When Shreya Mantha’s grandmother was diagnosed with a terminal illness, her last wish was for her two granddaughters to honor her memory by doing something to help vulnerable girls. Inspired by the example set by their parents – who engaged the girls in volunteering activities from a young age – Shreya and her younger sister Sahana set out to honor their grandmother’s wish by making a difference for at-risk girls in their hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina.
When Hunter Beaton was 8 years old, his grandmother picked him up from baseball practice and took him home to meet his new brother, a cousin who was being placed with his family as a foster child. Just a baby, his new brother had nothing – no toys, no clothes, no stuffed animals. When a second foster brother came to live with them, all he brought was a trash bag holding his meager belongings. It was the same for his foster sister. To Hunter, the idea that his siblings were only worth a plastic garbage bag seemed unjust.
For Josh Kaplan, giving back to the community is part of who he is. Driven by the Jewish concept of Tikkun Olam, or “repairing the world,” he believes each of us has the power to create change and participate meaningfully in the world around us. An avid soccer player, Josh turned his passion into action when he launched GOALS (Giving Opportunities to All who Love Soccer) in his hometown of Phoenix.
As a Silicon Valley native, Terence Lee is no stranger to technology. Although he grew up next to tech giants like Google and Apple, 16-year-old Terence noticed the considerable digital divide within the United States – and even within the San Francisco Bay Area itself. “With the rapid advancements in computer technology, individuals, schools and companies regularly refresh their computer hardware and software to keep up with their work,” said Terence. “At the same time, many students from low-income families do not have easy access to computers, even with the abundance of outdated computers often slated for electronic waste.”