Supporting Future Global Education Leaders through the Tonya Muro Leadership Awards

Copy Of Tonya Muro Leadership Awards Blog Header1

2019 Tonya Muro Leadership Awards 

iEARN-USA announces the second annual Tonya Muro Leadership Award - an award to iEARN educators and youth to support learning or professional development opportunities, which allow them to excel as leaders and global citizens.

iEARN-USA experienced a great loss when its Executive Director, Tonya Muro, passed away on March 5th, 2018. Following her passing, iEARN-USA established the Tonya Muro Memorial Fund so that donations made in her memory will support her legacy and passion for global education. Each year, iEARN-USA recognizes and supports educators or youth leaders in the iEARN network for their commitment to building an interconnected, peaceful and just world as Tonya Muro Leadership Award recipients.

As we approach the one-year anniversary of her passing, we reflect on our memories of Tonya, her impact on teachers and youth in iEARN’s network, and look forward to continuing her legacy as a leader in global education.

The next leadership award nomination will open in 2020, and will support an iEARN educator or youth leader to attend the 2020 iEARN International Conference and Youth Summit. Check back for more information or subscribe to the iEARN-USA newsletter to receive notifications about all of iEARN-USA's programs and opportunities. 

Champion Global Education Leadership

To support the Tonya Muro Leadership Awards and scholarships for the next generation of global education leaders, please make a contribution to the Tonya Muro Memorial Fund or create your own fundraiser.

Past Scholarship Recipients and Award Impact 

In 2018, iEARN-USA presented the Tonya Muro Leadership Award to four promising global educators from the U.S. and around the world to attend the 2018 iEARN International Conference and Youth Summit, in Winchester, Virginia. Since last year’s conference, the award recipients have returned to their home communities and continued or started new global education activities locally. Their reflections, stories, and impact are included below.

Cristina Bosio Ferrer, Argentina

Cristina was honored to receive the Tonya Muro Leadership Award in 2018 and to attend the 2018 iEARN International Conference and Youth Summit. Following her attendance at the conference, she was featured in the local newspaper and on the radio in Argentina, including in El Mileno (pages 18-19).

“The most beneficial part of these meetings was the great cultural exchange we achieve, personal enrichment through knowledge, we strengthen friendships with those who share projects in networks, solidifying all we work in a virtual way, which becomes real during these days lived with so much joy and energy. From each encounter, we return to our homes with new ideas, and a strong push to continue creating new instances to share with colleagues and students and to encourage and promote those transformations that help to build a more livable, fair, democratic, free and solidary world within a framework of culture of peace.”

In 2019, Cristina is working to host the Fourth iEARN Latina Meeting to be held July 8-10 in Asunción del Paraguay. She is also facilitating iEARN projects - Atlas of Diversity and Protectors in Action, as coordinates the Red TELAR iEARN Argentina along with Rosy Aguila and Adela Bini.

Cristina Bosio Ferrar Featured In Argentinian Magazine

Cristina Bosio Ferrer and her class featured In Argentinian Magazine

Cristina Bosio Ferrar Featured In Argentinian Magazine 2

Cristina Bosio Ferrer and her class featured In Argentinian Magazine

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Cristina Bossio Ferrar, Argentina


Renee Day, USA

Renee Day is an highly active member of the iEARN community and a member of the iEARN-USA Global Education Ambassadors (GEA).  Renee has found that iEARN projects engage students in all disciplines and allow students of all abilities to participate in global education. As part of the iEARN project, “Be Kind, Don’t Leave Them Behind”, Renee engaged her local community and school, Riverside’s Ramona High School, by incorporating the “USA for UNHCR Tent Walk: The Journey of Child Refugees,” which was featured in her local paper, The Press-Enterprise.  

In the 2018-2019 school year, Renee continued to engage her students with global collaboration and project based learning, and community service opportunities: “I plan to continue the refugee project in order to raise awareness about the experience of child refugees and address the need for displaced children to receive an education. I plan to have students connect with local community groups and develop a partnership with iEARN teachers who also want to develop ways to deliver educational support to displaced children.”

In November 2018, iEARN-USA Renee shared out her expertise in iEARN Global Projects and collaboration on a Global Educators Webinar, along with fellow GEA Laura Nietzer. Renee spoke at the 2018 iEARN International Conference and Youth Summit about her memories of Tonya: “We were all inspired by Dr. Muro’s passion and commitment to global education. Her vision to transform students’ learning experience through the virtual exchange opportunities provided by iEARN inspired my District leaders to commit to global education.”

She also serves as the advisor for the Model United Nations program in which students engage with the local community to address global issues facing youth. Below is a video created by the Model UN at Ramona High School inspired by the iEARN Project Water is Life addressing UN SDGs 6 and 14.

Ramona High School's Model UN "Water is Life" Project Video

Allan Kakinda, Uganda

Allan expressed his gratitude for receiving the Tonya Muro Scholarship Award: “With the award and attendance of the iEARN 2018 conference, I was able to network, share and learn more global leaders. This renewed my commitment to global collaborative education and encouraged me to continue my work with iEARN. Additionally, I was able to establish new partnerships for iEARN Uganda such as Digital Promise that have seen our students now pick interest in 3D technology and video making.”

Following the conference, Allan and iEARN Uganda have been working on a new collaboration with Digital Promise Global on the MY World 360º project. “It has helped many of the iEARN students in Uganda start to think about how to positively contribute to the SDGs and document these contributions as they learn to use the latest technology (3D Mobile Applications). We hope to use the new equipment donations, not just to improve our participation in the MY World 360º project, but also our overall participation in iEARN projects as well as improving the teaching and learning experience in the different schools.”

Allan Kakinda at iEARN 30th Anniversary Conference

Allan Kakinda at the 2018 iEARN Conference and Youth Summit

Onesmo Ngowi, Tanzania

Through his scholarship experience, Onesemo Ngowi was inspired to launch a new program through iEARN-Tanzania, The Tonya Muro Global Leadership Scholars Program. “Tonya Muro's vision and philosophy of empowering girls, especially from underprivileged communities, will live on in Tanzania. Tonya had a great history with Tanzania and we feel honored to host this program.”

In its first year, five Tanzanian women educators have been selected for the program and will receive a mentorship and training in leadership, technology, and entrepreneurship skills. The program will culminate in the the each scholar implementing a service project in their home communities related to gender equality, women's rights, and quality education.

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From left: Onesmo, Gil and Adam Muro, Tonya's father and brother, and the five inaugural Tonya Muro Leadership Scholars in Tanzania

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Tonya Muro Leadership Scholars during opening ceremonies