Penn State senior presents International Children's Peace Prize

Penn State biology major and Schreyer Honors Scholar Neha Gupta accepts the 2014 International Children's Peace Prize from Desmond Tutu. Gupta will present this year's award during a ceremony in Cape Town, South Africa. Credit: FleishmanHillardAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State senior biology major and Schreyer Honors Scholar Neha Gupta spoke during the presentation ceremony for the 2018 International Children’s Peace Prize award in Cape Town, South Africa, on Tuesday, Nov. 20.

Gupta spoke about Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who presented her with the 2014 Peace Prize and also presented this year’s winners, the March For Our Lives initiators, with the award. The International Children’s Peace Prize was created in 2009 by an Amsterdam-based children’s rights organization, the KidsRights Foundation, and is presented annually to a child or children who fight courageously for children’s rights. Gupta, a native of Yardley, Pennsylvania, was honored for her work with Empower Orphans, a charitable organization she founded that helps orphans and underprivileged youth locally and globally.

Other previous winners of the award include Malala Yousafzai, a young Pakistani activist who survived an attack from the Taliban, and Mohamad Al Jounde, a teenage Syrian refugee who built a school for refugees.

“It’s inspiring and humbling to see how people from around the world are active and passionate about their own projects,” said Gupta, who will graduate with honors in December. “I think that every year, when a new winner is announced, it’s incredible to get to hear and know their story and learn from them as well, and be able to work with them in the future and form those connections.”

Gupta, who participates in a monthly conference call with other past winners, was a part of the nomination committee this year, helping to narrow a field of more than 100 nominees to three finalists. 

“We’re adding another person every year to our little family and get to always work toward making a positive change,” she said. “Everyone varies so much with their interests, and there’s always another perspective to consider.

“It’s something that I’m really proud of, that I get to be a part of that.”

About the Schreyer Honors College

The Schreyer Honors College promotes academic excellence with integrity, the building of a global perspective, and the creation of opportunities for leadership and civic engagement. Schreyer Honors Scholars total more than 2,000 students at University Park and 20 Commonwealth Campuses. They represent the top 2 percent of students at Penn State who excel academically and lead on campus.

Last Updated December 03, 2018