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Pioneers in Positive Change: Announcing the 2012 JCI TOYP Honorees

For case studies in how to best create an impact, look no further than the 2012 JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World (JCI TOYP), whose accomplishments through innovation and service exemplify the spirit of the JCI Mission. 

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the JCI TOYP Program and, just like the first group from 1983, this year's ten honorees will be celebrated at the JCI World Congress held in Taipei, Taiwan. Although much has changed in the past 30 years, the 2012 JCI TOYP honorees represent the same values as those chosen in 1983 – service, determination and action through adversity to create a better world.


In order to commemorate this momentous occasion, JCI invited young people from around the world to participate in selecting the 2012 JCI TOYP Honorees. Along with the traditional final judging panel, comprised of representatives of select partner organizations and the JCI President, the online votes helped determine who emerged the winners. After more than 15,000 votes were cast and the judging panel reviewed the finalists, ten young active citizens were selected for their exemplary service to their communities and the world. 


Get to know the 2012 JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World.

Benigno "Bam" Aquino, IV, Philippines

Business, Economic and/or Entrepreneurial Accomplishment

Exposed to the struggles of his countrymen as a child, Benigno “Bam” Aquino developed a sense of hard work, compassion and a desire to help people help themselves out of hardship. He set out to use his leadership skills and education to take action at the grassroots level. Aquino and a friend founded Microventures Inc., a social enterprise supporting micro-financing institutions to provide business development opportunities for the poor, with a special focus on underprivileged women.


Dr. Quique Bassat, Catalonia

Medical Innovation

Growing up in Spain, Dr. Quique Bassat dreamed about a future in the medical field, and decided at age 14 to become a doctor and use his medical abilities to treat children in Africa. Focusing on malaria, Dr. Bassat became a pediatrician and clinical researcher at a health center in Mozambique, participating in large-scale malaria vaccinations. While expanding his work overseas, he is also very involved with local health organizations, student mentoring, fundraising and volunteer work in Spain.

Bobby Kensah, United Kingdom 

Political, Legal, and/or Governmental Affairs

Raised in disadvantaged parts of the world due to family financial issues, Bobby Kensah turned his challenges and experiences into motivation for future success. Throughout his professional life as an international lawyer, he takes an active role in creating grassroots community change, addressing youth issues like knife crime, bullying and gang involvement through targeted projects. Kensah is the founder and CEO of the Phase One Network, which provides mentoring services and networking opportunites to impoverished young people interested in obtaining a job.

Keneilwe Moseki, Botswana 

Moral and/or Environmental Leadership

Keneilwe Moseki’s interest in improving the environment and infrastructure of the world around her led her to earn a degree in urban and regional planning and start working with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) focused on environmental management. As Director of Somarelang Tikologo, a leading environmental NGO in Botswana, Moseki initiates environmental awareness and conservation programs. Her urban community empowerment project where low-income families develop backyard gardens to increase their food supply and household income, was adopted and expanded by the local government. 


Aisling Neary, Ireland

Humanitarian and/or Voluntary Leadership

Obtaining her nursing qualification in Ireland, Aisling Neary wanted to take her healthcare skills overseas to help those who need it most. While traveling to Ghana as a part of an outreach team providing eye screenings to remote villages, Neary encountered an impoverished village struggling to educate the local children. Back in Ireland, she raised more than €26,000 and returned to Ghana five months later to build a school for the village. Little did she know, her beginnings in healthcare would someday bring hope and a new future for children in Ghana.

Fela Mijoro Razafinjato, Madagascar

Humanitarian and/or Voluntary Leadership

Diagnosed with polio at the age of three, Fela Mijoro Razafinjato’s battle with the disease has given her the strength to help others who are handicapped. She pioneered the adoption of a law in Madagascar recognizing the rights of handicapped people and providing assistance to nearly two million disabled persons across her country. She founded her own organization, Centre Sembana Mijoro, to provide educational and professional assistance for handicapped children and young adults.

Fathmath Jeehan Saleem, Maldives

Humanitarian and/or Voluntary Leadership

Beginning as a Master of Public Health student at universities in Australia and New Zealand, Fathmath Jeehan Saleem’s service-based career was inspired by her education in medical laboratory science and applied science. Saleem decided to dedicate her work to helping thalassaemics, patients who suffer from a group of rare genetic blood disorders. Through the Maldivian Thalassaemia Society, she acts as a counselor, mentor and advocate for local and national policy changes to advance the rights of those living with thalassaemia. 

Dr. Edsel Maurice Salvana, Philippines

Humanitarian and/or Voluntary Leadership

Dr. Edsel Maurice Salvana turned his knowledge and career in healthcare into a way to help those suffering from HIV/AIDS. After discovering an increase of HIV/AIDS cases in his home country, he started a vigorous awareness and research campaign long before the Philippine government officially recognized the epidemic. Dr. Salvana also works with the disease globally, delivering educational, action-oriented speeches about the HIV/AIDS to the United Nations and the United States Peace Corps.

Katherine Sparkes, United Kingdom

Moral and/or Environmental Leadership

Destined to become a creative entrepreneur, Katherine Sparkes started her career as a journalist and gained further experience at communications and event management firms before deciding to take her ideas on a new service-based adventure. Sparkes started Flamingo, a firm that pairs needy charities with corporate clients capable of creating innovative, hands-on, sustainable community projects on a local, national and global basis. She inspires and empowers others to use their business success to take action to create a better world.

Tendai Concilia Wenyika, Zimbabwe

Political, Legal, and/or Governmental Affairs

Tendai Concilia Wenyika shows her spirit of active citizenship everyday through her advocacy work in Zimbabwe and across Africa. She serves on the Pan African Youth Union and implements programs that encourage the active participation of young people in the economic, political and social decisions of the country. Wenyika also participates in grassroots peace missions in Sudan, Somalia, Libya and other war-torn countries to further her service to those in need. 

Meet these 10 inspirational individuals face-to-face at the 2012 JCI TOYP Ceremony at the JCI World Congress in Taipei, Taiwan on November 20. 


Discover more about each JCI TOYP Honoree in their official press releases. 


Learn more about World Congress and register today.


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