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Miami Dade College Student and Social Entrepreneur Wins Prestigious “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” Award

Ximena Prugue at CGIU Event 04-2010

MDC student Ximena Prugue is presented with an award by Phillippe Cousteau (grandson of the legendary Jacques Cousteau) during the 2010 Clinton Global Initiative University event held at UM in April 2010.

Miami, June 21, 2010 - Hoping to provide a better way of life for citizens in a remote Indian village, Miami Dade College (MDC) student Ximena Prugue started a campaign last year that would replace harmful kerosene lamps used by the villagers with affordable and healthier solar-powered lights.

In less than a year, Prugue’s Giving the Green Light campaign has captured the attention of several national and global leaders, including recent recognition during the Clinton Global Initiative University event held in Miami this past spring.

Now, she will join other social entrepreneurs from around the world to receive a “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” Award from the What’s Your Issue global initiative and competition that was broadcast via You Tube this year.

Prugue will accept her award and prizes during the awards ceremony, sponsored by Sony Pictures, in Los Angeles on June 26, 2010

Prugue’s Giving the Green Light project works on replacing harmful kerosene lamps used by villagers in India with affordable sustainable solar-powered lights, produced by BoGo Light, a Houston-based solar light company. Since December 2009, Prugue has worked diligently to develop the project. 

Outdated and dangerous, kerosene lamps are highly combustible and emit a poor-quality yellow light that strains eyes.

The fumes released by kerosene lamps are directly linked to lung cancer, eye damage and premature deaths and account for more than 1.8 million deaths a year due to lower-respiratory infections, which is double the amount of malaria-related deaths. 

“This [project] wasn’t a one-time thing,” said Prugue. “It’s very grassroots right now, but a lot of work has gone into this project so far. I plan to continue working on it until the goal of $100,000 dollars is reached.” 

She recently held a “Recycle the Closet” fundraiser for Giving the Green Light in North Miami earlier this month and raised nearly $1,000. She plans to partner with local businesses and community organizations to host additional fundraisers through the end of the year, including a cut-a-thon with several hair salons.  

To learn more about Giving the Green Light or to donate, visit: www.givingthegreenlight.org. For more information on the What’s Your Issue global initiative and competition, visit http://whatsyourissue.tv/.

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611, jmendiet@mdc.edu, MDC communications director
Tere Estorino, 305-237-3949, testorin@mdc.edu, MDC media relations director
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359, tcarroll@mdc.edu, media specialist
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710, sue.arrowsmith@mdc.edu, media specialist




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