By Kaitlin Ahern

Westchester Teen Honored for Work in Third World Countries

February 14, 2013   |  Local News - Westchester County  

Sixteen-year-old Mary Grace Henry of Harrison in Westchester, New York wins the Kids Who Give contest for her founding of Reverse the Course, a nonprofit that helps improve the lives of girls in Third World countries.

Mary Grace Henry, 16, of Harrison was named the 2012 grand prize winner of the Kids Who Give contest, a national initiative that celebrates young people, ages 7 to 17, who dedicate their time and energy to improving the lives of others. Henry, who was one of nine finalists for the award, was proclaimed the winner after a month-long online vote and received $10,000 for her nonprofit organization, Reverse the Course.

Mary Kids Who Give Winner
Mary Grace Henry uses the profits form her handmade hair accessories to send girls in Third World countries to school. Courtesy Kids Who Give

Henry founded Reverse the Course at age 12. The organization uses money raised from selling handmade hair accessories to fund the education of girls in Third World countries. Today, 70 percent of the 130 million children worldwide who are not enrolled in school are girls. To address this crisis and help young girls attend secondary school, Reverse the Course has paid for a total of 50 years of tuition for 25 girls in Haiti, Kenya, Paraguay, and Uganda.

In an update posted to her site,, on Jan. 6, Henry announced that her organization had pledged to support seven more girls (bringing the total to 25) and gave some background on the girls she is now supporting: “One girl’s family was murdered by Joseph Kony’s militia and another was pledged in marriage, at age 11, to a man who has four other wives. Their stories are hard for us to comprehend, but they are filled with hope for their futures. So are we!”

And Henry isn’t stopping there. “My first goal was to help one girl improve her life through education,” she says. “Now I have a new goal: 100 girls.”

For more information on Kids Who Give and to view Henry’s video submission, visit

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