Local Students Regional Finalists in CLASSY Awards
The following local students from Marquette University have been selected as regional finalists for the CLASSY Awards, a national philanthropic awards ceremony in the United States:
- Sarah Walsh, a Senior studying Environmental Engineering from Waukesha, WI
- Erin Davis, a Junior studying Bioelectronics from Waukesha, WI
The nominated students are members of Marquette's chapter of Engineers Without Borders, a program that assists communities in developing countries in implementing development programs.
The Marquette chapter is being recognized for its work in helping provide electricity and other fundamentals to a rural community in Guatemala, La Communidad de La Nueva Providencia, for the past five years. The project is one of five Midwest regional finalists in the Small Charity of the Year category.
In order for the Marquette team to advance to the national stage of the CLASSY Competition, supporters must vote for them. To vote for the project, visit go.mu.edu/muclassy. Online votes account for half of a team's score; the remaining half is based on votes from previous CLASSY Award winners.
The project these students have been working on provides sustainable electricity to the Guatemalan community, and has been a main focus for the villagers to provide a healthier community and create economic opportunities. Without electricity, villagers burn kerosene and candles in homes, which is a health risk as the byproducts can cause chronic pulmonary disease. During the past five years, the Marquette team has installed solar panels and solar powered LED lights in homes and outdoors, and built a bridge for the villagers. Future plans include installing a turbine and generator building the necessary infrastructure for a micro-hydroelectric system.
Five regional finalists are selected for 16 categories. Online voting will continue through July 26. Regional winners will be announced on July 31. National CLASSY winners will be announced Sept. 22 at an awards ceremony in San Diego. National winners receive consulting and fundraising support from eBay Giving Works, PayPal and eBoost.