School: (Class of 2011)
Accomplishment: Morgan Fisher transformed her passion for music into an outreach to support poverty-stricken children in Africa that recently reached $100,000 in fundraising. At age 14 she founded Bands that JAM for Africa, a nonprofit organization partnering with local and record-label artists to hold benefit concerts funding the Joint Aid Management (JAM) humanitarian relief program. Joining in JAM’s efforts to provide clean water, food and education to African children, Fisher aims to inspire her generation to make a difference.
“I wanted to reach out to the youth and see how they would respond to spreading awareness through music,” Fisher said. With her team of students from seven high schools and three universities, Fisher contacts bands, books concert venues and spreads awareness at school and community events. Fisher’s efforts will continue this summer during her monthlong stay in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she will live on JAM’s base while visiting JAM schools and daycare centers in Mozambique and Angola.
“I’m very excited to see the direct results of what my friends and I have been able to do,” said Fisher, who flew to Johannesburg on July 24.
Key to Awesomeness: Fisher said her faith plays an important role in motivating her to run Bands that JAM. “None of this would be possible without God,” Fisher said.
Initially inspired by her meeting with Peter Pretorius, who founded Joint Aid Management in 1985, Fisher said his example of lifelong dedication to African children prompted her to start Bands that JAM in 2007. Every $50 donated can feed an African child for an entire year, and the stories of hope amidst these children’s struggles fuel Fisher’s continued efforts.
“My biggest motivation is when I receive letters from JAM after events that share the story of specific children that have been helped,” Fisher said. “This is what I was called to do.”
Do you know a local young person who deserves applause because he or she does volunteer work this summer? Or perhaps athletic achievements are worth sharing. Everyone deserves attention, and we want to tell these stories. Email nominations to Editor Kevin Elliott at firstname.lastname@example.org, provide the information shown above and include a photo with names and ages. Then, come back each Wednesday for our Whiz Kid spotlight.