Previous Winners

These past winners were all students who showed unusual initiative and creativity in solving problems.

The scholarship program welcomes applicants who demonstrate creativity in any field.


2018 Winners

Shalvit Grimes (St. John’s College High School, Washington, D.C.) Recognizing the global education crisis faced by girls in the developing world, Shalvit helped impoverished girls in Haiti create a sustainable plan for raising funds to pay their school fees. Shalvit worked with local organizations to help the girls source durable, free materials that would otherwise be discarded; cut and sew these materials into simple drawstring backpacks using solar-powered sewing machines (for which she helped raise funds); and develop strategies for getting the bags to market. Shalvit is currently enrolled at St. John’s University.

Tina Ma (Ellington High School, Ellington, Conn.) Tina’s concern about children’s death from vaccine-preventable diseases around the globe led her to address the “last mile” distribution problem that often prevents children in remote areas from having access to vaccines. Tina invented an innovative delivery container to keep the vaccines cool (over the many hours it may take to travel that “last mile” before they reach rural families) using readily available, green, and inexpensive materials: corn oil, coconut oil (as phase change material) and copper coil (to create a thermal control release system). Her invention has the potential to save many lives. Tina is currently a high school senior.

Prastik Mohanraj (Engineering & Science University Magnet School, West Haven, Conn.) Bringing together two fields usually cut off from one another — antimicrobial health research and anti-cancer treatments — Prastik’s research explored the possibilities of a novel anti-cancer compound, based on usnic acid, that could attack a form of cancer which occurs when a liver cell enzyme goes awry. Prastik’s fresh approach to inhibiting the growth of specific enzymes that would kill the bacteria needed for cancer cells to grow could be an important contribution in the fight against cancer. Prastik is currently a high school senior.

Jake Nieto (Commack High School, Commack, N.Y.) For those afflicted by Chronic Kidney Disease, the extent of the accumulation of fibril collagen across the kidney (which leads to loss in kidney function) must be assessed by biopsy — a highly invasive, painful and potentially dangerous procedure. Ultrasound imaging alone does not provide direct insight into the health of the kidney, and is not a viable diagnostic tool. But the equation Jake devised correlating image-based data with collagen accumulation represents a viable noninvasive alternative for assessing kidney damage. It could spare sufferers from enormous amounts of pain while providing them with accurate diagnoses of their condition. Jake is now enrolled at Brown University.

Karina Popovich (Brooklyn Technical High School, Brooklyn, N.Y.). Troubled by the mountains of discarded scrap wood that filled multiple dumpsters after every robotics competition or science Olympiad, Karina designed an innovative machine that breaks down natural waste into compost which it then compresses into a compact cube, infusing the soil where it’s planted with nutrients as it decomposes. The mechanized composter she developed (called “R-Cubed,” since it allows the user to recycle, reduce and reuse) can help dispose of all kinds of organic waste (food, leaves, twigs, paper, etc.), and may lead to a significant impact on both the environment and on environmental awareness. Karina is currently a high school senior.

Scott Soifer (North Shore Hebrew Academy High School, Great Neck, N.Y.) Disturbed by the number of children who die from heatstroke after being left in a car, Scott developed a distinctive technology to help prevent these deaths. His patented Vehicular Heatstroke Prevention system connects to a car’s electrical system to detect a child’s presence by measuring breathing rather than motion. This system also works for pets. It monitors the car’s internal temperature and when unsafe conditions occur, turns on the engine and air conditioning automatically to cool and aerate the car. The system will also contact nearby emergency personnel if necessary. Scott’s invention has the potential to save the lives of children and pets. Scott is furthering his studies at Columbia University.

Vera Zarubin (Bronx High School of Science, Bronx, N.Y.) Vera developed a new way to physically assemble high-performance conducting polymers without the use of toxic chemicals and bulky machinery. Vera discovered small external magnetic fields to be key to using natural, external forces to manufacture advanced functional materials more naturally. The new method Vera developed to fabricate polymer films and the research gaps that the work addressed could play a key role in the next generation of electronics. Vera is continuing her studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

2018 Honorable Mentions

Ashita Dhadda (Dwight Morrow High School/Academies, Fort Lee, N.J.) “Prosthetics for Change,” the nonprofit Ashita created, helped make students more aware of the needs of the physically disabled while raising funds to purchase inexpensive but sturdy and effective prosthetics for more than 100 people around the world. Ashita is currently a high school senior.

Eric DiMarco (High School of Art & Design, New York, N.Y.) Eric’s short and moving documentary, “Overcoming Dyslexia,” helped the dyslexic subject of the film become more confident and successful, and may help other children dealing with self-esteem issues due to dyslexia. Eric is currently enrolled at Brooklyn College.

Gregory Ginsburg (Bronx High School of Science, Bronx, N.Y.) The short film Gary made about the link between asthma and environmental conditions in the South Bronx could be a useful first step in an effective social media campaign that would help the Bronx Council for Environmental Quality push for positive change. Gregory is now a student at Columbia University.

