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Prudential Financial introduces its next class of Emerging Visionaries

Feb. 13, 2024

In its third year, the program honors 25 exceptional young leaders for their work addressing the challenges of a changing world.

NEWARK, N.J., Feb. 13, 2024 – Twenty-five young leaders from across the U.S. have been honored by Prudential Financial today as the latest class of Prudential Emerging Visionaries.

Prudential Emerging Visionaries honors exceptional students ages 14-18 who have created innovative, bold solutions to financial and societal challenges in their communities.

“I am inspired by the students’ sense of purpose and commitment to driving positive change in their communities,” said Chairman and CEO Charles Lowrey. “We’re honored to support these young leaders as they bring their extraordinary projects to life.”

The program’s goals align with Prudential’s purpose: to make lives better by solving the financial challenges of our changing world.

Five winners’ projects help overcome barriers to financial inclusion and well-being, while 20 focus on societal issues, helping to create more equitable and sustainable communities. Through their work, the honorees address wide-ranging and critical issues including the ethics of artificial intelligence, fostering STEM careers for students with learning disabilities and improving access to mental health services.

Winners were chosen based on four main criteria: their solution is innovative; it will create meaningful impact and can grow beyond the student’s community; it demonstrates a deep understanding of the issue it addresses; and the student is passionate about making change and inspiring others to take action.

Each of the 25 changemakers has won $5,000 to take their projects to the next level. In addition, they are invited on an all-expenses-paid trip to Prudential’s Newark, New Jersey headquarters for a three-day summit in April, where they will be coached by Prudential employees and have the chance to meet other young leaders.

During the summit, the five winners in the financial solutions category will pitch their ideas to a panel of judges, with a grand-prize winner awarded an additional $10,000. And Prudential employees will again vote to name an Employees’ Choice Award winner, who will receive an additional $5,000.

Prudential Emerging Visionaries is sponsored by Prudential in collaboration with Ashoka, a leading organization in the social impact sector, with advisory support provided by the Financial Health Network, an authority on financial health and a longtime partner of The Prudential Foundation. The program also operates in other countries where Prudential has a significant business presence, including Brazil, China, India and Japan. The program is an evolution of Prudential’s Spirit of Community Awards, which honored more than 150,000 outstanding youth volunteers over 26 years.

2024 Prudential Emerging Visionaries

Applicants focused their projects on two categories: Financial Solutions for a Changing World and Societal Solutions for a Changing World.

Financial Solutions for a Changing World Award Winners

Michael Brode, 17, of Winterville, North Carolina, is the founder of “Crypto Debunked,” an immersive learning platform that teaches young people about financial topics such as cryptocurrency and blockchain to bridge the financial education gap facing young people in underserved communities.

Jonathan De Caro, 16, of Moodus, Connecticut, founded “One Loan Fund,” a financial platform that provides microloans to unbanked rural women in Latin America with the goal of fostering economic mobility, inclusion and sustainable financial health.

Caden Harris, 14, of Stonecrest, Georgia, is the founder of “Financial Literacy for All,” a program on wheels that aims to create a world in which financial literacy is integrated into the curriculum of every school and is accessible to all young people.

Sebastian Tan, 16, of Sewickley, Pennsylvania, is the founder of “OutsideConnection,” an online job site that drives economic opportunity for previously incarcerated individuals by allowing them to search for open positions at businesses and make meaningful contributions to their local communities.

Remy Tsukahira, 16, of Los Angeles, California, is the founder of “Artemis Girls Business Academy,” a network connecting teen girls to professional women mentors that expands access to the information, connections and skills needed to pursue careers in business and entrepreneurship.

Societal Solutions for a Changing World Award Winners

Sunya Afrasiabi, 17, of Buffalo, New York, is the founder of the “#MyStory Program,” a storytelling project that amplifies the experiences of immigrants and refugees through a combination of oral history, narrative therapy and photography.

Sreenidi Bala, 16, of Farmington, Connecticut, is the founder of “Code for All Minds,” a computer science program for neurodivergent students that provides educators and families with a curriculum to make STEM career paths a possibility for young people with learning disabilities.

William Charouhis, 18, of Miami, Florida, is the founder of “A Million Mangroves,” a youth-led network in Miami mobilized to plant 1 million mangroves by 2030, addressing climate change by sequestering atmospheric carbon and protecting coastlines.

Yaduraj Choudhary, 17, of Downingtown, Pennsylvania, is the founder of “3 Tiny Bones,” an initiative working with policymakers to advance hearing health legislation and create safe spaces within schools to destigmatize hearing loss.

