Haya Kaliounji

KNX Hero of the Week
Thursday, June 20th
A recent graduate from UCLA is providing victims of the war in Syria with artificial limbs.

Here's the KNX Hero of the Week: 

In 2014, when Haya Kaliounji was just 16 years old,  she started the non-profit called Rise Again.

Haya and her family had just moved to Los Angeles from war-torn Aleppo.

She'd been actively involved in Girls Scouts while in Syria, and when she came to California, she stayed with the organization.

Haya says that's when the non-profit developed.

"It all started as a Girl Scout project for the Girl Scout Gold Awards," says Haya. 

Her goal was to raise enough money to help three people who needed prosthetics.

"But I told myself that if I was successful, then I would turn it into a non-profit. Now, we [have helped] 41 people," remarks the recent UCLA graduate. 

That's 41 badly-injured victims of war who have lost limbs. They now have prosthetics to help them lead fuller lives. 

Haya partners with a local technician who molds the prosthetics, and fits them for the recipients. She says affect is tremendous: 

"Children have been going back to school... older people have been going back to work," says Haya. "When I see the pictures, especially videos of the people walking again, I realize how significant the work is." 

Haya graduated from UCLA this June, and her next step is getting into medical school, so she can become a doctor. She also plans to expand her philanthropic outreach: 

"One of my main goals is to go to under-served countries, and provide medical care there." 

We are proud to name 21-year old Haya Kaliounji as the KNX Hero of the Week! 

KNX Heroes presented by California Resources Corporation, saluting our military veterans, and all of our heroes!

Heather Jordan, KNX 1070 News Radio.