Jelena is a professor of Spanish language & journalist from Belgrade Serbia. She truly believes that life is too short for bad people, bad thoughts and bad coffee. She keeps trying to make the world a better place by writing about true values, inspiring people and their activities. Jelena is an eternal optimist and an energy wizard.
Reyna was only 13 when she and her family were forced from their home in Mexico, ending up as a family with no status in the U.S. This event changed her whole life path, motives, and strivings. Growing up as an immigrant, experiencing fear, anxiety, and stress, but most of all, unfair treatment in many aspects of her life, made her determined to do something to make a change. She founded Aliento, an organization that helps to support the 6.5 million undocumented youth and children of immigrant parents by investing in their well-being, mainly through the arts. Her achievements, persistence, and fearlessness have been recognized – with her name appearing on this year’s Forbes 30 under 30 – Social Entrepreneurs List. Reyna Montoya is a girl who lives to teach people the lesson of humanity, and this is her story.
She was bold, determined, and touched. And these facts have changed more than a thousand lives of female farmers all over West Africa, South America, and parts of Asia. The success of Lisa Curtis, founder of Kuli Kuli, America’s leading moringa company, started with the tale of a single African mom who had five kids and was left with no home and no income. She was the first person to be affected by Lisa's dream of using the nutritious leaves of the moringa tree to improve the lives of women on the African continent. At the age of 23, with zero knowledge of the food industry, but led by a wish to make a change, Lisa managed to form a team of food, technology, and design experts and develop her startup. Today, seven years later, her company counts more than 1.5 million dollars of income given to family farms on three different continents. Read more about the moving story of blue flip-flops, Pierrette and Ayele, courage, vision, and having the guts to carve out the path that allowed an eager volunteer to become a widely recognized businesswoman with a place on the Forbes 30 Under 30 List of Social Entrepreneurs 2018.
The tale of the young Jaya Setiawan Gulo, now 28, starts in a left-behind village somewhere in the province of North Sumatra, after he broke his left arm. While he was on the road to recovery, he had the heartbreaking experience of witnessing the harsh realities that face the people in the rural areas of Indonesia who dedicate their lives to giving their kids the opportunity to finish school. It was then that he realized he would one day found a social enterprise organization focused on education. And so it has been. Back then, he was just a tiny kid with poor grades who was climbing coconut trees. Today, he works at the Indonesian Ministry of Finance and has made his dream come true. Together with nine other young people who are dedicated to fighting for education, he founded a youth-led organization called The School Projects that is changing the shape of the education system in rural Indonesia. Gulo and his cohort have reached more than 1400 children so farby mentoring and motivating them while providing school supplies to support their learning process. This is Gulo’s story.
As someone who liked spending her time helping kids in orphanage homes and hospitals, being a kid herself, no wonder Omotoke Olowo has achieved so much so far, and deserved to be a role model for many people. This inspiring young lady from Nigeria has been named OD Young Person of the Month for June2018. She is also an Ambassador fellow for ROI Africa, an Ashoka Changemaker and 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow. Her first contact with disabled kids made such an emotional impact on her, she ended up founding her own NGO - The Autism Awareness Place, where children with autism feel respected and accepted as a part of society. Her journey includes teaching children of migrant fishermen at the Makoko community the art of reading and writing, training teachers in rural communities on how to facilitate learning for these kids and helping their parents to face all the challenges. Her mission is clear – to lend her voice and strength to the ones society keeps neglecting.
Oyindamola Johnson says Nigerians, especially the young ones, are one of the most hardworking and resourceful people you'll find anywhere and across the globe. Despite little or no direct support, future young leaders in this country are somehow managing to grab their chance to learn and grow. And he is doing everything he can to empower them, representing their interests. But not theirs only – he travels the world working on social innovation projects. This inspiring young man was selected as a Tony Elumelu Entrepreneur in April this year, in May 2018 he was chosen as a part of 50 outstanding young experts and named a G20-Young Global Changer by Global Solutions Initiative in Germany. And these are just some of his numerous international recognitions. He claims the leaders of his country have failed the youth on several fronts but he is determined to be part of a revolution. His motto might really lead to big changes one day:Work on being and not on having, for with what you are, you will have.
