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Jonathan Renich

After graduation from Churchill High School, Jonathan Renich studied children's social services in a modular program at the Kona, Hawaii, campus of the University of the Nations. "We spent three months in class, then six months as an intern with a non-profit," says Renich, who served one internship with the French agency Pour un Sourire d'Enfant in a training program for kids who worked at the city dump in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. When he finished his degree, Renich stayed on as a staff member and led two groups of students to the town of Barunburen in Mongolia. Returning to Oregon in 2005, he launched Edurelief, a program to help Mongolian kids who had dropped out of school. "The government had cut support for school supplies," he notes. "All they needed was $20 per kid for a packet of books." Renich recruited some UO students, printed fliers, and raised $10,000 in four months. "We sponsored 525 kids," he says. "When people found out, it exploded. We got calls from New York, LA, Europe, and Asia, asking, 'What can we do?'" Find out what you can do at edurelief.org.

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 1 February 2007

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