Ty Draszt, food systems & society student, received the 2015 Governor's Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service for his contributions to food security in the State of Washington.
Haoua Cheick Seip, business & leadership student at Marylhurst University, traveled to Washington, DC to accept the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance Program Service award for her volunteer work in Africa and Sri Lanka.
From 2004 to 2012, Haoua took assignments as a volunteer for the International Executive Service Corps to different countries providing training in crafts development and marketing, most recently in Sri Lanka. She was assigned to Ghana, Benin, Swaziland, South Africa and Lesotho where she trained artisans to create new improved products for export.
As part of her recent efforts in Sri Lanka, Haoua and the Adviser to the Minister of Commerce and Industry undertook an extensive tour of the country's Northern and Eastern provinces to meet with identified war widows to introduce the program and assess their skills. Based on this assessment, Haoua implemented a handloom village project for the women, and the Ministry is planning to allocate necessary funds to upgrade the 21 weaving centers in these provinces.
After graduation, Haoua plans to continue serving these artisans' communities, helping to improve their skills and create income opportunities in the global market.
Through its Volunteer Impact Service Award program, VEGA recognizes distinguished volunteers who exemplify its mission to empower people in developing countries on economic growth initiatives. All winners were recognized at the VEGA annual assembly on December 6, 2012.