Mikayla Osumah (Engineering & Science University Magnet School, New Haven, Conn.) The creative mobile app Mikayla co-developed will make it much easier for the disabled to utilize public transportation, reducing frustration and increasing accessibility. Mikayla is now a student at Quinnipiac University.

Hannah Pucci
(Danbury High School, Danbury, Conn.) Hannah’s impatience with digging into rock-hard ice cream with an ice cream scooper led to her design and patent of Egghead Ice Cream, in which pre-molded ice cream eggs fit perfectly into ice cream cones and are sold in egg cartons, allowing customers to purchase up to 12 individual flavors. Hannah is continuing her studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.


2017 Winners

Jack Adam WATCH VIDEO (NYC iSchool, New York, NY).  An adventurous street artist, Jack chose garbage as his canvas. His iconic signature tag—the stylized marker-drawn outline of a 1959medium formatYashica-A camera and the words "Who Shot Who?"— began appearing in his neighborhood on hundreds of items discarded and left on the curb, sparking puzzlement, pleasure, and conversations that wouldn't have happened otherwise. His quirky street art offered his neighbors unexpected, new ways of interacting with each other and with urban space. Jack plans to study Art at Yale University.

Alexander Bohr (Coventry High School, Coventry, CT).  Caring deeply about the need to raise awareness about environmental sustainability and the need for more healthy food in his high school cafeteria and local food pantries, Alexander addressed both issues simultaneously by building a solar-powered aquaponic geodesic dome at his school that will help educate and feed his community. He will study Environmental Science at the University of Connecticut.

Gavrielle Kamen (Georgetown Day School, Washington, DC).  Convinced that empathy and communication are the building blocks of world peace, Gavrielle created "Middle East Skype Sessions," an organization that facilitates conversations between teenagers in the U.S. and teenagers in Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Pakistan and Afghanistan. She will major in Performance Studies and Peace and Conflict Resolution, with a minor in Middle East Studies, at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.

Ana Larrazolo (Veterans Memorial High School, Brownsville, TX).  Despite the discrimination and hostility, widespread illiteracy, and tremendous poverty endured by the Mexican American residents of the Rio Grande Valley, where Ana lives, Ana knew that the region was also a site of vibrant creativity. She founded an artist collective in South Texas, "Artistas de la Frontera," to help poets, painters, photographers, muralists, and others inspire and support one another through poetry slams, exhibits, and a zine. She will study Acting at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.

Neal Soni WATCH VIDEO (Staples High School, Westport, CT).  After seeing his grandfather suffer from excruciating low back pain, Neal devoted himself to developing an ingenious process to reduce the scarring that often occurs during back surgery. Combining the use of hydrogels with modeling prototype spinal columns through 3-D printing, Neal's innovative intervention could have revolutionary and global impact. He will be a high school senior in 2017-2018.

George Stefanakis WATCH VIDEO (Bronx High School of Science, Bronx, NY).   The distinctive mathematical model and unorthodox conceptual framework in computational science that George developed can pave the way for a potentially groundbreaking approach to resolving some obstacles to the development of a large-scale quantum computer. He will major in Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

William Yin (Greenwich High School, Greenwich, CT).  Troubled that there was no user-friendly, low-cost diagnostic test for the early detection of atherosclerosis—the leading precursor to heart attacks and strokes and the leading cause of death worldwide—William filled this gap with a creative, life-saving device of his own design.  He developed an inexpensive, self-administered, tattoo-based biosensor patch resembling a Band-Aid that can reliably detect arterial plaque build-up. He will study Bioengineering and Computer Science at Stanford University.

2017 Honorable Mentions

Christopher Arrandale (Daniel Hand High School, Madison, CT)  designed an innovative 3D printing curriculum for middle school students. He will be a high school senior in 2017-18.

Melissa Gurzenda (St. Paul Catholic High School, Bristol, CT) invented a lap desk with a crank-powered light to help children in areas without electricity read and write at night. She will study Entrepreneurship at Bryan University.

Dana Joseph (Engineering and Science University Magnet School, West Haven, CT) created inventive classes called "Code Pink, Code Blue, Code You" to encourage girls to explore computer science. She will study Biomedical Engineering at Yale University. 

Jeffrey Richiez (Urban Assembly Gateway School for Technology, New York, NY) developed software that helps teachers and guidance staff at his school do their jobs more efficiently.  He will study Computer Science at the State University of New York, New Paltz.

Elora Rosedale (Canton High School, Canton, CT) produced thoughtful chemotherapy companion bags to provide comfort and aid to patients going through chemotherapy.  She will attend the University of Hartford.

Kadir Sahin (Engineering and Science University Magnet School, West Haven, CT) developed an online, student-written publication to inform students city-wide of what is happening in all the high schools in the New Haven area and to give all students the chance to hone their skills as journalists and photographers.   He will be a high school senior in 2017-2018.

