Meet the Changemakers
June 16, 2014
Last week, we hosted our third annual American Express Emerging Innovators Leadership Boot Camp with our nonprofit partner, Ashoka, in New York City.
Launched in 2012 as a way of identifying emerging, high potential leaders who represent the future of social change, and supporting these leaders through skills-building, promotion and collaboration, this year's convening involved 15 innovators from throughout the United States in a three-day workshop at the Center for Social Innovation.
Changemakers from the 2014 Ashoka Boot Camp with Amex CSR team members Richard Brown and Windy Lopez (far right)
Included in this year's group of innovators were:
- Claire Charmanac, Executive Director of Women LEAD, a leadership development organization for young women, led by young women, in Nepal.
- Alex Epstein, Co-founder, Philadelphia Urban Creators, a youth-driven organization empowering inner city youth to transform blighted landscapes into models of urban resiliency.
- Karim Abouelnaga, Founder, Practice Makes Perfect, an innovative education organization that partners with communities to create high quality summer learning opportunities for inner-city youth from elementary school to college.
- Andrea Lo, Co-founder and CEO, Piggybackr, a fun, educational and effective way for young people to raise funds for their favorite causes from friends, family, local businesses and companies passionate about supporting youth.
- Harlyn Pacheco, Co-founder and CEO, Olovi, an all-in-one toolkit for literacy that teachers can use to search and assign thousands of leveled eBooks and lessons, and track progress aligned to common core standards.
- Tammy Tibbets, President and Founder of She's the First, an organization that invests in girls' education by providing scholarships to girls in developing world countries who will become first-generation high school graduates.
- Andres Marquez-Lara, Founder and President, Promethean Community, an organization that brings a unique blend of experiential, human-centered methodologies to help people connect and learn so that they can tackle the challenges that they face in their communities.
- Arati Sureddi, Founder of LOTUS Alliance, a hybrid headhunter-economic development agency that makes job placements and offsets costs associated with incentivizing tourism industry operators to hire individuals who have survived -- or those at risk of -- human trafficking.
- Laurin Hodge, President and Executive Director, Mission: Launch, an organization focused on re-entry from incarceration in a holistic manner working with people to script a new life narrative built on their own unique talents and interests.
- Jordyn Lexton, Founder and Director, Drive Change, a food truck enterprise that hires, trains and empowers formerly incarcerated youth (ages 16-25).
- Alexandra Meis, Co-founder, Kinvolved, a company dedicated to increasing K-12 classroom attendance, particularly among America's disadvantaged youth, by engaging families and communities with technology and software programs.
- Jessica Ladd, Executive Director, Sexual Health Innovations, an organization that creates technology to transform sexual health and wellbeing in the United States.
- Tyrone Mullins, Founder of Green Streets, an integrated waste management business providing composting, recycling, grounds keeping and janitorial services in the San Francisco Bay Area.
- Sara Haghdoosti, CEO and Co-founder of Berim (which means "Let's Go" in Farsi), an organization helping to unlock the potential of changemakers in Iran to serve.
- Mike Norman, Co-founder and President, WeFunder, a technology company that facilitates investments and financing for social enterprises and impact businesses.
Similar boot camps will take place in Toronto on June 18-20 and in Mexico City on June 25-27.
Check out these social enterprises and get involved with these young innovators. If you have a question or comment, please share it here. Alternatively, you can follow me on Twitter at @timmcclimon and comment there. Thanks for reading and sharing this blog posting with your friends and colleagues.
P.S. Did you know that Ashoka has built a network of more than 15,000 innovators and hundreds of thousands of changemakers from 125 countries?