North Central University Alum Wins $1 Million Grant for Her Foundation
NCU ALUM KATIE MEYLER (’05) WINS $1 MILLION FROM THE CHASE GIVING AWARDS TO SUPPORT HER FOUNDATION “MORE THAN ME” HELPING GIRLS ON THE STREETS OF LIBERIA.
Minneapolis, MN – The second annual Chase American Giving Awards, a prime-time television special that aired Saturday, December 8, 2012 on NBC, honors charitable organizations that are making a difference and the heroes behind them.
Many people would have considered Katie’s foundation More Than Me as an underdog going into the award show up against larger, more well established charitable organizations – More Than Me is just a few years old and has less than 10 volunteers. After being chosen as one of the 25 organizations to compete for the grand prize of $1 million, More Than Me began a huge social media campaign for votes using the phrase “I am Abigail”, honoring a young Liberian girl named Abigail who inspired Katie with her story.
The campaign urged people to not only vote online, but also to immediately show their support by writing “I am Abigail” on their foreheads, then post their picture to Facebook and Twitter. Thousands of people voted and shared their own pictures in support of Abigail and other girls like her that More Than Me are working to get off the street and into the classroom in Liberia.
Through purely volunteer support and Katie’s unbridled passion, More Than Me has sent about 100 girls to school to date. Now that she won the $1 million grant, Katie has even bigger dreams. After receiving the $1 million award, Meyler said, “Our goal now is to help 1,000 girls get back into school, and we have a plan to make the school self-sustaining within five years.”
Walking the red carpet of a star-studded award show is a long way from Katie's humble beginnings growing up poor in New Jersey, living on food stamps, donated clothing, and facing a childhood filled with drugs and abuse. After getting connected with a local AG church and a great pastor, Katie enrolled in college and then later transferred to North Central University for the better outreach opportunities NCU offered. Katie graduated from North Central in 2005 with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies.
Katie has fond memories of NCU and enjoyed her time here with her fellow students and at Christ Church International in Minneapolis. “My relationship with God has guided me and I believe that what we are all doing together is directly the work of God.” Meyler says.
After she won, she also called her mother, who reminded her of who deserved the credit. Meyler said, “My mother reminded me to give the glory to God.”
See Katie’s video for the Chase Giving Awards: http://youtu.be/KGNVu41xkzY
Katie 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 NJ Commission on the Status of Women.
For more information about the Chase Community Giving Awards, visit them at: https://www.facebook.com/ChaseCommunityGiving