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Utah student spearheading poverty awareness campaign

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Posted at 8:32 PM, Apr 22, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-22 22:32:58-04

SALT LAKE CITY – An Orem ninth-grader is challenging her fellow Utahns to live on $1.50 worth of food and drink or less for five days in order to raise awareness for global poverty.

Sydney Pedersen is an ambassador with the Global Poverty Project, and she is spearheading the Live Below the Line campaign in Utah.

The campaign asks participants to live on only $1.50 worth of food and drink each day between April 29 and May 3. The goal is to raise awareness for the 1.4 billion people who live below the extreme poverty line, according to a press release from the Global Poverty Project.

Pedersen is a ninth-grade student at Canyon View Junior High School, and she became involved with the Live Below the Line campaign when she saw an opportunity to help her favorite charity. The Happy Hearts Fund is a non-profit foundation that rebuilds schools and provides other help to children after natural disasters.

Pedersen said her parents taught her the importance of service at a young age.

“My dad has always taught me that giving back is very important, and I think that a lot of my peers feel the same, which is why I am so proud that so many high schools have pledged their support of this cause,” Pedersen said. “If 50 students from 50 school each raise $50, we will exceed our statewide goal, and help raise awareness about the issue of global poverty.”

The goal is to raise $100,000 by May 3. In the state of Utah ,47 schools, 7 universities and several businesses have pledged to take part in the challenge. The three students in grades nine through 12 who raise the most money will win a free trip to Indonesia with Pedersen, where they will visit a Happy Hearts school.