper “SDG Confab: Synergizing Efforts towards Achieving SDG-6 and SDG-13 in Nepal.”


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Mohan Sudabattula

SDG #10: Reduced Inequality
Mohan started a nonprofit called Project Embrace that works with hospitals to take previously used medical equipment, typically thrown away, and gives it to people and communities in low and middle-income countries who can not afford these medical devices. Thus far, Project Embrace has delivered over 1,000 medical devices around the world.