Founder of Girls’ School Wins $1M “Do Something Prize”


Jessica Posner, who received the 2010 Do Something grand prize Monday, will return to Nairobi, Kenya, with $100,000 to bring more hope to Africa’s largest slum.

The ceremony at the Hollywood Palladium hosted by “Glee’s” Jane Lynch featured performances by Natasha Bedingfield and Travis McCoy, as well as appearances by actresses Megan Fox and Christina Applegate. The awards show was broadcast live on VH1.

Applegate’s experience surviving breast cancer earned her the “Kickass For Survival Award.”

Other celebrity award winners included “Do Something Comedian” Kathy Griffin, “Do Something Movie Star” Leonardo DiCaprio and “Do Something for Kids” winner Snoop Dogg for founding the Snoop Youth Football League.

Ahead of her win, Posner spoke with AOL News about her work in Kenya.

“Everyone, everywhere deserves a chance to hope,” Posner, 23, said about co-founding the Kibera School for Girls and nonprofit organization Shining Hope for Communities in Kibera, where an estimated 1.5 million people live in extreme poverty and life expectancy is 30 years of age.

Posner began traveling to Kibera while an undergraduate at Wesleyan University. She first went to teach theater to local children but was so moved by the poverty she witnessed she came back to found Shining Hope.

“(Jessica) has really become a respected and treasured member of this community,” Kennedy Odede, co-founder and executive director of the Kibera School for Girls, told the Denver Post, which reported that Shining Hope will open a community health center, the first of its kind in Kibera.

“She has empowered people to devise solutions to the many problems that they face. Our school is changing the futures of girls in Kibera. Our health clinic will save the lives of thousands,” Odede said.

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