Horizons

Perspectives on philanthropy, impact and our work to improve the lives of vulnerable people around the world.

Molly Melching is the founder of Tostan (2007 Hilton Humanitarian Prize Laureate). For more information about the Hilton Humanitarian Prize, please contact Maggie Miller.
 
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When people hear Tostan won the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize in 2007, the first thing they ask about is money. Our prize came with $1.5m, and for any NGO, that was a dream. "What was that like?" they ask. I tell people that, while the money was critical, it was only part of the Hilton Prize's impact on Tostan. In fact, from the first time we were nominated in 1999, to today, seven years after winning the award, Tostan has grown and flourished because of the different ways this Prize has impacted our work.

Tostan was nominated for the Prize several times. Simply preparing the application reinforced a transformation Tostan was experiencing—from being known as a local, Senegal-based organization working in West Africa to an international NGO. It was while preparing materials for the Hilton Prize that we first put our annual report in brochure form, allowing us to share our work with the world. The process helped improve systems we use to present ourselves, produce better communications materials and inspired us to think about what Tostan's work means to a global audience.

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Maggie Miller serves as Manager of the Hilton Humanitarian Prize.
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On July 18, 2014, at a press conference in New York City, Fountain House/Clubhouse International was announced as the 2014 recipient of the Hilton Humanitarian Prize.

The event was one that I—and I think most people in attendance—felt lucky to witness. A very impressive line-up of individuals including Brigadier General (Ret.) Loree Sutton, Nobel Laureate in brain research Dr. Eric Kandel, and Actor, Mental Health Advocate and Fountain House Volunteer Glenn Close, were on hand to honor this impressive organization, which is changing the face of mental health around the world. Two Fountain House members courageously shared their stories as part of this announcement, and there wasn't enough Kleenex to go around the room.

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Andrea Jones was an intern for the Foundation's domestic program team, 2013 - 2014.
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In June 2014, I completed an internship with the domestic program team at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. When I first accepted the position in October 2013, I was not quite sure where the internship would lead me. I was the Foundation's first-ever intern with no prior experience with a strategic grantmaking foundation. Yet, I was excited to embark on this new adventure and opportunity. As a graduate student at UCLA School of Public Affairs, I was interested in pursuing a career in the philanthropic sector and wanted to learn more about the intersection of public policy and philanthropy.

My main internship project was to examine the potential implications of health care reform in California on the Foundation's domestic strategic initiatives and major program areas: substance abuse prevention and early intervention, ending chronic homelessness, supporting transition-age foster youth, and overcoming Multiple Sclerosis.

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