Skyler Szot (Farmington High School, Farmington, CT) designed and built durable turtle basking platforms that will enhance the health and wellbeing of the local turtle population while allowing park visitors to view the turtles.  He will study Biomedical Engineering at Trinity College in Hartford, CT.

2016 Winners

Ting Gao (Mount Saint Mary Academy, Kenmore, NY).  Finding that many students with special needs or financial difficulties whom she tutored at her local library couldn't afford basic school supplies, Ting wanted to find a way to help. She founded a student-run non-profit that provides essential school supplies year round, not just during the back-to-school time period. The group pays for them by collecting empty ink cartridges and old electronics from local businesses, essentially establishing a "recycling network." The 50-member student-run organization has distributed more than a thousand items at five high schools in Western New York—including two new printers and five laptop computers. She plans to study biomedical engineering at Yale.

Chinanu Gubor 
(Hill Regional Career High School, New Haven, CT) Chinanu, who was born and raised in the US, was concerned that children in her family's village in Nigeria lacked basic  information to protect themselves  from disease. To help them learn about hygiene, first aid and disease prevention, she developed creative, illustrated kid-friendly teaching materials and raised funds to distribute them along with first aid kits to 470 children in  the village—the start, she hopes, of a health curriculum that will help them recognize, avoid, and treat malaria and typhoid. She will study Pre-Med/Physiology and Neurobiology at the University of Connecticut. 

Kianjai Huggan (Housatonic Valley Regional High School, Falls Village, CT). Kianjai became interested in finding a Smartphone software program that would help blind people better scan signs, books and other items after discovering the struggle a friend of hers had with having to read Braille as a germophobe. Kianjai developed the coding for a program that will allow Braille to be read through a camera and spoken out as audio, allowing  Braille text to be read at the touch of a button. She is developing software that will be compatible  with Braille keyboards. She plans to study computer science at the University of Connecticut.

Abigail Kelly
(Sacred Heart Academy, Hamden, CT).  Aware of the role that the lack of disinfectants play in spreading disease in Africa, Abigail devised an experiment to convert mangoes and oranges into ethanol using a simple fermentation/distillation process and researched the economics involved. She found that converting surplus fruit to ethanol could economically produce large amounts of effective alcohol-based disinfectant for hand sanitizers and other uses that could help stem the spread of Ebola and other infectious disease in poor West African countries. She is a high school junior.

Xerxes Libsch WATCH VIDEO (Regis High School, New York, NY).  Returning to an area in which he had camped as a child, Xerxes was appalled to see manure and animal waste polluting a stream that fed into drinking water reservoirs serving New York City, and invasive species of plants crippling the local ecosystem. After researching the best ways to restore and revive the ecology of the farm and the area around it, he inspired and led many volunteers to dig a new waste management system, remove invasive plants, and build a learning center that will serve the public for years to come. He plans to study mechanical engineering at Princeton.

Helen Liu (Amity Regional High School, Orange, CT). Aware that lysosome dysfunction in cells reduces their ability to break down, recycle and reuse materials—a problem that can lead to disorders such as Gaucher Disease—Helen sought to find an efficient and low-cost way to support healthy lysosome function using chaperone-based therapy. Her experiment paves the way for a novel drug treatment for Gaucher Disease.  She plans to study biochemistry at Stanford University.

Sabina London (Northern Valley Regional High School, Demarest, NJ). Troubled by the lack of girls in her advanced science and math classes freshman year in high school, Sabina founded   "Girls Science Interactive," a non-profit   that provides free STEM summer camps for elementary- and middle-school girls. Focused around group discussions and hands-on experiments, the girls who attend the camp learn about topics such as energy and matter, global warming and renewable energy, astronomy, chemistry and neuroscience. Sabina has worked with other high school and college students to organize similar camps in their communities, and has helped raise funds for them. Camps are now offered in Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. She plans to study biology or cognitive and brain sciences at Tufts University.


2016 Honorable Mentions


Ariel Creamer (Edward R. Murrow High School, Brooklyn, New York). After watching Hurricane Sandy destroy her community, Ariel created Survivors Silver Lining. Using Facebook to match generous donors with children who had lost cherished items in the storm, she got a large Lego collection to  a child who loved Legos but had lost his own, and over sixty bikes to replace bikes lost in the storm. She is a high school junior.

Dongbeom Eem (Saratoga High School, Saratoga, California) Tapping into both his passion for music and desire to help others, Dongbeom created, the Great Ensemble of Musicians,  a program that encourages advanced students to give free music lessons to younger students in his high school and that increased students' proficiency as musicians and also helped develop a sense of community at the school. He will study economics and history at Columbia University.

Yamiya Fowlkes (School Without Walls, Washington DC) conducted an innovative and ambitious aerospace engineering study to determine how to increase fuel efficiency in aircraft by evaluating wing geometry and other aspects of an aircraft's construction. She plans to study aeronautical engineering at New York University.

