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Innovation & Growth Initiative: Montgomery County Benchmark
Learn about Abington's Next Century. To access a white paper that compares Abington to the rest of Montgomery County, click here >
2011 Scholarship Recipient
Esther is a creative and energetic young woman who brings her many talents and her natural ability to think out of the box to her determination to make a positive impact on her environment. Looking at the big picture of the problems facing her world, her approach to giving back is global. As part of her involvement in H20 for Life, whose mission is for all people to have access to safe, affordable and sustaining drinking water and adequate sanitation, Esther has combined her passion for the cause with her drive to make a difference, and bring other people along with her.
Through her involvement in H20 for Life at Abington High School, Esther realized that she could not stand by as a passive bystander and that she had to take active and aggressive steps to meliorate the world water crisis. She has stated that before her exposure to the facts about how critical something as simple as water is, she had no idea that wars were fought over water or that many African women – the primary carriers of water in their culture – spend six hours a day fetching water instead of receiving valuable education. She became inspired and committed to changing this dire situation and is unwavering in her motivation and her dedication.
Esther is not satisfied to be a solitary contributor to the cause; rather, she believes strongly that through educating people about the many issues that are connected to global water problems, she can have an even greater impact in addressing the emergency.
With this in mind, Esther has combined her concern for the global community with her passion for film and journalism. She has produced powerful films that have inspired other people to take a stand against this catastrophic situation. Receiving her own inspiration from events held at her school as well as throughout Philadelphia, she has been able to create these films on her own and has been able to motivate many other students to get involved in the cause.
Through H20 for Life, she has helped raise money to build and provide schools with latrines and proper sanitation in South Africa, Nicaragua, and Mali. Abington’s cable channel features her videos, raising awareness within the entire community and spurring many people to become involved in contributing to the solution of the world water crisis. She had made several inspiring videos, including one called “Bathroom Pass,” which was recently featured at the Academy for Educational Development’s museum in Washington D.C..
In addition to her involvement with H20, Esther has used her knowledge of video production, computer applications, editing programs and equipment to assist the Service Learning Department at Abington High School, which has attracted national attention in part due to Esther’s array of visual aids that people have noticed and acted upon. In fact, Diane Sawyer of ABC-TV asked to see her film “Bathroom Pass,” as she was developing a piece for a special program which was aired in December. To have one’s video requested for national television is quite an honor for a high school student!
Esther has become a strong believer in the power of the media to raise awareness of problems and move people to put forth effort to effect change for the better. She believes that through her films and videos, she can inspire people to be the best they can be and in this way, she can have a global impact. Combining her love of writing and film-making with vital issues that she identifies, she plans to continue to film videos of people around the world helping one another.
For her work, Esther has received a Silver Medal from the Congressional Award Foundation and will receive a Gold Medal in the House of Representatives in Washington D.C. this coming summer. Esther has exceeded the required 800 hours of service for this award; she has done more than 1300 hours and is still counting! As one of her teachers has said about Esther, “she is intelligent, articulate, dedicated, enthusiastic, and respectful to herself, teachers and fellow students.”
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