Maggie Doyne- Maggie Doyne took a gap year after her senior year of high school. She traveled to four countries, one of them being Nepal. While trekking through one of the most poverty stricken villages in the Himalayas, she met Hima, a six year old who was selling stones to try to help make money for her family. Doyne’s life was changed forever. She set to work to pay for Hima to go to school. Then she paid for a few more kids. And then a few more kids. At this point she realized that broader action needed to be taken. Using her life’s savings, she bought land in Nepal and tirelessly worked to raise the funds to build the Kopila Valley Children’s Home and School in Surkhet, Nepal. Where’s Maggie Doyne now? Well running her school and running the Blink Now Foundation right along with it. Blink Now not only supports Maggie’s school, but a children’s home, a health clinic, and a woman’s center in the village as well. The school is now home to about 44 thriving children. Blink Now works to promote sustainability in all they do, while growing the school and continuing to empower the people of Surkhet.
Svetha Januampalli- Svetha Januampalli, at age 25, became the founder of New Incentives. Microlending is the big thing in nonprofits today and is touted as the best new way to fund rural communities in a sustainable way. Janupalli came up with a different solution. Her approach focuses on conditional cash transfers or CCTs. CCTs are small sums of money that individuals can earn if they meet certain benchmarks (clinic visits, school attendance, etc.). New Incentives focuses heavily on expectant mothers in rural West Africa who have tested HIV positive. The women receive small stipends if they go visit clinics and take the necessary steps to ensure that their children are born without HIV. This empowers the mother and fights poverty while also preventing the spread of HIV.
Lily Liu- Lily Liu started PublicStuff. This website and app allows city residents to make quick and easily seen requests to local governments. Citizens can tell the government when there’s a dangerous pothole in the road, a sign that’s fallen down, or even graffiti that needs to be removed. Located in cities across the country, PublicStuff is growing quickly and has even gone international to Peterborough, England. Cleaning up cities and keeping the cities safe is not just the government’s job, it’s the people’s job too. PublicStuff connects the people more personally with their government and in turn makes the government more responsible to its people. At only age 29, Liu’s business was named one of the top 10 start ups in New York by Business Insider.
Anu Sridharan- Sridharan, at age 25, is a cofounder and the CEO of NextDrop. NextDrop is an ingenious solution to the growing water problems in India. In most urban areas, the tap gets water about every 2-10 days, but there is no consistency so no one really knows when it’s going to come on. Water is scarce and often has to be rationed. Women in low income households have to spend hours every week waiting for water so they can save it up and store it properly. NextDop provides residents access to reliable information about their piped water supplies while simultaneously helping the water utility companies by providing mass amounts of information. Citizens receive free alerts on their phones about when their water supply is on, when it’s off, and about possible delays. In turn, citizens provide the important information to NextDrop that can help utility companies to use their resources effectively and make decisions actually driven by data.
These women truly demonstrate that you are never too young to change the world around you!