Isabelle Geller (Hill Regional Career High School, New Haven, CT) After researching the issue herself, Isabelle devised creative ways of making students in both privileged and underserved communities near her home more aware of the complex issue of education inequality. She will study political science at the University of Connecticut.

Catherine Hua (Brooklyn Technical High School, Brooklyn, NY). Concerned by the fact that antibiotic-resistant bacteria increasingly challenge the effectiveness of current antibiotics, Catherine Hua conducted an innovative experiment to synthesize novel antibiotics that would be less vulnerable to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. She will study biochemistry at Johns Hopkins University.

Jonas Lustbader (Hamden Hall Country Day School, Hamden, CT).  To encourage a love of reading among children with few books in their homes, Jonas created The Gift of Words, an organization that has presented over 1300 kindergarten through fourth-grade children with individually-selected books on their birthdays.  He is a high school junior.

 Anuoluwapo Osibajo (The Frederick Douglass Academy, New York City) created a free photo-journalism publication, "OKIDS," to explore serious issues such as poverty and hunger for a diverse global audience of children in the United States, United Kingdom the Philippines, Japan, and Ethiopia. She plans to major in political science and economics at Georgetown University.

Nicholas Serrambana (Classical Magnet High School, Hartford, Connecticut).  Fascinated by the accessibility of music and its potential to serve as a catalyst for change, Nicholas organized a multifaceted conference (that included improvisation workshops and hands-on playing experiences). He also organized  a music festival that attracted hundreds of people from across Connecticut and that raised funds for a charity dedicated to mental health issues that honored a child killed at Sandy Hook Elementary.  He will study philosophy and math at Yale.

Tessa Southwell (Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, Rolling Hills Estates, California).  Having had her own love of writing sparked by her involvement in the newspaper she cofounded in her elementary school, Tessa organized PressFriends, a student volunteer group that helps 3000 diverse and underprivileged elementary-school students create, design, and run newspapers in their schools. She also created a range of other programs that help volunteer student mentors inspire children   to explore creative opportunities they would not otherwise be able to experience or afford. She will study acting at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.


2015 Winners

Antonia Ayres-Brown (Hopkins School, New Haven, CT)  Antonia resented the fact that McDonald's forced children to conform to gender stereotypes by referring to toys in their Happy Meals as "girl toys" and "boy toys" and asking families to choose which they preferred—a practice McDonald's denied. Antonia conducted an experiment to prove otherwise and led a successful campaign to get the McDonald's Corporation to officially change their policy. They now allow children to choose the toy they prefer without reference to gender. She plans to double major in gender studies and theatre studies at Yale.

Annie Blumenfeld (Fairfield Warde High School, Fairfield, CT) WATCH VIDEO Distressed to learn that the adorable shaggy dog she adopted suffered from a painful disease that was expensive to treat—and also totally preventable—Annie decided to educate the public about heartworm. After founding an organization to promote heartworm awareness, she succeeded in getting information about heartworm added to dog licenses in Connecticut. She also painted and sold a series of portraits of people's dogs to support shelter animals' medical needs. She is currently a high school junior.

Andrea Gonzales (Hunter College High School, New York, NY) Andrea used the computer skills she acquired through Girls Who Code to try to remove some of the stigma, silence, and invisibility associated with menstruation. Andrea co-created a video game called "Tampon Run," which playfully replaces the hypersexualized women avatars common to the world of gaming with spunky, tampon-wielding girls, thereby chipping away at "menstrual taboo" in American society. She is currently a high school junior.

Emma Goodman (Greenwich High School) Emma got interested in antibiotic resistance and wound healing after her grandmother almost died from an infected wound. Knowing that silver was effective in small doses for treating wounds, but that in large doses it was toxic, Emma tried blending silver with manuka honey to create a wound treatment that was just as effective as silver but with lower toxicity. Her experiment was a success. She plans to study cognitive science at Yale.

Erica Lin (Hunter College High School, New York, NY).  Family members' struggles with cancer helped prompt Erica to learn more about the disease. She applied insights into the EMT (Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition) phenomenon from a biology class to laboratory research in the field of perineural invasion (the process by which cancer cells invade nerves). She uncovered a connection that had not been recognized before and that could have important implications for treating cancer. She plans to major in health and human biology at Brown University. 

Jazz Munitz (Hendrick Hudson High School, Montrose, NY) Jazz was long intrigued with the potential of nanoparticles to play a key role in cancer treatment. Melding technology, biology, and ingenuity, he developed and tested elegant and simply tiny nanoscale drug delivery structures that could lead to low-cost, effective cancer treatments. He plans to be a pre-med/bioethics major at Cornell University, with a minor in business and/or psychology.

