Giraffe Heroes Database
Letter "S"
Entries beginning with "S"

Sa, Anderson

José Junior and Anderson Sa and arose from violent, drug-infested favelas in Rio de Janeiro to be internationally known musicians who could have moved up and out, turning their backs on the world they were born into. Instead, they went back in as the AfroReggae Cultural Group, an organization that seeks to free young people from the squalor of those ghettos, giving them skills in art, music, and business.

  • poverty
  • youth issues
Giraffe work location(s): South America, Brazil
Home when commended: South America, Brazil
Home now: South America, Brazil
Gender: M (male)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Sacks, Bert

At serious legal and financial risk to himself, Bert Sacks took medical supplies to children in Iraq who were suffering from the effects of the first Gulf War and the UN’s trade sanctions against that country. He also brought back to the US his first-hand accounts of the devastating conditions endured by Iraqi children and their families.

  • health/public health/disabilities
  • international aid
  • youth issues
Giraffe work location(s): Asia, Iraq
Home when commended: North America, US, Washington
Home now: North America, US, Washington
Gender: M (male)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Saluja, Vijay

Vijay Saluja, a civil engineer in New Delhi, has fought for decades to end the corruption that has slowed or prevented needed infrastructure improvements in the city.

  • government
  • public safety
  • whistle blowers
Giraffe work location(s): Asia, India
Home when commended: Asia, India
Home now: Asia, India
Gender: M (male)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Sami, Shahrzad (Shari)

After immigrating to the United States from Iran in 1988, Shahrzad (Shari) Sami was determined to tell the world about the horrors of war, from her personal perspective. Despite warnings that she should be silent, and her own heavy workload as a student in a new country, she became a leading spokesperson for the organization, Children of War, giving talks to hundreds of students throughout the United States.

  • international peace
  • youth issues
Giraffe work location(s): National
Home when commended: North America, US, California
Home now: North America, US, California
Gender: F (female)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Sanders, Jerry

Jerry Sanders was a member of Save the Trees, a group that worked fifteen years to save the last old-growth trees on Whidbey Island in Washington. These islanders began by standing in front of the ancient trees as heavy machinery moved toward them. They went on to lobby public officials and go through the courts, winning a long battle to protect not only their island’s last giant trees, but also other old-growth throughout the state. (See also Sue Ellen White-Hansen, Steve Shapiro, Debora Valis, Neil Colburn, Candace Culver, Sylvia Sanders, Harry Wilbert, Myrl Wilber, Pat Goff and Jack Noel)
  • environment
Giraffe work location(s): North America, US, Washington
Home when commended: North America, US, Washington
Home now: North America, US, Washington
Gender: M (male)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Sanders, Sylvia

Sylvia Sanders was a member of Save the Trees, a group that worked fifteen years to save the last old-growth trees on Whidbey Island in Washington. These islanders began by standing in front of the ancient trees as heavy machinery moved toward them. They went on to lobby public officials and go through the courts, winning a long battle to protect not only their island’s last giant trees, but also other old-growth throughout the state. (See also Sue Ellen White-Hansen, Steve Shapiro, Debora Valis, Neil Colburn, Candace Culver, Jerry Sanders, Harry Wilbert, Myrl Wilber, Pat Goff and Jack Noel)
  • environment
Giraffe work location(s): North America, US, Washington
Home when commended: North America, US, Washington
Home now: North America, US, Washington
Gender: F (female)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Santos, Eddie

When he was just nine years old, Eddie Santos organized his older neighbors on the lower East Side of New York City to clear an empty lot of garbage and rubble, encouraging them to donate plants as well as labor. Santos worked in the community for years, involving other young people, creating a community garden, and getting the drug dealers to stop doing business there.

