MELBOURNE, FLA.—The Space Coast Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and Florida Institute of Technology announce that Florida Tech student, Justin Churchman of El Paso, Texas, is the co-recipient of the 2012 Changing Our World/Simms Award for Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy, ages 18-23. The award will be presented jointly to Justin and his sister, Megan, on March 31, 2012.
The award, named after AFP co-founder William R. Simms and sponsored by Changing Our World, recognizes service by an individual or group that demonstrates outstanding commitment to the community through direct financial support, development of charitable programs, and volunteering and leadership in philanthropy. Justin and Megan will receive the honor at a special Celebration of Philanthropy ceremony during AFP’s 49th International Conference on Fundraising in Vancouver, B.C., the largest gathering of fundraisers in the world.
Justin is a mechanical engineering major at Florida Tech. While in high school, he co-founded the InterAct Rotary Club and helped bring Teens in the Driver’s Seat, a peer-to-peer safety program for youth, to the school. Through InterAct, he led students in building the first outdoor playground for a nearby disadvantaged community, as well as moveable walls to give a family homeless-shelter flexibility to house its residents.
Since the mid-2000s, the Churchmans have worked as fundraising and program volunteers for Casas por Cristo, a multinational charity that brings volunteers to Mexico and Central America to build homes for the homeless. At age 12, Justin built his first home in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, one of the most violent cities in the world because of its ongoing drug war. He completed his goal of building 18 homes by his 18th birthday in 2010 and has built three more homes since then.
“It is quite gratifying to know that young adults like Justin not only want to make a difference in the world, but do,” said Jane McCallum, AFP’s Space Coast Chapter president. “Our chapter is proud to congratulate Justin on winning this esteemed international award. We anticipate that we will be seeing his impact on philanthropy for many years to come.”
Space Coast Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals
Founded in 2007, the organization today numbers approximately 35 members. The local chapter is one of 227 throughout the world working to advance philanthropy through advocacy, research, education and certification programs. The association fosters development and growth of fundraising professionals and promotes high ethical standards in the fundraising profession. For more information about the Space Coast Chapter, visit www.afpspacecoast.afpnet.org.