More Than Me, a non-profit organization founded by a Bernardsville native that is dedicated to getting girls into schools and off the streets in a dangerous slum in Liberia, West Africa, will be part of the televised 2nd Annual Chase American Giving Awards on Dec. 8 on NBC.
Participation in the awards could win $1 million for More than Me, founded by Katie Meyler, who grew up in Bernardsville and graduated from Bernards High School.
Meyler, who has said she thought she had grown up poor in Bernardsville until she saw how people were living in other parts of the world, shares a personal story that is motivational, said an announcement from the More than Me organization, which now has an office on Route 202 in Bernardsville. Her spoken word poem via Vimeo is here.
Meyler, who also has spoken at many churches and private gatherings in the Somerset Hills area, has a passion and dedication that has moved her organization forward. Meyler has progressed from raising money to send that first girl to school to her current aspiration to build an academy, complete with after school programming to teach crafts and entrepreneurship to girls who otherwise could be selling themselves on the streets of West Point, Liberia.
More Than Me, an organization committed to empowering young girls at risk of sexual exploitation through education in Liberia, West Africa is thrilled to announce its participation in the Chase American Giving Awards contest, results to be aired on NBC on December 8, 2012.
The winner of the Chase American Giving Awards contest will be aired on the television program on Dec. 8. Winning a $1 million grant would be life-changing for More Than Me, "would be life-changing, not only for the organization itself but for the thousands of Liberian girls it could reach," the announcement said.
More Than Me was founded in 2009 by Meyler, a young woman who described a childhood filled with abuse, drugs and alcohol. Meyler's mission now is to provide education, opportunity, and safety to the most vulnerable girls.
Asked why she has chosen to help children in Africa rather than here in America, she says, “I grew up poor in America. My single mom worked the overnight shift at a Lipton Tea company making minimum wage… but I always had free school. I never had to work the streets to find my next meal; there were government programs and neighbors that could help. In Liberia that just doesn’t exist and before I’m an American, I am human.”
The organization has thrived and grown on purely volunteer support, spearheaded by Meyler's dedication, and since its creation has raised enough money to send over 100 Liberian girls to school, Meyler has said.
The organization currently working with the government of Liberia to transform an old bombed-out and looted building into an all-girls academy, with afterschool programs focused on teaching the girls entrepreneurship. With an additional $1 million, the organization would be able to see this dream come true even faster, employing a skilled, locally-based team.
Meyler has been called “The most passionate person we’ve ever met” by Bono’s ONE Foundation, a “Social Media Role-Model” at a UN-sponsored Mashable event and named “Outstanding Woman of the Year” by the N.J. Commission on the Status of Women.