Odunola Ojewumi, University of Maryland College Park, wins 2010 Americans for UNFPA Student Award for the Health and Dignity of Women
Runners up include students from Bard College, University of Central Florida,
University of Virginia and University of Washington


Odunola OjewumiNew York, NY- January 14, 2010 - Odunola Ojewumi a sophomore from University of Maryland College Park, is the winner of the forth annual Americans for UNFPA Student Award for the Health and Dignity of Women. Americans for UNFPA is the official U.S. support organization for UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. UNFPA provides women’s health care and promotes the rights of women in 150 countries around the world.

In the summer of 2010, Ms. Ojewumi will travel to a UNFPA field program with Americans for UNFPA staff to meet one of the 2010 International Honorees for the Health and Dignity of Women. She will learn of her destination in May when the 2010 International Award winners are announced.

As Student Award Winner, Ms. Ojewumi will learn about the global health and rights of women by visiting women’s health programs on the ground. She will guest-blog about her experience on MarieClaire.com and will represent Americans for UNFPA as a student ambassador at campus, political and advocacy events.

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This year, thanks to a generous grant from the Hearst Foundation, Americans for UNFPA is able to honor four runners up. These finalists will participate in advocacy and outreach activities including a trip to Washington DC in March 2010 to lobby with Americans for UNFPA and past student award winners. Congratulations to the following 2010 Student Award Runners Up:

  • Brittany Duhrkoff, Junior, University of Central Florida
  • Patricia Hochheim, Sophomore, Bard College
  • Semonti Hossain, Junior, University of Washington
  • Saha Khaterzai, Freshman, University of Virginia

“We are humbled by the passion, experience and long term aspirations of the entire student award applicant pool” says Anika Rahman, President, Americans for UNFPA. “Reading these essays, I feel comforted knowing that these students are among the future leaders advocating for women everywhere,” she continued.

As a pre-law student with a minor in political science, Ms. Ojewumi’s academic pursuits complement her personal and professional interests. Her volunteer experience includes internships with Population Action International and several political campaigns.

“Ms. Ojewumi’s experience as an organizer and personal commitment to women’s health will help Americans for UNFPA engage like-minded individuals in our work, says Rahman.

In her essay, Ms Ojewumi wrote "We [as Americans] are silent in our actions but not in our words." Ola's long list of accomplishments and involvements shows that she is silent neither in words nor in action: she has and will be a strong voice for women around the world,” says Nicole Paprocki, 2009 Student Award Winner. “I look forward to watching her become the new face of Americans for UNFPA campus outreach,” she continued.

In her essay Ms. Ojewumi continues: “I personally believe the voice of one person can spark a brink that will eventually change the way people think, act, and compel others to take action. Give me the opportunity to spread my voice for this organization.”

While traveling with Americans for UNFPA Ms. Ojewumi will see examples of the struggle for women’s health care, safe motherhood, human rights and gender equality. She will assist in the filming of a video, documenting the work of UNFPA, that aims to shine a light on the overwhelming problems women face in most of the world, and highlight what can be done to address these problems. She will also learn about the role of media, communication and advocacy in advancing the rights of women everywhere.

The 2010 Americans for UNFPA Student Award Jury included: Lourdes Lopez, Axa Equitable; Claire O’Hare, Facebook; Nicole Paprocki, University of Loyola Chicago & 2009 Student Award Winner; Abigail Pesta, Marie Claire; and Barbara Streicker, Americans for UNFPA Board of Advocates.

The Student Award is given annually to one full-time undergraduate that shows a long-term commitment to improving the health and rights of women globally.

Her essays will soon be posted on www.americansforunfpa.org/studentaward.

Through advocacy and public awareness, Americans for UNFPA is dedicated to building moral, political and financial support within the U.S. for the work of UNFPA.