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Published on Dec 7, 2007
At 19, Jessica Rimington visited South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Morocco, Ethiopia, Mongolia, Costa Rica and Mexico to create a path toward better communication between the young people in these countries and the United States. Taking a year off between high school and Georgetown's School of Foreign Service, she launched the One World Youth Project to promote cultural exchange, youth leadership and community service around the world. The program was made up of 36 schools in 16 countries. The students, who were paired with a student from another country, started out by learning about each other's culture, and then working together on a community service project inspired by the UN Millennium Development Goals. Teachers were provided with a year-long curriculum to facilitate the exchange. Jessica has been a keynote speaker alongside Dr. Jane Goodall and former President Bill Clinton, as well as a speaker at UN World Environment Day, the UN Youth Assembly and the Green Festival. "As young people we are not just the future; we are the present," said Jessica. "If we want to change the world we have to not only take action ourselves, but also inspire others to do the same."