International video essay competition
for young people ages 14-18

Your chance to win $1,000 for your favourite charity and $200 for you!


UWC Dilijan, the first international boarding school in Armenia, and the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, an organization focussed on empowering humanitarians around the world, invite you to a special virtual event “Gratitude in Action” on October 19, 2020, at 7.00 pm EST broadcast live from the New York Public Library to celebrate Aurora Prize’s fifth anniversary by honouring this year’s Aurora Prize Laureates and paying tribute to New York City COVID-19 heroes.

We hope that Aurora heroes will inspire you to reflect on heroes around you and to participate in an international competition MY AURORA HERO by submitting a one-minute video essay about a person in your life or wider community who is your hero and why.

One prize will be awarded by popular vote and the second by a jury. $1,000 cash prizes will go to the charities nominated by the winners with $200 cash reward to the winners themselves.



Mirza Dinnayi, Iraqi writer and Yazidi social activist, Aurora Humanitarian Award 2019 laureate, known as the director and co-founder of the Luftbrücke Irak, organization which helps Yazidi victims of the Iraq war, rescues women and children from the ISIS-controlled territories and transfers them to Germany, where they receive medical care; Iraq/Germany


Musimbi Kanyoro, Chair of UWC International and former President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women, Kenya

Lenny Abrahamson, an Irish film director and screenwriter, who received widespread recognition in 2015 for directing Room, with four nominations at the 88th Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director, and in 2020 for directing 6 episodes of the TV series Normal People, for which he was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series

Alice Petrossian, UWC Dilijan Board member, former Chief Academic Officer-Deputy Superintendent of Pasadena Unified School District, USA

Gabriel Ernesto Abad Fernández, UWC Dilijan Head of College, Spain

Nork Zakarian, pre-IB teacher/film-maker, Egypt/Armenia

Margarita Mnatsakanyan, UWC Dilijan student (featured in the video), Armenia

Zac Merida, UWC Dilijan student (featured in the video), Philippines

Sara Pacheco Lobato Dos Santos, UWC Changshu China alumna, Portugal

Watch video MY AURORA HERO

And the winners are...

By the decision of the jury, two winners have been chosen which will each receive $1,000 for a charity and $200 for themselves. They are:

Natalia San Miguel, Peru

Tetiana Tkachenko, Ukraine

The public vote took place on YouTube. Based on the number of likes, the choice of the public will also receive $1,000 for a charity and $200 for themselves. The public vote winner is:

Larionova Ekaterina, Russia

On behalf of UWC Dilijan we decided to award two special prizes with $200 to a nominated charitable organization and $50 to the awardee. Our special prize winners are:

Elen Asatryan, Armenia

Oluwatimilehin Kevin Akinloye, Nigeria