Shiva Nathan (Westford Academy, Westford, MA) Shiva's cousin had lost her arms in an accident; but the prosthetic arms she was given were expensive and hard to use. Inspired by her problems, Shiva developed an innovative, low-cost, open-source, high-quality prosthetic arm designed to improve the quality of life of amputees like his cousin. The microcontroller-based prosthesis he designed is controlled by a user's thoughts, and represents a complex integration of hardware and software.  The brainwave-controlled prosthetic hand and arm are easy to use and inexpensive to manufacture. Shiva is currently a high school junior.

Jillian Noyes (Old Saybrook High School, Old Saybrook, CT). Jillian's personal struggles with Asperger's Syndrome and her father's struggle with depression and mental instability helped Jillian realize how little understanding there was of mental illness in her community. The moving and powerful short documentary she produced about mental illness in Connecticut, which included on-camera interviews with people dealing with mental illness themselves, helped break down prevalent myths, educate the public, and build awareness about a set of issues society often prefers to bury under the rug. She plans to study at Connecticut College.

Peter Russell (Greenwich High School, Greenwich, CT) During a high school band trip to Cuba, Peter was struck by the lack of infrastructure in the country his grandparents had once called home.  He developed a phone charger that would take advantage of one resource that is abundantly available on the island: sunlight. The powerful solar charger he invented (which has a capacity of 80.5% of an iPhone 3G battery) uses a new type of capacitor that leverages advanced materials for improved flexibility and functionality, and can charge 20% of maximum voltage after only one minute in sunlight. He plans to study electrical engineering at Princeton University.

Neil Suri (Hackley School, Tarrytown, NY).  As a saxophone player in his school band, Neil was well aware of the extent to which the reeds in wind instruments served as breeding grounds for bacteria that posed known health risks to musicians. He played a key role in developing a reed sanitizing cap—a device that attaches to the mouthpiece of a wind instrument to protect and sanitize reeds. He is currently a high school junior.


2015 Honorable Mentions


Mishelle Andersen (Hill Regional Career High School, New Haven, CT) started an art club in her school to create art for local hospice patients. She plans to study biology at The University of Connecticut.

Justin Fargiano (Bethel High School, Bethel, CT) engaged his entire community in the arts by creating a recurring, massive festival, which showcases student photography, film and digital media in his town. He plans to study film at New York University.

Kemani Harriott (Classical Magnet School, Hartford, CT) produced a compelling short documentary about human trafficking in Connecticut. She plans to study physical therapy at the University of Hartford.

Karam Lyons (Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, Baltimore, MD) built inexpensive 3D-printed prosthetic hands that would be especially useful for children suffering from Amniotic Band Syndrome. He plans to study at New York University.

Anubhuti Mathur (Glastonbury High School, Glastonbury, CT) conducted innovative research on the ability of an antioxidant found in green tea to arrest the progressive degeneration of cartilage among osteoarthritis patients. She plans to study Columbia University.

Katarina Poynor (Brewster High School, Brewster, NY) experimented with a glove containing non-Newtonian fluids that could help protect construction workers from getting Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. She plans to study at Binghamton University – State University of New York.

Shayan Roychoudhury (Daniel Hand High School, Madison, CT) conducted an innovative experiment using technology used in auto shock absorbers (ferro-fluids) to make a prosthetic finger more flexible, responsive, and lifelike. He plans to study biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University.


2014 Winners

Paige Alenick (Woodcliff Lake, NJ): Aware of the fact that poor oral health leads to a range of serious medical problems that negatively impact the lives of more people around the world than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined, Paige created an organization to address this problem one toothbrush at a time. "Donate-a-Toothbrush" has collected donations of over 101,000 new toothbrushes from individuals and manufacturers that have been distributed by an NGO to over 60 countries. She is a freshman at New York University, where she plans to major in Cognitive Science. [NYU]

Devin Gund (Ridgefield, Connecticut): Hurricanes and storms frequently cripple power lines and halt communication in Devin's hometown, leaving students and their families literally in the dark about emergency measures and scheduling changes. Devin used his passion for programming to create a mobile application for the school system that provides families with a constant link to emergency alerts. The app he designed also provides access to teacher websites, student and sports schedules, grades, attendance, and homework, in addition to providing notifications of alerts and closings for every school. The software company he created is customizing the app for other school systems around the country. He is a recent graduate of Ridgefield High School and plans to study Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. [Carnegie Mellon].

Janine Kerr (Danbury, CT): When Zebra Mussels began invading lakes in Connecticut, causing negative environmental and economic consequences, Janine was concerned, since the only method of controlling the infestation involved putting environmentally dangerous chemicals into the water. The independent research she undertook made her aware of a kind of sponge found off the coast of Indonesia on which mollusks didn't grow, despite the fact that they grew on coral reefs and other sponges all around them. Janine designed a controlled experiment to test whether a chemical derived from the mollusk-free sponge could inhibit mollusk growth in Connecticut waters; she designed another experiment to determine whether the chemical was environmentally safe. Her positive results could serve as the basis for a plan to rid Connecticut lakes of this invasive species. A senior at Danbury High School, she plans to study Environmental Management in college [College undecided]

