2017 Village to raise a child
These young social entrepreneurs were selected to travel to Harvard University in Cambridge, MA in October 2017 to incubate their social entrepreneurship projects and attend the 8th annual Igniting Innovation Summit, where they will pitch their projects.
Ali Khalifeh and Hasan Abdulhadi are both 17-year-old Jordanian students of the International Academy of Amman. When he isn’t spending his time studying for the IB subjects he takes at school, Ali likes to go to the gym, hang out with friends in different places in Amman, and sometimes enjoy the beautiful parts of Jordan. Hasan, on the other hand, is more of an athletic person. He is involved in the national soccer team, and commits to regular daily training. He also plays many other sports (like tennis and swimming) at an exceptional level. Sharing a deep interest in science and new technologies, both always seek opportunities to explore and discuss scientific ideas they learn in class or on the Internet. They also love seeking any opportunity to demonstrate innovation, as both have a unique entrepreneurial mindset. More importantly, they serve the community around them through the little things that count. Growing up in Jordan, both are instilled with the unique and special Jordanian heritage and mindset, which consists of hospitality, friendliness and the responsibility of preserving and improving the community and society around them.
Nicole Arrea and María Paula are two 17-year-old high school students from Costa Rica. Nicole practices competitive gymnastics, and was national runner-up for artistic gymnastics in 2015; María Paula participates in many debate conferences, and serves as the 2018 Under-Secretary General for Lincoln School’s Model United Nations. Outraged by the amount of waste in their own community, María Paula and Nicole decided to create a project on the topic of food waste. They created an organization named “Compartamos la Mesa”, which seeks to join several food donation organizations across the country with restaurants, hotels, and fast food chains in order to provide a solution to both hunger and waste in their country. Together, they wrote up a draft for a bill that would set up a viable non-profit route for the distribution of perishable food and presented it to the Legislative Assembly.
Amine Soufaih, Abdelaziz Benmehrez, and Achraf Golli are three students at the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa. Passionate about entrepreneurship, technology and social change, they started a socially-responsible enterprise called X-Agriculture. This enterprise aims to tackle the issue of mismanagement of water resources in irrigation systems. Amine has been inspired by his personal experience in designing this project. He has witnessed the challenges that farmers in his community face and has been constantly looking for ways to create positive change. As the project manager, Amine ensures the planning and implementation of X-Agriculture’s vision and mission, and links the financial and technology departments. Abdelaziz is passionate about finance and international relations; he dreams of positively impacting the world by becoming a social entrepreneur. Abdelaziz is responsible for designing the budget as well as developing the marketing strategy of X-Agriculture. Finally, Achraf is a computer science enthusiast who is engaged in several works of charity. At a young age, he has developed multiple websites with over 1.5 Million views, always with the objective to empower Tunisian youth and provide them with opportunities. At X-Agriculture, Achraf is in charge of the technology behind the project.
Gabriela Delela and Mariana Büttenbender always believed that great innovations come from genuine initiatives. Both born in Novo Hamburgo in the south of Brazil, they attended high school integrated with a chemistry technical course. As early as their first year of high school, they discovered the power of scientific research and have worked together on environmental projects since then. Last year, they developed a project in analytical chemistry aiming to detect hazardous pesticides in food. In this manner, they have dedicated themselves to improving their skills while seeking solutions to issues people confront on a daily basis. Besides researching, Gabriela is a chocoholic and also enjoys watching Ted Talks on her way to school, and Mariana is passionate about photography and appreciates traveling to connect with other cultures. They are also engaged with volunteering and social projects in their free time.
A rising senior from Costa Rica, Fernando Gonzalez is eager to share the reality of his nation with others and learn from their experiences. By focusing on promoting social change through education and technology, he has created a project that hopes to touch the lives of those learners that are willing to maximize their effort but lack opportunities. By giving them the English language as a tool he hopes to aid them in opening a path toward success in the developing world. When he is not studying for his IB courses or serving as the captain of his varsity swim team, he finds fulfillment in empowering those around him to challenge themselves to innovate for tomorrow by creating social entrepreneurial ventures of their own.