Jeremiah Anthony, from Iowa City, Iowa Awarded Jerome Evans Memorial Scholarship
August 15, 2014
On August 1st, CAA announced that Jeremiah Anthony won the $1,500 Jerome Evans Memorial Scholarship based on the impact he made on others’ lives. The scholarship was created to honor one of CAA’s team members who was tragically killed in an accident on his way home from working with students in 2008. Jerome Evans had a real heart for helping young people achieve their dreams. For the past six years, CAA has asked its graduating senior class to write a short essay explaining how they have made an impact on the life of one person or a group of people. Each essay was then evaluated based on the student’s overall impact and their writing ability. Jeremiah’s essay stood out but the competition was tough! Our students have done some amazing projects to help their communities. CAA spoke with Jeremiah to learn more about his project: reversing cyberbullying. In 2011 during Jeremiah’s sophomore year, he decided the best way to advocate against bullying was to simply say nice things to his classmates. So, he took to social media and created the Twitter handle @WestHighBros and began sending random, anonymous compliments. His idea took off so he asked some friends to help out. They soon started sending compliments to school faculty and community members as well and using Facebook in addition to Twitter. So far, their project has inspired similar campaigns in sixteen languages, twenty countries, on six continents. CAA asked Jeremiah how he was able to reach out to every student on campus. “I had a great opportunity working with the yearbook,” he explained. “I had sort of a mental checklist of everyone. I tried to make sure I could name everyone at the school.” The young philanthropist told CAA that his “Campaign for Positivity” was not based on experience because he had not personally felt the effects of bullying or depression, but he knew there was a serious problem and wanted to fix it. Jeremiah explained that through his efforts with @WestHighBros several students made the decision to not commit suicide. He says this accomplishment is superior to his nomination for the Peace First Prize and winning the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for Public Service. “If I can save a life, I’d trade any trophy,” he said. Born in Cochin, India and now living in Iowa City, IA, Jeremiah said his grandfather and uncle inspired him. They both did much to assist those in need when India was breaking free from British control and dealing with social unrest. He told CAA that he plans to enter American politics to continue making a difference. “My family has taught me to help others but I want to do that in the public sector – not just private,” he said. “My goal is to become a senator.” While attending Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA, Jeremiah plans to study International Relations and either double major or minor in history. Besides the strong academic programs and beautiful beaches, Jeremiah said he chose Pepperdine because it was the best financial fit for his family, which is something he says CAA helped them with. “A lot of families need help with financial aid documents and CAA helped us a lot with this,” he said. “All of the document reviews were helpful and the emails reminded me to get things in on time.” CAA hopes Jeremiah’s continued involvement in the Campaign for Positivity keeps making an impact and helps him reach his goals. Congratulations Jeremiah!