7 for 17 Awards

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 Saturday, October 7th 2023. 

Each 7 for 17 award winner must demonstrate a commitment to meeting one (or multiple) of the 17 United National Sustainable Development Goals through novel, innovative, or unique means.

To nominate someone for the 2023 7 for 17 Award, click here.

Meet 2022's 7 for 17 Award Winners!


  • Amira Kherrallah

    SDG #3: Good Health & Wellbeing

    Breast Cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting women and various factors contribute to the lower rates of routine and preventive health care for populations like refugees, immigrants, or African Americans. Amira founded PreventHer because she sees a need for more education and resources to reach these populations with the message of cancer screening and prevention.

  • Beringo Wa Masumbe Netongo

    SDG #16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

    Beringo is a student at Salt Lake Community College and an immigrant from Cameroon. Alongside the Black Student Union, and while serving in SLCC’s Multicultural Student Council, she advocates for accountability and non-discriminatory practices. Beringo is a sought-after speaker, activist, and the inaugural recipient of the Unsung Shero Award, recognizing womxn who make a difference in the lives of others.

  • Crystal Bayat

    SDG #5: Gender Equality

    Crystal Bayat is an Afghan social activist and human rights advocate known for her protests against the Taliban takeover. She was selected as one of the BBC 100 women 2021 all around the world, she also was awarded a full-ride scholarship for Masters of Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University. Crystal Bayat Founded Crystal Bayat Foundation, a Non-Profit humanitarian foundation dedicated to protecting women's rights in Afghanistan and the world. She continues her fights against the Taliban for a #Free Afghanistan and to ensure women's rights in Afghanistan.

  • Danice Ball

    SDG #13: Climate Action

    Dani is working to promote interdisciplinary climate efforts. She is a recent graduate of Princeton University, where she worked with the Behavioral Science for Policy Lab studying the Indian energy transition and completed a senior thesis on the sonification of climate data. She has worked with sustainability in conjunction with national security and policy, buildings' energy and HVAC systems, and communication through art and design. 

  • Ermiya Fanaeian

    SDG #5: Gender Equality

    Ermiya Fanaeian is a Trans liberation and Feminist political organizer whose work has included organizing around the abortion struggle, working with the ACLU to secure the rights of Trans youth in the education system, organizing to criminalize conversion therapy in the state of Utah, working on electoral campaigns, and creating research studying the conditions of gender oppressed people at the hands of state institutions.

  • Hailee Hernandez

    SDG #1: No Poverty

    A first-generation Mexican and Native American, Hailee's work in homeless services began, assisting operate Homeless Court and monthly birthday parties. In 2019 as Program Improvement Specialist at the Gail Miller Homeless Resource Center (GMRC), she trained 40+ new employees on new Trauma-Informed program policies and procedures that have since been adopted and executed at all Salt Lake County Shelters. Hailee is the first to report homelessness trends and needs in rural Utah, implementing community support meetings for Summit and Wasatch Counties' unsheltered neighbors.

  • Jacob Lawson

    SDG #8: Decent Work & Economic Growth

    Jacob was born and raised in Utah. Bernie Sanders inspired him during the 2016 election and that’s what made him politically active. He has been organizing his Starbucks in Cottonwood heights since early March or this year and has helped successfully unionize two Starbucks in Utah. He will soon be appointed to the diversity council in West Jordan City.

  • Muskan Walia

    SDG #7: Affordable and Clean Energy

    Muskan founded a campaign to commit her local school district to a 100% clean electricity transition by 2030, and in all energy sectors by 2040 and has assisted with the expansion of local clean energy campaigns in Utah school districts. Muskan is also a leader and mentor at U-YES, Utah Youth Environmental Solutions Network, where she supports the development of a new youth-based climate justice curriculum. Her experiences have cultivated a passion and commitment to community building, climate education, and environmental justice.

  • Obaid Barakzai

    SDG #16: Peace, Justice, & Strong Institutions

    Obaid is a young community organizer, leader, and an immigrant from Afghanistan. For the past eight years, he has been serving as a peace ambassador for the Seeds of Peace and Postcards for Peace organizations, creating and organizing safe spaces for young leaders from diverse regions of conflict to resolve conflicts through dialogues. Being a certified linguist and fluent in seven languages, he has interpreted thousands of appointments and documents for those from marginalized and war-torn communities. Due to the recent humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, he has helped with the Afghan resettlement efforts in Utah while speaking up to the world through media.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible for the 7 for 17 nomination, individuals must:

  • Have resided in the state of Utah for at least 1 year as of the time of nomination
  • Be between the ages of 14-32 years old on September 24, 2022
  • Be in Utah on September 23 and 24, 2022 and attend the International Youth Summit
  • Not currently running for political/elected office
  • Has not been a member of the Utah Global Diplomacy Board of Directors, Utah Global Diplomacy Staff, or a fellow or intern with Utah Global Diplomacy for at least 1 year as of the time of nomination 

Judging Criteria

Nominations will be judged by a panel of young people, Utah Global Diplomacy staff, and community leaders whose work relates to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The criteria are as follows:

  • Demonstrated commitment to furthering Utah’s local and/or global community
  • Demonstrated commitment to Utah Global Diplomacy’s guiding principle of citizen diplomacy
  • Promising trajectory in personal, professional, or social life that could be aided by recognition

About the 17 Sustainable Development Goals

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are a set of targets established by the member nations of the United Nations.

E SDG Poster 2019 without UN emblem WEB

Previous 7 for 17 Award Winners


  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.”


  • 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.

  • 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.