HK/BF in the News

4/3/2014- HK/BF Receives National Davis Project for Peace Award to Support Programs

BRUNSWICK — Lonnie Hackett is not yet a college graduate, but already he is the founder of a healthcare nonprofit in Zambia that provides free medical treatment to children.

To further his work, Hackett has received a $10,000 Projects for Peace grant that will help him grow his humanitarian organization, Healthy Kids/Brighter Future. Philanthropist Kathryn Davis set up Projects for Peace to support motivated undergraduates who are implementing community projects around the world.

When he was a college freshman, Hackett, who grew up in Bangor, Maine, traveled to Zambia for a summer volunteer trip. He recounts being shocked by the levels of illness and poverty he witnessed there, particularly in the squatter settlements around Lusaka, Zambia’s largest city. A year later, he launched Healthy Kids/Brighter Future to help some of the city’s most vulnerable children. Many Zambian children suffer from serious illnesses, ones that are easily preventable or curable. One in nine will not live to see their fifth birthday.


1/23/2014- HK/BF Founder Lonnie Hackett Featured as Local Unsong Hero by The Forcaster News Paper

BRUNSWICK — Lonnie Hackett was on top of the world in the spring of 2011.

He had gotten off to a strong start in his first year at Bowdoin College, excelling in the classroom, on the football field and on the track. He planned to enter medical school after graduation and pursue a career in sports medicine. And then his life took a surprising turn.

“I had been very focused on getting good grades and working hard at football and track,” the Bangor native recalled. “But something was missing.”

He found that missing “something” in Lusaka, Zambia, during the summer after his first year at Bowdoin, working with the Communities Without Borders program. The program, started by Dick Bail, a Bowdoin graduate from the Class of 1964, was designed to educate orphans and other vulnerable children in Africa.


11/26/2013- HK/BF Founder Featured on Bowdoin Daily Sun for Talk on Healthcare in Zambia

Lonnie Hackett ’14 lives by the motto, “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?”


This philosophy has driven Hackett to do something extraordinary, particularly for a busy college student. In his junior year, Hackett founded Healthy Kids/Brighter Future, a charity dedicated to improving the health of children in Zambia. The organization has already helped thousands of children.


Hackett recently gave a talk to Bowdoin students about how he “turned a funded internship grant [of $5,000] into a nonprofit,” as Associate Director of Career Planning Dighton Spooner puts it. Bowdoin Career Planning offers many summertime grants to help students pursue otherwise unpaid internships or work experiences in the U.S. and around the world.


Hackett, a biochemistry major and National Truman Scholar, first traveled to Lusaka, Zambia, in the summer of 2011 with a Forest Foundation Fellowship. Soon after arriving in the African country, he encountered levels of illness and suffering shocking to him, he said. In Zambia, 1 in 9 children will never live to see their fifth birthday. Many Zambian children suffer from serious, often preventable, illnesses, and they also demonstrate “alarming gaps” in their knowledge about how to protect themselves. The HIV/AIDS epidemic is particularly serious in Zambia, with an estimated 700,000 children orphaned by the disease


5/2/2013- HK/BF Executive, Bowdoin Student Reveives Prestigious Truman Scholarship

BANGOR, Maine — When Lonnie Hackett graduated from Bangor High School in 2010, his mind was focused on football. When he arrived at Bowdoin College later that year, his mind was still centered on football. Now, three years later, his mind is on bigger things — and he has a prestigious $30,000 scholarship to show for it.


Hackett, 21, recently became one of just 62 college juniors in the nation to receive a Truman Scholarship, which recognizes students with “exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education or elsewhere in the public service.” It supports their efforts to pursue graduate studies and advanced leadership training, according to the scholarship foundation’s website.





4/23/2013- Lonnie Hackett Featured on Bowdoin Daily Sun

Lonnie Hackett ’14 is one of 62 college juniors from around the country who has won a prestigious Truman Scholarship, which is given to promising students pursuing careers in government, public service, education, or the nonprofit sector — jobs that are admirable but often not lucrative.


Besides receiving a $30,000 scholarship for graduate school, Truman scholars receive leadership training, a one-year federal government internship after they graduate from college, and priority admission, plus supplemental financial aid, to some premier graduate schools.


Hackett, who is a biochemistry major and psychology minor, said that when he was a high school student growing up in Bangor, Maine, he never imagined he would be where he is today. “I came [to Bowdoin] to play football,” he said.


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