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CA Teens “Take the Lead” In AIDS Awareness

December 3, 2007

San Jose, CA - World AIDS Day events held over the weekend encouraged people to "Take the Lead," and that's exactly what some California teens are doing today. At various schools across the state, teen activists are educating their classmates about the AIDS pandemic. Sandal Khandoker, a junior at Notre Dame High School in San Jose, believes educating peers about AIDS is important.

"We're going to have facts and statistics and petitions all over the walls for students to sign. We're providing a basket of red ribbons so there will be a little something for all students to get involved with."

Khandoker is part of Mercy Corps' Global Citizen Corps, a program to end global poverty. There are more than 40 million people worldwide living with HIV and AIDS, and 95 percent of those are in developing nations. President Bush has asked Congress for an additional $15 billion to expand AIDS relief.

Khandoker says she became an activist when she was ten years old. She explains it's sometimes hard to get through to her peers.

"The one thing that I've realized is that you can't save everyone, you can't do everything, so even getting someone to listen for a minute means a lot."

More info about Mercy Corps' Global Citizen Corps is available online at

Lori Abbott/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - CA