Angus MacMullen (New Haven, CT): How do you get ten- to fourteen-year-olds excited about learning electronic circuitry? Angus met this challenge by designing a class at the Eli Whitney Museum around a creative project that captured their imaginations: building a simple modular analog synthesizer whose components could be randomly connected and knobs turned at whim to create some "wonderfully annoying sound effects." He is a recent graduate of Hopkins School, and plans to study Electrical Engineering at MIT. [MIT] 

Eve McNally (San Mateo, CA): As she walked home from school on a sunny California afternoon, Eve was struck by all the oranges and lemons lying in people's yards, at the base of the trees from which they had fallen; she knew that much of this surplus fruit—more than the families could consume—would simply rot. She also knew first-hand how scarce fresh produce was at local food pantries. Eve founded "Picking for Hunger" to match people whose trees produced more fruit than they needed with high school students who would pick the fruit before it spoiled and deliver it to local food pantries. The idea took off and is spreading to other schools. A senior at Aragon High School, Eve has not decided yet on what her major in college will be. [College undecided]

Matthew O'Connell (Commack, NY): WATCH VIDEO How does one communicate proper instructions for taking a medication to people who do not speak the language of the prescriber, or who are illiterate, visually-impaired or hearing-impaired? Matthew combined his interests in computer science, health, and medicine to address this problem. He developed an innovative computer program that utilizes translations, audio instruction, and pictograms to better relay medication instructions. The International Pharmaceutical Federation has put a link to it on their website, and hundreds of prescribers around the world have used it. A senior at Commack High School, Matthew plans to major in Software Engineering in college. [College undecided]

Brook Peters (New York, NY): Brook's second day of kindergarten was in a school located near the Twin Towers on 9/11. Ten years later, he shot, edited and produced a compelling and creative film that conveyed with immediacy and sensitivity what it felt like for his peers and their teachers to bear witness to that awful chapter of history. He also shot, edited and produced a series of sensitive documentaries about veterans. All of his films inspire people to appreciate the resilience of which they are capable. A high school senior, he is undecided about what his college major will be. [College undecided]

David Li (Commack High School, Commack, New York) The damage to landlines, cell phone service, and internet connections that often accompanies natural disasters can put individuals who depend on at-home durable medical equipment such as dialysis machines, ventilators, and cardiac monitors at great risk. David developed a novel, effective, and potentially life-saving Durable Medical Equipment tracker involving ad hoc radio networks formed among devices at a patient's home to allow information about their medical equipment to be transmitted to and from a local hospital. He is a currently a high.


2014 Honorable Mentions

Ahmed Abdelqader (Brooklyn, NY):  While in high school, Ahmed recognized that many middle-school children are often scared of math or convinced that they are "bad at it." To spark children's interest in math, he and a friend created "MathMatters!"—a program in which high school students design creative lesson plans that introduce middle-school students to Game Theory, Graph Theory, and Combinatorics in simple, enjoyable and easy-to-understand ways. The program has spread to several middle schools in Brooklyn, and Ahmed continues to develop it while studying Electrical Engineering at City College of New York. [City of College of NY]

Saliyah George (Brooklyn, NY): Do Brooklyn establishments have sufficient accommodations for the disabled? Saliyah set out to find out by conducting a community-based, participatory research project entitled "Barrier Busters," in which she developed an assessment tool listing some 20 accommodations that establishments should offer people with disabilities and rated over 60 local businesses. Her presentations about what she found have helped raise awareness about health disparities in her community. A recent graduate of Nazareth Regional High School, she plans to major in Public Health at Franklin and Marshall College. [Franklin and Marshall]

Razieme Iborra (Masillon, Ohio): Razieme wanted to use her passion for filmmaking and editing to help teenagers in foster care deal with the challenges that they face. In consultation with a therapist, she developed "The Action/Cut Project," a ten-week-long film program exposing teenagers at a local center for teens in foster care to all aspects of filmmaking. The young filmmakers found the opportunity to create films about their lives empowering and therapeutic. A recent graduate of Perry High School, she plans to study film and television at Tisch School for the Arts at NYU. [Tisch at NYU] 

Thomas Kazi (Wilton, CT): Recognizing that children with serious physical and mental disabilities in a special needs class in his school had few opportunities to interact with nature, Thomas built a hydroponic therapy center in their classroom. Planting seeds, nurturing them, and watching them sprout and grow turned out to be a good way for these students to reduce their stress. The parents group for a class of children with autism in his school decided to duplicate the "natural cure for stress" that Thomas came up with in their own children's classroom. A recent graduate of Wilton High School, he plans to major in finance at Roger Williams University. [Roger William]

Jeffrey Marano (Brewster, NY): The tremors that Jeffrey experienced as a result of a vitamin deficiency related to his Celiac Disease were successfully treated by a strict vitamin therapy; but he knew not all tremors could be treated or limited as easily. He developed an innovative brace for everyday use by patients suffering from essential tremors, the most commonly diagnosed neurological movement disorder. The distinctive mechanism of the brace he designed can provide effective and noninvasive relief. A recent graduate of Brewster High School, he plans to study Biomedical Engineering at Boston University. [Boston University]