  • community development
  • public safety
  • youth issues
Giraffe work location(s): North America, U.S., New York
Home when commended: North America, U.S., New York
Home now: North America, U.S., New York
Gender: M (male)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Sarconi, Christie

Kristy Sarconi of Comptche CA volunteered fulltime as a regional director of CATs (Californians for Alternatives to Toxics) for a year, involving the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund in imposing a moratorium on spraying in the seven counties of northern California, and in forcing CalTrans to prepare an Environmental Impact Report that, under state law, calls for use of the safest methods of vegetation management.
  • environment
Giraffe work location(s): North America, US, California
Home when commended: North America, US, California
Home now: North America, US, California
Gender: F (female)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Sasaki, Carol

Carol Sasaki of, founder of HOME (Helping Ourselves Means Education), works tirelessly to use her own experience as a welfare graduate to help others move from the dead-end of welfare to the dignity of education and jobs.

  • poverty
Giraffe work location(s): North America, US, Ohio; Washington
Home when commended: North America, US, Ohio
Home now: North America, US, Ohio
Gender: F (female)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Sassower, Doris

When attorney Doris Lipson Sassower blew the whistle on questionable judicial practices in New York, a state court suspended her law license with no charges, no hearing, no right to appeal and no questions asked. Her ongoing fight for justice in the legal profession is headed for the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • criminal justice
  • government
  • whistle blowers
Giraffe work location(s): North America, US, New York
Home when commended: North America, US, New York
Home now: North America, US, New York
Gender: F (female)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Saucier, Aldric

Physicist Aldric Saucier worked on the team that sought to provide the United States with a Strategic Defense Initiative, popularly called “Star Wars.” When he became aware of illegalities, mismanagement, massive waste of taxpayer dollars, and potential threats to public safety, he took his concerns to his superiors and—when they didn't correct the problems—to Congress and the media. He was fired. Only the Whistleblower Protection Act enabled him to reclaim his job. 

  • public safety
  • whistle blowers
Giraffe work location(s): North America, US, Washington, D.C.
Home when commended: North America, US, Virginia
Home now: North America, US, Virginia
Gender: F (female)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Saunders, Bruce

Bruce Saunders works against stereotypes of people with mental illnesses by running Movie Mondays, a weekly free showing of movies for an audience of mental patients and the public-at-large. Saunders, who has bipolar disorder, calls the program a “guerilla psycho-social rehab project.”

  • health/public health/disabilities
Giraffe work location(s): North America, Canada, British Columbia
Home when commended: North America, Canada, British Columbia
Home now: North America, Canada, British Columbia
Gender: M (male)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Savage, Dan

Responding to news of gay teens committing suicide because of bullying, editor/columnist/author Dan Savage and his husband, Terry Miller, gave up the treasured privacy of their personal life together to reach out to teens who were still suffering from such bullying. Talking about their happy, successful lives in a video, they told teens, “It Gets Better.” Over 50,000 other adults, gay and straight, have contributed messages of hope to a website that is getting millions of visitors.

  • civil liberties
  • gender issues
  • youth issues
Giraffe work location(s): North America, USA, Washington
Home when commended: North America, USA, National
Home now: North America, USA, Washington
Gender: M (male)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Savage, Phillip

Phillip Savage of Bethesda MD, an Equal Employment Opportunity officer, actually did his job at the Securities and Exchange Commission, bucking pressure on him from higher-ups to ignore cases of hiring injustices to minorities and women.

  • business/workplace issues
  • government
Giraffe work location(s): North America, US, Maryland
Home when commended: North America, US, Maryland
Home now: North America, US, Maryland
Gender: M (male)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Save the Trees

  • environment
Giraffe work location(s): North America, US, Washington
Home when commended: North America, US, Washignton
Home now: North America, US, Washington
Gender: G (group)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.

Sawaya, Nancy Cole

Nancy Cole Sawaya, Matt Redman, Ervin Munro, and Max Drew started a movement at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic that gathered in over a thousand volunteers to provide food, shelter, counseling and emotional support to hundreds of people with AIDS in their city, Los Angeles. The Giraffe Project commended every volunteer of AIDS Project Los Angeles in that time when no one was sure how AIDS was spread and there were no drugs that could save stricken peoples' lives.  
  • health/public health/disabilities
Giraffe work location(s): North America, US, California
Home when commended: North America, US, California
Home now: North America, US, California
Gender: F (female)
For more information, click on the Giraffe's name.
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