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UAlbany Students Win First Place in Newman's Own Foundation National Campus Community Service Challenge

Student group Third World Impact helps The Giving Circle receive top award of $25,000


ALBANY, N.Y. (March 07, 2011) --

The University at Albany student group Third World Impact was recognized nationally on Sunday by Newman's Own Foundation for its efforts to build a primary school for more than 500 students in Uganda. As part of the second-annual Newman's Own Foundation Campus Community Service Challenge, Third World Impact partnered with The Giving Circle, a Saratoga (N.Y.)-based non-profit organization, for a Newman's Own Foundation grant. The group received the top award of $25,000 during a presentation at the America East Conference basketball championship in Hartford, Conn.

“UAlbany's Third World Impact represents the kind of world citizens and leaders the University at Albany seeks to foster," said UAlbany President George M. Philip. "The many students involved exemplify the active role of our student body in strengthening communities and quality of life from the local to global levels. We congratulate them and their partner, The Giving Circle, for their proposal to help children in Uganda start on the educational path to a brighter future."

"When we look back and see what's going on in the world, we realize we don't have to be bystanders, we can change things," said UAlbany junior Nishtha Modi, Third World Impact's treasurer and manager of the Uganda project. "We greatly appreciate the opportunity this provides us to assist children in need." Modi, a biology and chemistry double major from Queens, N.Y., moved to the United States from Mumbai, India, in 2006.

Third World Impact and The Giving Circle, who have been working together for 2 years, will use the grant to build a primary school (kindergarten to 4th grade) that will educate more than 500 village children. Students from UAlbany will assist in the construction and will travel during the summer or during the academic year to teach at the school. UAlbany student groups will also help by raising awareness about HIV infection and about the living conditions in developing and underdeveloped countries.

"A priority of the Foundation is to encourage the practice of philanthropy among younger generations," said Robert Forrester, president of Newman’s Own Foundation. "The caliber of this year’s grantees is quite extraordinary.  Newman's Own Foundation is proud to support the work of the students of Third World Impact, who are making a difference on campus and in the community, inspiring more students to give back through service."

Third World Impact and The Giving Circle's application was reviewed and voted on by the Challenge's Selection Panel.  Leaders in philanthropy and social activism, the judges were:

  • Jonathan Fanton, president emeritus of New School for Social Research and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and current Franklin D. Roosevelt fellow at Hunter College
  • Ben Goldhirsh, CEO and co-founder of GOOD Magazine
  • Rebecca Lobo, basketball analyst for ESPN and former player in the Women’s National Basketball Association

Grant recommendations were based on Third World Impact's involvement with The Giving Circle, the impact of the partnership on those served by the nonprofit, as well as on the students themselves.

"We at The Giving Circle and all of our Ugandan children and family cannot express our gratefulness to Nishtha and all the members of Third World Impact and the University at Albany in teaming up with us to win this wonderful award from Newman’s Own Foundation," said Mark Bertrand, founder of The Giving Circle. "This grant will help us start construction of The Giving Circle Friendship School in the village of Wairaka, Uganda -- a village which until now has never been able to provide primary education for its children."

To learn more about the Challenge, please visit

Raising money to help provide a school for children in Uganda is just one of the many ways UAlbany faculty, staff, and students make a World of Difference. To learn more about how UAlbany contributes, visit UAlbany-Community Connections.

About Newman's Own Foundation: Paul Newman was committed to helping make the world a better place. To carry on his philanthropic legacy, Newman's Own Foundation donates to charity all net royalties and profits after taxes it receives from the sale of Newman’s Own products. To date, Paul Newman and Newman's Own Foundation have given over $300 million to thousands of charities around the world.

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