Among the amazing young change makers who captivated the audience at PARSA's 2009 annual awards event were Darrion Sani, Roz Fazli and Roshan Malekmadani. Their individual commitment to philanthropy and the community from such a young age is remarkable and should serve as an example of what every young person in the Iranian diaspora can achieve. As a community, we will be best known by what we have contributed and not just what we have gained; Darrion, Roz and Roshan and their young counterparts around the world have already put this lesson in action.
Last summer, 8 year-old Darrion got involved with Pennies for Peace, a program of the Central Asia Institute which raises money for education in Afghanistan and Pakistan. From the outset, Darrion took his role very seriously. He set out to collect as many pennies as possible for underprivileged children across the world. Through the Pennies for Peace Program, Darrion learned that he could make a positive global impact, one penny at a time. He aspired to raise funds so that similarly aged students in other parts of the world could also benefit from a classroom, textbooks, and above all, the power of literacy. Darrion learned and demonstrated to others that the amount of money you raise is not as important as the human resources and consistency you devote to supporting a cause.
Roz Fazli does many things at her local pet hospital including making rabies tags, folding towels, filing, giving baths to dogs, socializing with cats before their adoption and socializing with dogs that are boarding. At only 10 years old, Roz also raises funds for shelters. The idea to fundraise came when Roz learned that shelters kill animals because there is not enough room for them. The ways in which Roz has raised money are numerous since Roz knows that one has to be innovative and dedicated to make a difference. She has sold lemonade, hot-chocolate, brownies and crafts and has even taken empty bottles to the local grocery store for cash. Roz hopes to foster a dog or two and to continue saving the lives of animals that are on death row.
Over the past few years, 14 year-old Roshan Malekmadani has participated in community service in a variety of ways. She has been involved in both local and global community projects, volunteering much of her time to the Ecumenical Hunger Program and Ravenswood Child Development Center. Throughout middle school, she has volunteered for various programs that provide services to low-income families. The latest community service project she has been involved in is with Free the Children, the world's largest network of children helping children through education. This year, through her school club, Roshan is trying to raise enough money to build a school in Kenya. While Roshan has shown great compassion by spending time on a number of different causes, there is a philosophy she takes to all her nonprofit work. Roshan feels that it is important that people comprehensively know about and support any organization they are donating money to. We couldn't agree more, Roshan.
About: PARSA Community Foundation is the first Persian community foundation in the United States and the leading Persian philanthropic institution practicing strategic philanthropy and promoting social entrepreneurship worldwide. Managing the largest independent endowment fund dedicated to Persian philanthropy, the California-based PARSA CF provides tax-advantaged vehicles to donors and grants to nonprofit organizations. Grants are awarded through semi-annual competitive grant cycles and are reviewed by an independent grant advisory committee. The organization is a nonpartisan, nonreligious, and nonprofit 501(c) (3) entity. For more information, please visit www.parsacf.org.
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