Nestlé USA today awarded 18-year-old Santiago Beltran Miranda of St. Louis its prestigious Nestlé Very Best In Youth award. Santiago joins 17 other outstanding young leaders from across the country recognized as the 2013 Nestlé Very Best In Youth. Now in its 16th year, the awards program honors young people for their academic excellence and proven dedication to improving communities and creating a better tomorrow.
A budding entrepreneur and founder of web application service provider, Protser.com, Santiago launched Ladue High School’s U-Tech Club to share his skills with other students. One year later, he founded the Tech Access Project, which takes refurbished computers, installs new software and distributes them to students and local partner organizations such as the Boys & Girls Clubs. His project has provided computer access to more than 400 students since 2010.
Santiago hopes to study electrical engineering with a focus on developing new telecommunications technology to help connect people around the world.
“Accounting for more than half of the global population, young people must take an active role in shaping tomorrow’s world,” said Ken Bentley, Nestlé vice president of community affairs & educational programs and author of the Nestlé Very Best In Youth book series. “Nestlé is proud to recognize this year’s Nestlé Very Best In Youth whose volunteerism, leadership, and entrepreneurial spirit are making a meaningful impact on communities around the world.”
Along with being named a Nestlé Very Best In Youth, Santiago will receive a $1,000 donation to the charity of his choice and will be flown with a parent or guardian to Los Angeles for a red-carpet awards ceremony. Santiago’s achievements will also be featured in the Nestlé Very Best In Youth book, distributed to schools, libraries and community organizations nationwide and available for the first time in e-book format in the summer of 2013.
Hundreds of student entries were submitted to Nestlé USA for consideration in this year’s competition. Leaders of service projects ranging from wildlife preservation and energy innovation to international poverty relief, the 18 youth honored with the Nestlé Very Best In Youth award are shining examples amongst their peers and communities.
Since 1997, Nestlé USA has donated more than $1 million to organizations supported by Nestlé Very Best In Youth students.
To learn more about the 2013 Nestlé Very Best In Youth award recipients, visit verybestinyouth.nestleusa.com.