Growing up in India, where access to medical treatment was often mission impossible, her personal experience with medical care had a massive impact on dr.Akshaya Shanmugam’s career choice. Her hard work made her become CEO of Lumme Labs, a scientist and an entrepreneur, but her ambition and vision put her on this year’s prestigious Forbes 30 under 30 list of innovators. Her company, Lumme Inc., has raised $1.7 million in non-dilutive fundingand has produced a device that will help people quit smoking! Dr. Shanmugam spends all of her time bringing cutting edge technology and behavioral psychology together to push the boundaries in treating addictions. She talks about her dedicated team, their efforts, and her extraordinary journey in an interview for Youth Time magazine.
Can you believe, once upon a time, there was a social network before Facebook. It was called Orkut, by it’s founder, a Google engineer by the name of Orkut Büyükkökten. He has been building online communities since 2000. Today, as an entrepreneur and software engineer, Mr.Orkut is taking over the world with his brand new network, Hello. In the past decade, he claims that social networks have taken us further apart from each other, and the time has come for meaningful connections to happen. This will be possible only if people get more intimate by sharing something emotionally significant – and this is what Hello is about. We talked about empathy, kindness, click-and-like chasing, online privacy issues, and what has gone wrong with social media today. On that note, remember his quote the next time you envy someone’s fabulous online life: Social feeds are filled with perfectly choreographed moments, idealistic posts, and created appearances that are often worlds apart from actuality. It’s like a photoshopped magazine cover is now the norm for everyday situations. It needs to stop.
Jelka is just one of us – an ordinary single mom trying to make the best of life in her home country of Serbia, land of struggles, transitions, and extraordinary people. After raising her daughter on her own she ended up as a manager in the cosmetics industry – but, after many years of doing the same thing, she lost interest and passion in her job, and did not know where to go next. Until she heard about the Grooming Academy of Sasa Riess. As a huge animal lover, she was thrilled with the idea of learning how to groom dogs and spend time with them, while at the same time earning money. But there was a further dimension – the academy had a special program for people from the margins of society, even ex-convicts, teaching them how to groom and giving them a chance to create a better future with decent work. Jelka’s life changed completely when she started to work alongside these people – the fact that her time and knowledge could change the trajectory of someone’s life for the better made her find a renewed purpose. She says she and her co-workers all learn together every single day and points out the most valuable lesson she has gained from this experience: when someone believes in you, you start believing in yourself.
Mihailo Martinovic (30), from Serbia, always wanted to be a Physics teacher in high school. However, life had different plans for him and instead, with a little bit of help from his Professors and thanks to his hard work through the years, he became a talented scientist with worldwide connections. He won the Youth Hero 2017 award for achievements in education and science at the age of 29 and was the youngest Doctor of Astronomy in Serbia at the time. Today, Mihailo enjoys his job working on a Solar Orbiter project as a part of an international team of scientists at the European Space Agency, exploring something called solar wind plasma! He also works in the Astronomy Department at the Faculty of Mathematics in Belgrade. He hopes his work will open doors to many talented young people who won’t rush to leave the country and will stay in Serbia to change the face of science from home.
While other kids could not wait to escape from chemistry or biology classes, Dr. Stephanie Fanucchi, was more than eager to experiment and learn something new. Her fascination with science began at an early age and continued growing as her interest and knowledge grew as well. This year, Dr. Fanucchi became one of 15 young women scientists recognised for her innovative research in cancer and auto-immune diseases – winning a prestigious award from the L’Oréal UNESCO for Women in Science programme. And while she speaks about DNA modification, genes, cells kissing and incredible cutting-edge discoveries in the world of biochemistry and cell biology, she dreams big, yet simple dreams – to work in a biotech startup company one day and to be remembered as a relentlessly curious human being.