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THE ODYSSEY FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR WINS US STATE DEPARTMENT'S MILLENNIUM INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEER AWARD

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - January 25, 2000 - The Odyssey, a nonprofit organization that uses the Internet to promote global education, announced today that Jeff Golden, the organization's Founder and Executive Director, has been selected to receive a Millennium International Volunteer Award.

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, in partnership with USA TODAY, chose 30 individuals from all over the US that excel in voluntary efforts in the areas of global understanding and international education. "An independent panel of judges selected the winners based on competitive criteria," indicated Keith Geiger, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Academic Programs, "including: commitment to promoting global understanding, capacity for leadership and self-direction, outstanding ability to attract support and motivate volunteerism in the field of international education, and long-term impact of individual's volunteer activities."

"I'm thrilled. It's a tremendous affirmation of the sacrifices everyone at The Odyssey has made to promote global awareness," Mr. Golden expressed. "I look forward to using this success as a springboard for even more far-reaching work in the future."

With over three years as a full-time volunteer dedicated to developing The Odyssey and its website, Mr. Golden, along with a staff of over 50 volunteers, has used The Odyssey's first major project, the World Trek, to provide a unique method of teaching K-12 students about the world. Educational material and website content is based upon a two year journey around the world being conducted by five young educators. This Trek Team, geared with laptops and digital video/cameras, reports on its experiences through photos, video and audio clips, and live chats, providing students an enriched view of diverse cultures, history and current affairs.

"The Millennium International Volunteer Award will help raise awareness of the work we are doing, and hopefully of the lives and struggles of so many amazing people around the world who are themselves striving to create a better world," remarked Mr. Golden.

The Department of State will donate $5,000 to The Odyssey in Mr. Golden's name, and he will be flown to Washington, DC for the awards ceremony March 1.

About The Odyssey: World Trek for Service and Education http://www.worldtrek.org

The Odyssey was established in 1997 as a non-profit corporation headquartered in San Francisco. Its mission is "To use the Internet to promote global awareness among youth and involve them in activities to create positive change in the world." It launched its first major project, the World Trek, in January of 1999. The US Trek will begin in the fall of 2000. The Odyssey has received numerous awards and notable mentions from Education World, USA Today, Excite, and the Microsoft Encarta Schoolhouse, among others, and is an official entry for the 2000 Webbie Awards in education. Its is supported by corporate sponsors such as Viant, Star Media, Verio, and Kodak, and foundations such as the Walter and Elise Haas Fund.

For more information visit The Odyssey Website, or the Odyssey Awards and Press WebPages at http://www.worldtrek.org/odyssey/info/media.html, or contact Jeff Golden, Executive Director, The Odyssey, at (4l5) 659-3178 or worldtrek@hotmail.com .

 
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