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Joan Hecht    

Award-Winning Author of "The Journey of the Lost Boys"

Joan Hecht is the award winning author of the book, The Journey of the Lost Boys, as well as the Founder and President of Alliance for the Lost Boys of Sudan,a 501 C-3 Foundation that assist with the health and educational needs US Lost Boys and Girls and numerous re-building and humanitarian projects in South Sudan. She is a highly sought after speaker on the topic of the Lost Boys of Sudan and Humanitarian efforts on their behalf. Ms. Hecht speaks actively across the U.S. to business groups, civil and religious organizations, and schools and colleges in an effort to bring awareness to the story of the Lost Boys of Sudan and the continued suffering of people living in Southern Sudan and Darfur. One of the Lost Boys generally accompanies her.

To date, the Alliance has assisted at least 58 Jacksonville Lost Boys and local Sudanese with college tuition and books. They've also provided medical treatment and surgeries for over a hundred local Sudanese. In Sudan they've paid for the construction on an X-ray facility and a house and 30 beds for an orphanage. They've also initiated numerous Goat Programs for women at Risk, the distributed solar lights to rural villagers and students, drilled water wells and much more.For more information on Alliance for the Lost Boys of Sudan visit www.allianceforthelostboys.com.

Ms. Hecht also served as the Chair of Education for three years with the Lost Boys and Girls National Network, based in Washington DC.In March 2009, she was selected by "The Network" as one of thirteen US delegates to travel to South Sudan for an assessment/humanitarian trip.

Ms. Hecht's book, The Journey of the Lost Boys, was awarded "First Place in Education" at the International POW! (Promoting Outstanding Writers) Book Awards, earning her the title "2005 Author of the Year." It is currently used in college classes across the US and a portion of proceeds from the sale of her book benefit South Sudanese.

In recognition of her work with the Lost Boys, Ms. Hecht received the 2007 Local Heroes Award from Bank of America and the Daily Points of Light Award, from the National Points of Light Foundation, as well as "The Points of Light Award" from Florida governor, Charlie Crist. In 2008, she was awarded the "2008 Florida Sunshine State TESOL Presidents Award" and was the First recipient of the "2009 Hands Across the Water International Outreach Award" from Hands On Jacksonville. Ms. Hecht and her family, along with Jacksonville Lost Boys, were also featured in the November issue of Disney's Family Fun Magazine, as Grand Prizewinners in the FamilyFun National Family Volunteers Contest.

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