Stefanos Tai (New York, NY):  Having witnessed the extensive damage caused by Hurricane Sandy and the ways in which it disrupted people's lives, Stefanos was upset that people around him were not more concerned about the increasingly unpredictable weather New York suffered, and its connection to climate change. Stefanos wrote, shot and directed an imaginative film inspired by his concern about climate change and his desire to help people recognize themselves as the "vulnerable, dependent, and insignificant animals that we are"—a prerequisite in his view, for respecting the earth and ensuring our survival. It debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival. He is studying Filmmaking at Savannah College of Art and Design. [Savannah College of Art and Design] 

Suge Zhang (New Haven, CT): Suge creatively combined traditional Chinese storytelling (Pingsh), a representative art form of Chinese street culture, and techniques of modern western theatre to bring a well-known early twentieth-century Chinese play (Thunderstorm by Cao Yu) alive for a contemporary American audience. Her original translation, adaptation and imaginative staging of the play – in which she artfully portrayed five different characters – captivated her audience.  A recent graduate of Wilbur Cross High School and ACES Educational Center for the Arts, she plans to study Social Work and Theatre Studies at NYU. [NYU]

Rachel Zwick (New Haven, CT): Inspired by the memory of a friend who shared her love of theatre but who died of bone cancer before graduation, Rachel created, directed and produced dramatizations of a series of popular young children's books for hospitalized children at Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital. The performance gave patients and their families a welcome respite from the strain of dealing with childhood illness. A recent graduate of Co-op High School, she plans to study Theatre at Southern Connecticut State University. [Southern Connecticut State University]

2013 Winners

Aiden Ford (Bethel High School, Bethel, CT) Pigeons are smart, social birds who can distinguish shape and number, get lonely, and experience grief. How do they recognize each other when they are too far apart to be seen? Building on her talent for math, music, and patterns, Aiden devised a methodology that allowed her to demonstrate that male pigeons have distinctive individual signature calls by which other pigeons recognize them. Aiden plans to major in Physiology and Neurobiology at the University of Connecticut.

Luis Hernandez (Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies, Brooklyn, NY) Knowing from personal experience the ways in which a negative body image can affect a young person's self-esteem and self-worth, Luis wrote a screenplay and directed a film that treated the subject with humor and compassion. Luis plans to attend the University of Southern California.

Ryan Kerr (Danbury High School, Danbury, CT) Living in a region plagued by ticks carrying Lyme Disease, Ryan wanted to develop an environmentally-safe way to control the tick population. After collecting ticks by using himself as bait in forested areas near his home and collecting engorged ticks from his neighbors' dogs, Ryan devised experiments that proved the that introducing microscopic roundworms (nematodes) into the soil could effectively decrease tick populations. He plans to major in Statistics and Applied Mathematics at Harvard.

Alejandro Meran (Common Ground High School, New Haven, CT) Troubled by the fact that senior citizens in his city have little access to healthy, fresh, affordable produce, Alejandro was the leader of a team project in his school, "Fresh Food Heroes", that distributed fruits and vegetables grown by students at the school and by local farmers to senior homes and shelters at subsidized cost through "mobile markets." Alejandro plans to major in Computer Science at the University of Connecticut.

Lindsey Noskin (Greenwich High, Greenwich, CT) WATCH VIDEO How can you make a better brick? Or at least a more energy-efficient one? Lindsey experimented and came up with a novel approach using a secret ingredient: coffee grounds! By mixing coffee grounds into the bricks before they were fired, she discovered that minute air pockets were created, adding significantly to the bricks' ability to retain heat or cold. Lindsey plans to major in Engineering at Cornell University

Ankeeta Shah (Dobbs Ferry High School, Dobbs Ferry, NY) Summer trips to India underlined for Ankeeta both the dire effects of hunger and the challenge of transporting food with high nutritional value over long distances. While the shelf-life of cucumbers is commonly extended with a petroleum-based wax, Ankeeta did experiments to demonstrate that a natural, healthy, edible coating worked just as well. She plans to major in chemistry at Barnard.

2013 Honorable Mentions

Xiuqi Cao (Century High School, Rochester, Minnesota) devised tests that determined which forms of algae were best suited to the bioremediation of crude oil spills. He plans to major in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at Yale.

Leslie Finnie (Eleanor Roosevelt High School, New York) designed "The Umbrella Canopy," an ingenious and attractive solution to the problem of daytime heat in the large open courtyard of an art museum. She plans to major in Architecture/Interior Design Savannah College of Art and Design.

Meggan Gildehaus (St. Paul's School, Concord, New Hampshire) created an inventive public service video designed to help young women resist the tyranny of images of "perfect" female beauty projected by mass-circulation women's magazines and embrace more realistic and healthy ideas about who they are. She plans to study at the Clive Davis Institute of Music at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.

