In March the YouthActionNet Global Network celebrated the addition of 35 new Fellows through its local institutes in Mexico, Spain, and Turkey. Their social innovations range from a project that enables visually-impaired individuals in Mexico to enjoy films and sporting activities to an initiative in Spain that works to integrate immigrants into Spanish society to efforts to curb air pollution in Turkey through providing easy access to bicycle rentals.

Launched by the International Youth Foundation (IYF) in 2001, YouthActionNet is creating the world’s largest network of young social entrepreneurs. “YouthActionNet is predicated on the notion that the whole is far greater than the sum of its parts,” said IYF President and CEO Bill Reese. “Each new Fellow creates synergies with his or her YouthActionNet peers, strengthening their collective impact. We are grateful to the Sylvan/Laureate Foundation for its invaluable support in growing this special program through its university network around the globe.”

In Mexico, the 15 Premio UVM recipients identified through YouthActionNet’s partner, Universidad del Valle de Mexico, enjoyed a personal exchange with CNN en Español business anchor Gabriela Frias, who also addressed attendees at the awards gala.

The ceremony was followed by the release of a pioneering study by UVM’s Centro de Opinion Publica on young social entrepreneurs in Mexico. Among its findings, the study found that more than a third of Premio UVM recipients were motivated to take action by a personal experience of coming into contact with vulnerable communities.

In Spain, Her Royal Highness the Infanta Doña Elena was the guest of honor at the awards ceremony honoring the 10 recipients of the 2012 European University of Madrid Prize for Young Social Entrepreneurs. Also present to acknowledge and encourage the awardees was CNN International correspondent Ana Pastor. The event was covered widely in the Spanish press.

And in Turkey, the winners of the 2012 Bilgi Young Social Entrepreneur Awards were celebrated at a ceremony on the campus of Istanbul Bilgi University. Fellow innovations ranged from the distribution of secondhand instruments to promote a culture of music appreciation to empowering seasonal agricultural workers to grow and sell their own produce.

To learn more about these and other YouthActionNet Fellows, visit: