DERRY — A local student continues to make his mark on the world.
Dylan Mahalingam, 16, of Derry has been named one of 25 most powerful and influential young people in the world by Youth Service America and The Huffington Post.
Mahalingam was honored for his ability to develop ideas, strategies and networks to encourage youth worldwide to increase their impact on causes around the globe.
Since 2004, Dylan has inspired more than 4 million youth in 41 countries to work together to make a difference in the lives of more than 1 million children worldwide.
"I find it profoundly humbling, inspiring and energizing to receive this unexpected recognition," Dylan said of the honor.
Dylan has a long list of accomplishments, here at home and on the world stage.
A junior at Pinkerton Academy, Dylan is the founder of Lil'MDGs, a unique international youth empowerment organization galvanizing the collective power of youth to forward the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
He said he's not alone in making a difference in the world.
It's the hard work of many youth joined together under Lil' MDGs and inspiring others to make a difference.
It all started for Dylan when he was very young, traveling in India and seeing poverty up close in many areas.
"It made it a lot more tangible," he said.
Forming his Lil' MDGs initiative gave him a chance to reach out and do something about the hunger and poverty facing so many around the world.
From there, the causes grew.
Dylan has organized projects and events to help people all over the globe.
He is now the chief strategist for Under the Acacia, a nonprofit organization that works in tandem with remote communities in Kenya to generate sustainable initiatives, including helping raise money to build two schools.
"With the Youth Service List, we recognize and reward 25 incredible young people, and we hold them up as examples of what young people are capable of," said Youth Service president and CEO Steven A. Bulbertson.
Dylan is part of a select committee working with the United Nations to help charter a new course for youth to work together to forward the UN's Millennium Goals.
Later this year, as part of this effort, Dylan will travel on an international tour as part of his work with the UN to share his journey in a personal manner with youth around the globe.
Dylan was recognized as one of Teen People's past "20 teens that will change the world." He has also met and has been recognized for his efforts by Dr. Desmond Mpilo Tutu, the 14th Dalai Lama, Kofi Annan, Ban Ki-moon, the seventh and eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations, as well by three U.S. presidents.
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