Epilepsy website a finalist for award

A student website providing information about epilepsy has been named a finalist in an international competition.

A student website providing information about epilepsy has been named a finalist in an international competition.

The Epilepsy Awareness Squad website was created in June 2013 by Caitie Shaw and Dan Nixon, two students from Summerland Secondary School.

The site, at easquad.org, and its social media platforms provide information for those living with epilepsy. The site also offers those living with epilepsy a chance to share their experiences and meet others with the disorder.

The stories on the site are from people from around the world.

Initially, the Epilepsy Awareness Squad site was viewed by two to three people a day, but in late spring, after Shaw participated in a conference in San Francisco, the number of views increased. Today, the site averages 100 visitors a day.

Nixon and Shaw are now looking into the requirements for nonprofit status.

The site was entered in the World Summit Youth Award 2014. This is an international competition recognizing excellence on the use of the Internet for social empowerment. The contest is designed to motivate people under the age of 30 to contribute to the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

The goals, set in 2000, involve fighting poverty, hunger, disease, inequalities, lack of education and environmental degradation.

There were 1,896 entries from 138 countries for this year’s awards. A global jury has selected 85 projects as finalists. There are just two entries from Canada on the short list for this year’s award.

The jury will select 18 winners and 12 runners-up for the awards.

The winners’ ceremony will be held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Nov. 28 to Dec. 1. It will feature speeches, workshops and panel discussions. The list of entrants at the winners’ event will be announced at the end of August.