Name: Sydney Tshimbalanga
From: Concord, CA
Grade: 12 Senior
School: Carondelet High School
Imagine living in one of the poorest countries in the world. Then imagine being an
orphan in that country and depending on that system to support you,
keep you safe, and help you to have a meaningful future. That’s the
reality for the children at the Franciscan orphanage in the DR Congo.
I visited the orphanage with my family in 2010. I had an
opportunity to work and play with the kids in the orphanage, but most
of all I had an opportunity to learn and be inspired.
As a result of my experience at the orphanage, I co-founded ASISTERSPROJECT.ORG. Our
goal is to create a GLOBAL SISTERHOOD to help end violence
against women and children. I have helped raise thousands of
dollars to benefit the charity. I’ve also conducted food,
clothing and toy drives for the orphanage.
I spend 5-10 hours per week on ASISTERSPROJECT.ORG matter. I handle all administrative
duties and work on fundraising and outreach. The biggest challenge
is working to help people living around the world and navigating a
complex infrastructure in a developing country. However, it is very
satisfying when we successfully complete a program.
In 2015, ASISTERSPROJECT completed the renovation of the orphanage’s
school. As a result of the renovation, children will be able to
attend school the entire year ensuring on time delivery of education.
During the rainy season, the school was forced to close due to its
poor structural condition and for fear of the children’s safety.
The renovation included a new roof and complete update of the
structure and reopened in 2015. As a result of my charitable work, I
have won the Points of Light Award, from Bush foundation, YSA’s
Every Day Young Hero Award and the Jefferson Award.
There is a perfect intersection between my non-academic and academic interests. My
charitable interests lie in wanting to help end violence against
women and children globally. It connects with my academic interest
as I have a strong academic interest in International Relations.
I want to pursue a career in International Relations. I want to continue my service
work with a career dedicated to providing aid to those who need it
globally. A degree in International Relations will help me further
understand how the world works in a deeper more meaningful way. I
have a real intellectual curiosity about this globalized society that
we live in. I am fascinated by subjects like conflict resolution and
peace, ethnicity and nationalism, and the global political economy.
Most importantly, I am committed to connecting my academics with my
commitment to serving my community.
In 2016, I launched a 5forFlint campaign to help the people of Flint Michigan suffering
during the water crisis. My goal was to ask for $5 donations over a
period of 5 days to raise $500. I raised $1000 and was able to help
When I look back in 20 years, I want to see that the world has changed. I hope that I
will witness a significant decrease in global poverty and amazing
reduction in the exploitation of women and children in the world.