Congratulations to Middle School Teacher Gigi Bizar who has been awarded the Service-Learning Practitioner Leadership award for her work with the Westridge Water Warriors by the National Youth Leadership Council! The award recognizes service-learning practitioners who have equipped young people to lead and serve, both through their direct service-learning instruction and by nurturing other practitioners to expand their service-learning skills and knowledge. Ms. Bizar has led the Middle School Water Warriors club since its formation in 2012, working to increase awareness about the global water crisis and raising more than $100,000 to build 25 clean water systems in the developing world.

Ms. Bizar accepted the award in an online ceremony last week at the National Service-Learning Conference. “Watching my middle school students get inspired to help the lives of people half way across the world has been incredible,” Bizar said in her speech. “I will continue to work hard to help people get access to fresh water for as long as I live. H20 for Life* has changed the lives of millions of students, teachers and people across the globe. I recommend becoming a part of the magic and doing what you can to help get fresh water to every single human being.”

The Water Warriors club began in 2012, when Ms. Bizar’s students were inspired by the interdisciplinary Middle School water unit to raise funds to build a clean water well in South Sudan. Through bake sales, raffles, and fairs, Ms. Bizar and the Water Warriors have continued to work hard to successfully fund W.A.S.H. systems (water, sanitation, and hygiene) for schools in Kenya, Tanzania, Nigera, Uganda, South Sudan, Vietnam, and the Dominican Republic.

*H20 for Life is the organization through which the Water Warriors connect with schools in developing countries to complete clean water systems.