Lead With Your Heart Scholarship Winner: Camille P. Encinitas, Calif.

When we announced the Lead With Your Heart $5,000 scholarship last year, we were looking for a person who truly made a big difference in their 
community and would continue doing so in the future.

Well, that person wound up being Camille P. from Encinitas, Calif. for her work in co-founding the nationally recognized nonprofit Donate Don’t Dump to address the growing issue of families struggling to put food on their tables in her community. After garnering local and national attention, Camille was offered funding to create a documentary on the issue. Along with classmates, she then spent a year filming and producing “One in Seven, The New Face of Hunger.” The film went on to win the California Competition at the 2011 Yosemite Film Festival.

Camille took some time aside to share with her peers (you guys!) her experience in making a difference as well as with the college and scholarship search Hopefully you’ll find some very useful tips!

Here’s what Camille had to share:

How has your work with “Donate Don’t Dump” and “One in Seven, The New Face of Hunger” impacted your life and what you want to do with your education?

Before working on theses projects I had no idea how many former middle class families suffer from hunger or how much good food is needlessly wasted in

the US by grocers and restaurants.   Freshman year I did a news story, about active military families at Camp Pendleton Marine Base, relying on charities to put food on the table.  This led to writing the documentary and the non-profit.  The statistics are shocking, over 96 billion pounds of edible food go into landfills every year, yet 25% of US kids suffer from hunger.  Although there is a Federal Law that protects businesses from liability if they donate food, “The Good Samaritan Food Donation Act”, many businesses are not aware of it.  This experience has made me want to become a broadcast journalist and create change by producing meaningful stories.  It sparked a passion to make a difference in the world.

You’ve already accomplished so much, and all before graduating college. What’s next?

Thank you!  Besides filmmaking, and the non-profit, I am Captain of my high school’s varsity dance team.  On February 5th, 2012 we won the National High School Championships at Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sports.  In a few weeks we will be featured on ESPN.  Also, in March my broadcasting program, CHSTV, will go to the Student Television Network (STN) National Convention and I am super excited about that.  This is an amazing experience for student broadcasters.

What has been the most unexpected thing you’ve learned from all of your leadership and volunteer work?

I have learned so much since my freshman year, when all this began, it’s hard to pick.  One totally unexpected thing though was how many wonderful generous people there are in the world willing to help you out.  Here I was just a teen upset by seeing active military families in line to get food from charities with a camera, and it was adults from The Leichtag Family Foundation, Feeding America San Diego, North County Food Bank, Michelle Glassner at at DLA Piper Lawfirm, Dr De Ghetaldi at Cal State San Marcos and many others who helped make it all possible.

Ok, so I can’t seem to narrow it down to just one thing.  The other surprising thing was how rewarding this experience has been for me.  It feels amazing when something you care about passionately on takes off and people get inspired.  A few weeks ago I got an email from an elementary school in Carlsbad asking permission to start a Donate Don’t Dump Chapter.  It was so enthusiastic and adorable misspellings and all.  The kids ended their email with

Thank you we will be talking to our prinsible soon to discuse detals. We are SOOOOO happy to save the world  :)

That made my week!

If you could offer a younger student one piece of advice for the college search, what you would say?

Well, I am still waiting to hear back from the universities I applied to, but I would say start the process early and go big!  I’m not sure if my dream schools will accept my application (or how good my advice is) but you gotta dream big and go for it.

You can discover more scholarships from Cappex and beyond. Simply visit Cappex.com. And thanks again to Camille for sharing her awesome college and scholarship tips!

Original Post Date: March 13th, 2012

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