2006 USA Student Finalists

Elizabeth Baudler
Nodaway Valley High School (Greenfield)

Nutrition for the Brain
Nutrition for the Brain is a project being implemented to increase the literacy levels of children 0-5 years old. Children and parents involved in the Greenfield WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) Clinic receive an agricultural book, an extension activity for their book, and instruction on the importance of literacy at a young age to encourage continued reading in the future.

Mary Foell
Schaller-Crestland High School (Early)

Growing Healthy People
Growth, development, and the ability to learn are strengthened by good nutrition. People in the United States and in other countries are greatly affected by their eating habits. Growing Healthy People is designed to educate others about eating healthy through food donations and educational kits and assisting those in other countries to secure the resources to feed themselves.

Alyse Herr
Nodaway Valley High School (Greenfield)

Move It!
Move It! was developed to motivate kids to make healthy choices when it comes to physical activity and nutrition. In a free week-long camp, kids got to learn new games, meet new friends, try new foods, and learn from guest speakers. The project has continued on through follow-up letters of encouragement and providing more opportunities for kids to “keep moving.”


Kurt Lockhart
Ballard High School (Huxley)

Iowa Charity Challenge
The Iowa Charity Challenge is a series of disc golf tournaments to raise money for the state’s Ronald McDonald Houses. Disc golf (also called frisbee golf) has exploded in popularity, and there are currently over 100 courses in Iowa. My project’s goal is to support an active charity while encouraging participation in a new recreational activity.

Jeremy Miller
Mid-Prairie High School (Wellman)

Dare to Repair-Basic Car Care Maintenance
This workshop is designed to teach self-confidence and self-reliance to the attendees, along with the skills needed for basic vehicle maintenance. The class demonstrates how to keep a vehicle running right to avoid costly repairs and extend the life of the vehicle. Basic maintenance allows drivers to be safe on the roads and saves the driver time, money and energy.

Glen Mommsen
Central High School (De Witt)

Bridging the Gap: Cattlemen to Consumer
My goal was to increase knowledge and awareness of individuals, such as meat counter attendants, so they could answer consumers’ questions and make the best representation of the product and the beef industry as a whole. I educated participants on beef production, during a tour of a cow-calf operation, a feedlot, and had question-and-answer sessions with beef professionals.

Liz Mueting
Sheldon High School

Laughter: The Best Medicine
Medical research has proven that the simple concept of laughter has numerous healing powers. Laughter stimulates multiple body organs to work more efficiently and secretes enzymes that fight disease. My project consists of designing a laughter room in hospitals around my area to greatly impact patients’ overall attitude and health, along with improving the atmosphere of the hospitals.

Sarah Nilles
Grundy Center High School

Educating Africa: One Bus at a Time
Through this project, Sarah collected used school supplies from schools around Northeast Iowa that would have been thrown away. All the supplies were sorted, boxed and shipped to schools in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Educating Africa helps to enrich the education of African students, promotes Iowa students to have a global view, and improves the environment through recycling.

Tyler O’Neil
West Branch High School

Appetite for Music
Appetite for Music is a two-part project that combines my passion for music as well as my love of macaroni and cheese. The first phase was to remodel an unused portion of our town hall for a new food pantry. A benefit concert was then held to raise funds and food items to fill the expanded space.

Signe Porteshawver
Davenport Central High School

HPV: The Common Cold of Sex…and it’s nothing to sneeze at
My project is designed to educate people, specifically high school aged women, about Human Papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted infection that can lead to cervical cancer. By offering pamphlets to community clinics that offer birth control, giving presentations at local high schools, and maintaining an informational blog, I stress the importance of the pap smear, and how incredibly common HPV is.

Anita Rao
Iowa City West High School

Xicotepec Documentary
Xicotepec Documentary describes the Xicotepec Project, an effort by Iowa Rotarians and youth to improve the impoverished town of Xicotepec, Mexico. The documentary traces the history of the project, demonstrates the importance of youth involvement and details existing necessities. By directly voicing the opinions of Xicotepec citizens, I hope to motivate youth and adults to become involved with this community.

Lizzie Ryan
Le Mars Gehlen Catholic High School

Pathways Across Africa
I contacted 130 Iowa communities that have been the host cities for RAGBRAI. I requested they submit recipes that I then organized into a cookbook, Uncommonly Good. Proceeds from the sale of the cookbook will fund the purchase of bicycles that will enable outreach workers in Tanzania to reach those without access to medical care.

Lane Swenka
Iowa City West High School

Assisting True Capitalism, Entrepreneurship, and the American Dream
This project combines business and philanthropy. Firstly, I am assisting small businesses in their jump to the internet by creating full featured websites. Computer consulting is also available and both are affordably priced. Secondly, a percentage of proceeds are funneled into the Nature Conservancy Program providing aid toward the restoration and sustainability of our coral reef.

Zachariah Terhark
Home School (Corwith)

Veterans Memorial for Memorable Service
My project is to involve the community of Corwith in building a granite veterans memorial. My goal is to create a lasting monument dedicated to all who have served and even sacrificed their lives to preserve our freedom. This project includes the birth of Veterans Memorial Park, the centerpiece of the park being the veterans monument.

Daniel Van Sant
Malvern High School

Malvern Park Project
I am currently developing (and will continue to) a city park located in the center of Malvern. This park will include walkways, benches, utilities, and gardens. My goal is for this park to serve as meeting grounds for the people in Malvern, and to promote historical, social, and economic growth in my community.