2016 Maribel Garcia Community Spirit Award Winner

Congratulations to Shiwani Bisht the recipient of the 2016 Maribel Garcia Community Spirit Award!

Shiwani Bisht, currently a senior, is the co-president of campus group SASSY, Students Against the Sexual Solicitation of Youth, Shiwani was instrumental in bringing the photography exhibit More Than a  Survivor: More Than a Story to the Willard Straight Art Gallery. This striking set of portraits helped spread awareness and education to the community at Cornell, in a tangible way, about survivors of childhood sexual exploitation. Shiwani's work has also expanded to the community outside of Cornell, with her participation in an intercollegiate conference which encouraged students to create organizations like SASSY on their own campuses.
 
Commercial sexual exploitation of children is a devastating crime which exists largely under the radar and can only be fought through public awareness and confrontation. Shiwani's consistency of purpose, creative proactivity, and commitment to education about all sides of this vital and tragic issue are the characteristics we seek to honor with the Maribel Garcia Community Spirit Award. We are very grateful for your service, Shiwani, and we look forward to watching you further expand awareness of this crucial cause in future years. 
 
Shannon Ellamma Reddy received the first "Finalist" award for her dedication to enhancing the lives of the visually impaired by sitting and raising dogs with Guiding Eyes for the Blind, as well as her devoted volunteer efforts at Tompkins County SPCA.