The NSHSS Foundation Emerging Leader Award, administered through the NSHSS Foundation, recognizes a student who has made a significant impact and positive difference through his/her leadership activities and initiatives.
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Every student deserves an opportunity to have access to Fine Arts in their educational setting. Yet, Florida ranks 48th out of 50 states in funding for Fine Arts. It is my goal to use my non-profit program, Many Mini Musicians, to stand in the funding gap for Fine Arts programs, providing grants where federal and state funding has been removed. Music education increases standardized test scores, graduation rates, and overall feeling of self-satisfaction in students, and access to quality music education should not be limited by the availability of funds in the school that they choose to attend. My nonprofit addresses the needs of music programs and individuals across my state.
Rohan Malyala from Santa Clara, California works to provide and sustain a single platform that encourages the youth to freely learn, share, and collaborate with others, while serving and benefitting the global community. The platform helps students learn-share "several skills” with each other. It provides opportunity to share a skill, showcase talent, serve the community while offering the ability to inspire or guide others, encouraging them to acquire well-round skills. Persons can participate as a Learner, Leader, Mentor or Volunteer.
Elopement is a serious problem in the autism (ASD) population. We often hear of missing children in the news and later hear of their untimely death. The deaths are caused from drowning, starvation, dehydration, and injury. Due to the critical issue of elopement, I started Boomers to help keep children with ASD safe. Boomers is a nonprofit organization that provides families impacted by ASD with a solution to finding their eloped children. Today, families experiencing issues with elopement buy GPS trackers that are embedded in bracelets or hook to backpacks and clothing for the children to wear. The problem with these products is that they are not authentically integrated into the child’s life and they do not use them 24/7/365. My solution is to conceal a small GPS tracker into a pair of undergarments; something that every child has and will have on them at all times. Therefore, should a child go missing, the family has Boomers to rely on.
Michael Roman, from Spring Texas applied to the Be More fund because it aligns with his philanthropic efforts and goal of launching a nonprofit to “Give Joy” to underserved youth by ensuring extracurricular opportunities. He learned to volunteer early through his military community and his parents’ service. Seeing his parents work hard to achieve financial stability and break generational poverty has provided purpose. Together with family and other committed community members, the Joy Oquendo Foundation is launching a nonprofit with the goal of closing the racial wealth gap. The foundation will provide microloans, extracurricular and trade school scholarships to minority low-income school aged students.
I utilized a study method that allowed me to recall the material through “personal connections.” I did this by physically moving to different locations in an effort to install literal connections with the material I was learning, ultimately remembering the material based on where I memorized it. This artificial connection triggered my memory and therefore proved itself as an effective way of memorization. I believe VR (Virtual Reality) technology will help us create sentient experiences that will directly translate into achieving maximum performance in memorization. I hope that 3D Study Cube can change our educational environment from competitive to collaborative by allowing numerous student “Followers” living in underdeveloped areas to learn effectively from their “Leaders” and “Advisors” through direct help. I dream of the restoration of the original definition of friendship that highlights companionship.
Signal Technologies is a software company aimed at creating products that help encourage inclusivity into our world. Our current focus is developing our first app InfoBytes, a more accessible approach to tracking what you eat. Accessibility and health are topics of growing importance. There are many different diets in the world and a variety of visual impairments. There is a need to make the shopping process easier for anyone in those categories. Food allergies, dietary preferences, or visual impairments aren’t going away anytime soon. Neither is the importance of or need for accessibility. Having a more simplified shopping experience and making that process more accessible is going to be in demand for a very long time.
My idea for this project evolved when I was in tenth grade. My biology teacher suggested I write a paper on water insecurity in Ethiopia for the World Food Prize. This would be easy for me. I didn’t have to do much research because I had experienced it first hand. After presenting my paper, I became a Norman Borlaug scholar. This was where my dream for the project began. I would build a well on my family’s farm in Ethiopia and turn it over to the community. The money given to me by my church and the community of Cedar Rapids, along with online fundraising, allowed me to return to Ethiopia to start the project on my family’s land. The project is now well-underway.
Mindfulness has been scientifically proven to help treat children and adolescents with conditions such as anxiety, stress, depression, ADHD, and autism. With research in children and teens growing, it is clear that mindfulness can be a beneficial tool to help kids better manage their thoughts and feelings. Meet Omi the Elephant® : "Omi & Friendz" is a collection of interactive stuffed toys that introduces mindfulness to kids in a fun & relatable way. Each friend supports social-emotional growth by using a STOP, BREATHE & RESET method. Omi the Elephant®, the first in the Mindful Buddiez collection, comes with three guided exercises that introduce mindful breathing, emotional regulation skills, and positive thinking. Kids simply listen to Omi's soothing voice as he guides them through a mindful breathing exercise and helps them feel calm. With Omi’s help, a child begins to understand how to self regulate their thoughts and feelings.
Ten years ago I was walking about my hospital room, normal day for me, and I stepped on my IV line and ripped it out of my port. From that day forward I never wanted that to happen to me again or to any other child. I had my mom go out and get supplies for me to use to make something to hold my line off the ground, and that is when The Chemo Cuff was born. Each day seven children are diagnosed with cancer, countless kid's ports are accessed, and those children's doctors tell them that they need to walk around. But walking around can lead to IV lines mistakenly being ripped out. The Chemo Cuff provides a safe feeling to the child reducing the chance of their lines being stepped on. The Chemo Cuff is free to anyone who can not afford to purchase one.
In the average African-American community in the United States, stores do not offer skincare products suitable for all skin types and ethnicities. The products available often include synthetic ingredients like chlorine and phenoxyethanol that cause damage to the skin (e.g. acne, burns, rashes, diseases). Also, the production process of these products is not safe for the environment; cross-contamination is likely to occur between the mixing utensils of each product. We formulate hand-whipped shea butter that suits various skin types, compliments the skin, and is affordable and natural. We provide numerous skincare products and use natural ingredients like lavender oil and cacao powder. Our sustainable production process gives back to the environment due to the supplies and ingredients we use.