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STEAM sophomore accepts philanthropy award for work with ‘Backpack Payback’ project in East Aftrica

Aisha Ndayishimiye, a sophomore at the STEAM Academy, has received a 2017 Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Award for her efforts with a “Backpack Payback” project benefiting youngsters in her native East Africa. She accepted the honor from the Bluegrass Chapter and the Thoroughbred Collegiate Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals during a National Philanthropy Day celebration Nov. 10 at the Griffin Gate Marriott.

Aisha Ndayishimiye

Aisha was nominated by English I teacher Kari Patrick, who encouraged her students to find a topic they were passionate about, research it, and try to make an impact. Aisha decided to donate backpacks to students at the Muyange School in her home country of Burundi. She raised money and collected backpacks, working with supporters from STEAM, Winburn Middle School, the University of Kentucky, and Lexington’s First Presbyterian Church.
In early July, Aisha delivered some 300 backpacks and $1,600 worth of school supplies to Burundi while on a family trip. Aisha’s cousins attend the Muyange School, and she leveraged her family connections to set up the visit. She also spent a day with students there, teaching them English and sharing her story of living in the United States.

“Aisha plans to continue raising money and would like to go back next summer and help build a new structure for the school,” Patrick wrote in her nomination.

Aisha Ndayishimiye discusses the “Backpack Payback” project

From Fayette County Public Schools

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