International Youth Foundation Announces Recipients of 2009 Starbucks Shared Planet Youth Action Grants

Baltimore, Maryland, USA— With support from the Starbucks™ Shared Planet™ Youth Action Grants program, 20 youth-led initiatives in 12 countries will expand the impact of their social change work. The grants, ranging from US$7,500-$10,000, will support youth-led projects such as efforts to influence the legislative agenda in Kenya, equip disadvantaged women in the Philippines with income-generating skills, and raise awareness of solutions to climate change.

The Youth Action Grants program is a key component of the Starbucks™ Shared Planet™ commitment to communities. Grant recipients were chosen by Starbucks and the International Youth Foundation (IYF) in order to make funding available to young leaders who have completed IYF’s YouthActionNet® Global Fellowship. The Fellowship seeks to develop a new generation of socially-conscious global citizens who create positive change in their communities, their countries, and the world.

“The diversity of projects led by this year’s grant recipients testify to the tremendous drive, creativity, and compassion of today’s young social entrepreneurs,” said IYF President and CEO William S. Reese. “Through this much-needed support, Starbucks is enabling these youth to realize their visions of a better world – and inspire others in the process.”

“We congratulate each of these young leaders for their hard work and innovative solutions to local challenges,” said Ben Packard, Starbucks vice president, Global Responsibility. “Through Starbucks™ Shared Planet™ commitment to communities, we seek to celebrate, support, and spread this spirit of innovation and service in addressing community needs.”

Among the 20 projects to receive a total of US$200,000 in StarbucksTM Shared PlanetTM Youth Action Grants are:

Family in Need Trust, Zimbabwe: The Trust, established by Jack Bbabbie Mukulu, 29, will provide vocational training and HIV/AIDS prevention education to 50 women caretakers of orphans and vulnerable children. 

Human Artificial Vision, Mexico:  Developed by Luis Octavio Ortigoza Ayala, 27, Human Artificial Vision will train 500 visually-impaired individuals in the use of a prosthesis enabling them to perceive images.

Sri Arunodayan Charitable Trust, India: Under the leadership of Iyyappan Subramanyan, 29, the Trust will construct a physiotherapy room serving 90 children with intellectual disabilities.

Youth Action for Change (YAC), Italy: Founded by Selene Biffi, 26, Youth Action for Change will publish an online youth magazine, Young Innovations Europe, aimed at showcasing youth-led innovation, entrepreneurship, and creativity.

Fired Up Media, United States:Launched by Richard Graves, 26, Fired Up Media will form seven new media teams, one from each continent, to report on the most compelling climate change stories in the world related to the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009.

A committee comprised of IYF staff and Starbucks partners (employees) selected the final grant recipients. To learn more about the Starbucks™ Shared Planet™ Youth Action Grants program and the planned activities of all 20 grant recipients, visit

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Video Link: Socially-Conscious Global Citizens Create Positive Change in their Communities, their Countries, and the World