Marie Dillard, 18, of Englewood, New Jersey, is the founder of “The Crescendo Lab,” a classical music mentoring program that works with youth of color to expand access to music education and create an inclusive future for classical musicians of color in American orchestras.

Angelina DiPaola, 18, of Cincinnati, Ohio, is the co-founder of “Compai,” a smart home composting system that uses digital sensors and a mobile app to increase the number of people and community groups composting, connect them with experts in the practice and help them build a community with fellow composters in their neighborhoods.

Anika Dugal, 17, of Matawan, New Jersey, is the founder of “Girls for Algorithmic Justice,” a global grassroots coalition of young women acting through political action and advocacy to address the gender and racial disparities in artificial intelligence technologies.

Saawan Duvvuri, 16, of Nashville, Tennessee, is the founder of “LiteratureDiversified,” a youth-led nonprofit advocating for equity by diversifying educational curriculums and working to solve America’s racial disparities in education.

Mackenzie Goldsteen, 16, of Bethesda, Maryland, created “Buildgirls,” a nonprofit that works to empower young women in high school to pursue careers in the fields of architecture, construction and engineering (ACE), cornerstones of the economy with dramatic gender disparities.

Donte Jennings, 17, of Nolanville, Texas, is the founder of “EmpowerME,” a youth literacy project for Black boys struggling with mental health challenges that cultivates a love of reading, encourages self-expression and shared storytelling, and helps to build a supportive community that advocates for mental health awareness.

Anuj Kakkad, 17, of Plymouth, Minnesota, is the co-founder of “Vigilance Safety,” a student-led nonprofit organization developing technical solutions to improve school safety and reduce casualties from school shootings.

Preston Lieu, 17, of Falls Church, Virginia, is the founder of “Youthward,” an incubator that connects young activists with community organizers to share resources, amplify efforts and ensure lasting impact on the issues they care about.

OlaRose Ndubuisi, 16, of Pittsford, New York, is the founder of “The Finding Scoliosis Kindly Project,” an initiative that works to increase global awareness of scoliosis, support young people in coping with the challenging mental and physical effects of the condition, and advocate for the early management and treatment of scoliosis in children.

Saheb Nibber, 17, of Houston, Texas, leads “Smart City Houston,” an initiative that hosts non‑coding hackathons for young people to design solutions that address urgent community issues, introducing a new generation to civic engagement.

Genshu Price, 16, of Hauula, Hawaii, founded “Bottles4College,” a nonprofit organization dedicated to collecting recyclable cans and bottles for buyback programs, helping to both safeguard the environment and generate college scholarships for Hawaii’s youth.

Maegha Ramanathan, 16, of Dublin, California, is the co-founder of “Girls4Sports,” a youth-led organization dedicated to expanding sports opportunities for girls in underserved communities so that the benefits of athletics can be accessible to all.

Anjani Sharma, 17, of Rockledge, Florida, created “Minds Without B0rders,” a youth-led initiative that works to reduce stigma and normalize conversations around mental health, mobilizing students to engage stakeholders and advocate for policies that increase mental health support systems.

Prisha Shroff, 17, of Chandler, Arizona, is the founder of “Sustainability Stars,” an initiative that empowers young people to be changemakers by taking action to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and increase awareness and advocacy.

Adeline Smith, 17, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, co-founded “Growing the STEM,” an organization that develops and runs math and science programs for students in underserved rural Idaho schools, with the mission to inspire young people to pursue STEM education and careers.

Ethan Zhang, 16, of Portland, Oregon, co-founded “Youth Secure Initiative,” a project that equips young people with cyberliteracy skills that can be deployed to help small businesses in enhancing the security of their websites, preventing financial losses, business interruption and non-compliance.

For more information about Prudential Emerging Visionaries and to learn more about their stories, visit

About Prudential Financial
Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a financial wellness leader and premier active global investment manager, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Prudential’s diverse and talented employees help to make lives better by creating financial opportunity for more people. Prudential’s iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century. For more information, please visit

About Ashoka
Ashoka is the largest global network of leading social entrepreneurs — individuals with new ideas to systemically address the world’s biggest challenges and the entrepreneurial skill to transform those ideas into national, regional and global social impact. Over 40 years, Ashoka has supported more than 3,600 social entrepreneurs in 90 countries with solutions addressing society’s most pressing issues. Ashoka’s vision is a world in which Everyone is a Changemaker — a society that responds quickly and effectively to challenges, and where everyone has the freedom, confidence and societal support to address any social problem. For more information, visit 

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