Alessandro Lauria, age 15, is the founder of the Malaria Defense Project. A 3-time survivor of malaria, he wanted to do something to help so he turned to social media. Since November 2012, his foundation has raised enough to purchase and distribute close to 2000 insecticide treated bednets in sub-Saharan Africa. Through online auctions on Facebook as well as his Facebook page and Twitter feed, Alessandro has not only raised funds but also awareness of this deadly illness which kills 1 child under 5 every minute. His current Facebook campaign to raise enough for 2000 nets for Ghana this year, is halfway to the goal. http://www.malariadefenseproject.org/index.html
Happy to endorse and support Alessandro as young leader of this very important project! Dedication, determination, eradication. Go Alessandro!
Alessandro is a motivated person that demonstrates commitment to himself and his community. He received the Phoenix Award at CLC this past school year for exemplary performance in academics, attendance, and conduct. Alessandro's efforts toward his Malaria Defense project are impressive and he should be commended for his work.
I've worked in the field of philanthropy for over 15 years. It is so powerful to see a young person embrace the role of philanthropist - a person dedicated to using their resources to improve the lives of others. Alessandro is a passionate, committed and creative philanthropist and change maker. It's my pleasure to endorse him for this award.
I am thrilled to endorse Alessandro. This project would just not be possible without social media. I have helped him since the beginning and every month, every year we grow and grow and this is due in large part to Facebook and Twitter.
In my capacity as president of the Colorado Coalition for African Empowerment that collectively has 119 years experience in Africa; and based on my 35-year business record, it gives me great pleasure to recommend Alessandro Lauria for the “Social Media Award 2015”. Likewise, although Alessandro is chronologically age 15, when it comes to his non-profit work and leadership qualities, as well as interacting with peers and adults, he is far beyond his years. Yes, Alessandro, who recently had 550 nets distributed at needy maternity clinics and orphanages in Togo through the Peace Corps, is also an outstanding well-rounded student, and speaker, who is trustworthy and passionate about his cause. Barbara Novick
It's hard to imagine a young man more dedicated to fighting Malaria than Alessandro. His efforts have been impressive; his results even more so. He definitely deserves this award.
Alessandro is an inspired young man, who has applied his world-view from a childhood of volunteering and service to a vitally important mission. Undoubtedly, at his young age, he has saved many lives, and has comforted those with great needs. I remember a story where Alessandro took the shirt off of his back, and offered it to one of his friends in Africa. He has a heart for giving, and he knows that all giving will be returned in one form or another. There is no end to Alessandro's heart, so there will be no end to his supply as he strives to meet the needs of others. He is bright, focused, and successful in his studies. I have no doubt that Alessandro's natural gift of compassion will continue to compel him towards leadership with a strong foundation of love.
At 15 years of age, Alessandro is steeping up to the human cause, and making this world a better place. I am moved to tears by his accomplishments thus far and know that Alessandro will transform our biggest dreams into realities.
Alessandro is a light, a beacon for others. His leadership shines in the way he focuses that beam, onto the needs of others, and not onto himself. It's a leadership quality that is rare in adults, it is a gift for those of us who get to watch this amazing teen, and imagine the change his light will bring to those who have less, need more, and whose voices need the amplification that only a selfless teen can bring. From nurturing hospice dogs in his home to raising money to distribute nets - each part of his actions are without ego. He doesn't tell us who he is, he shows us. Spend 5 minutes with him, and you'll also want to make sure you are watching, following, and being inspired, He's a great role model for adults - but for my tween, he has struck a chord of why giving back is important. While he's only seen pictures and heard stories, whenever I go on a trip, he asks "will Alessandro be there? can I go?"
Alessandro is a young man with a deep inner compassion for this cause - Malaria Defense Project. It is wonderful to see him share the message with the rest of the world that people are suffering from Malaria and that we need to come together to overcome this suffering. Through his empathy for this population he is setting a great example of what we as humans can do to support each other globally. Alessandro deserves all of our support. Thank you for your hard work, caring, and understanding.
I am currently undertaking doctoral research into malaria vaccine targets…