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Self-Development of People (SDOP)
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SDOP announces scholarship contest winner

By Margaret Mwale

Mark Wong

Mark Wong

Louisville, Ky. — The winner of the Self-Development of People T-shirt design contest is Mark Wong, a senior at Hastings College, a Presbyterian-affiliated college in Hastings, Nebraska. The announcement was made during Self-Development of People’s 40th anniversary celebration in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mark ,who has also been awarded a $2000 scholarship to be applied towards his tuition at Hastings College, is a member of First Presbyterian Church of Yuma. Mark writes “thank you very much for awarding me with this scholarship. I am truly honored!”

Presbyterian youth and young adults in ninth grade through their fourth year of college were invited to enter the contest.

Self-Development of People (SDOP) is a ministry of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) that demonstrates God’s justice and wholeness, especially among the economically poor and oppressed by partnering with them for projects that seek to improve their lives and communities.

SDOP t-shirt design

Wong's winning T-shirt design.

SDOP projects funded through the years have ranged from assisting a group of women that have come together to form a cooperative that produces and markets mango derived products to a capacity building project in which immigrant workers learn leadership skills, and job-procurement skills to a group of persons with disabilities that have come together to form a cooperative that produces T-shirts.

In the past 40 years, thanks to the compassion and generosity of Presbyterians, SDOP has awarded more than $95 million to communities of economically poor, oppressed and disadvantaged people in 68 countries — affirming God’s concern for people. SDOP’s primary funding source is the One Great Hour of Sharing offering, which is collected by the PC (USA) during the Lenten and Easter seasons.

Contestants were encouraged to submit designs that depict the mission and work of Self Development of people, which is “People Investing in People.”  The mission statement of Self Development of People (SDOP) is: 

Self Development of People is a ministry that affirms God’s concern for humankind. We are Presbyterians and ecumenical partners, dissatisfied with poverty and oppression, united in faith and action through sharing, confronting and enabling. We participate in the empowerment of economically poor, oppressed and disadvantaged people who are seeking to change the structures that perpetuate poverty, oppression and injustice.

Mark’s design will be used on T-shirts that will be used to promote SDOP visibility among young adults including at youth related events such as Presbyterian Youth Triennium, as discussion starters among college students and the broader community, at community presentations and to increase visibility and awareness of SDOP within PC(USA) communities such as General Assembly, and at local presbytery/synod SDOP sources.

Watch a short video of Mark:

“We are so very proud to have the winner of the Self Development of People  T-shirt design contest announced as one of our students attending Hastings College, in the Synod of Lakes and Prairies.  This is great news.  How exciting to hear that the winner is Mark Wong, a senior at Hastings College.  I’m sure the contest had many outstanding designs submitted by talented students of all ages and school experiences.  We congratulate them all and celebrate with Mark in recognition of four decades of incredible, life changing SDOP partnerships.  His home church, First Presbyterian Church of Yuma, Colorado must be very proud of him.  We wish him the very best as he finishes his undergraduate studies and prepares for opportunities beyond graduation. I look forward to promoting SDOP with this new artwork and wonderful homegrown story – another awesome witness of God at work in our region, drawing us all together and sharing good news.”

-Elona Street-Stewart, Self-Development of People, Synod of Lakes and Prairies

NOTE: We are not currently accepting applications from individual groups outside the United States. For more information, contact the SDOP staff.