Susan Jao (Commack High School, Commack, New York) developed a series of imaginative pieces of playground equipment designed for children with cerebral palsy. She plans to study neuroscience or biology at Columbia University.

Casey Lipton (Bronx High School of Science, Bronx, New York) conducted a clever research project to determine the most effective method for predicting a person's risk of getting pancreatic cancer. She plans to major in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ryan Malpass (Dobbs Ferry High School, Dobbs Ferry, NY) pursued innovative research on stem cells that could lead to the development of non-addictive pain medication. He plans to major in Cellular Biology at Yale.

Anna Movsheva (Bronx High School of Science & Townsend Harris High School, Flushing, NY)
constructed a creative mathematical model for evolution. She plans to major in Physics at Brown University.

Jaclyn Murphy (Arlington High School, Lagrangeville, NY and Marist College) Inspired by the support of her fellow athletes in her own recovery from a brain tumor, Jacklyn created a foundation that pairs children battling brain tumors with collegiate and high school sports teams throughout the country to help them motivate and inspire each other.

Miles Pope (Belen Jesuit Prep, Miami) took recycling to a new level by creating strikingly original and attractive fashions out of materials that are normally discarded, such as biodegradable rope, plastic bags and twigs. He will study Strategic Design and Management at Parsons the New School for Design.

Eileen Quirk (Staten Island Tech, Staten Island, NY) creatively researched the relationship between the number of trees and the ozone levels in high schools in her community, leading to successful efforts to remediate the air quality surrounding her school by planting more trees. She plans to major in Environmental Engineering at Manhattan College.

Shiyu (Jennifer) Zhuang (Amity Regional High School, Amity, CT) conducted original research to better detect vulnerabilities and risk factors for heart disease. Her findings have the potential to help deter progressive heart failure and better detect "silent" heart attacks before they cause irreversible damage. She plans to double-major in Finance and Biology at New York University.


2012 Winners

Elizabeth Dente, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey (Bergen County Academies) Recognizing the high cost of many wound repair treatments, Elizabeth Dente sought a cost-effective way of making skin wounds heal more quickly. When her school accidentally ordered a different substance than the one she had requested Elizabeth decided to experiment with the potential wound-healing properties of the synthetic compound that arrived. She combined Benzoin with a natural anti-oxidant, olive fruit extract, and developed an effective delivery system. Neither this combination of substances nor this delivery system had been used for skin repair previously. Her experiment was a success. She plans to study biomedical engineering at Columbia University.

Ryota Ishiuka, Cos Cob, Connecticut (Greenwich High)
. Given that there is never any shortage of human waste, but there is always a shortage of energy, Ryota decided to experiment on how to use waste water itself as a potential energy source. The prototype he created of an independent microbial fuel cell to drive a bioelectrochemically-assisted wastewater treatment reactor was the first of its kind to be able to generate significant levels of hydrogen using waste as the only input source. It has the potential to be widely replicated in developing nations where stable electricity grids are not readily available. He plans to study applied mathematics at Harvard.

Moshin Jawed, Wilton, Connecticut (Wilton High). Moshin Jawed had a passion for math that his classmates didn't share. Where his classmates saw only endless memorization, Moshin saw intriguing patterns and connections. Moshin wrote TRIGgering the Genius in You, a new guide that reconceptualizes trigonometry to stress pattern recognition rather than strict memorization, teaching students to recognize and build on fundamental patterns to achieve higher levels of comprehension. He plans to study pattern-recognition at the crossroads of mathematics and medicine in the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute/Albany Medical College's Seven-Year Accelerated Physician-Scientist program.

Angad Singh, Milton Georgia (Milton High).
In an atmosphere of increasingly violent attacks on young Sikhs like himself in the U.S., Angad recognized the importance of documenting the stories of young people who were Sikh and American. He made a documentary--Roots and Wings--to help Sikh youths across the U.S. gain acceptance in their communities and recognize that they one did not have to "give up one's cultural roots in order to achieve one's dreams and fly on one's wings." The moving documentary has been screened in hundreds of schools around the country. Angad hopes that studying political science and film at Columbia University will help him continue to use media as a tool to change the world.

Alex Urbach, Roslyn Heights, NY (Roslyn High ). Alex knew that millions of children in the developing world fail to get the kind of science, math and health education that they desperately need to address their society's problems because they are illiterate, and fail to attend school regularly because of health problems. Alex developed an animated cartoon curriculum for teaching science, math and healthcare to elementary school children; he also created an organization, Giving from the Ground Up, to distribute both the curriculum and healthcare supplies and to fund the building of wells for clean water near schools. His cartoon-animated curriculum is being used in two villages in Ghana, Giving from the Ground Up has also built wells and delivered toothbrushes, toothpaste, and other supplies. Currently a high school junior, Alex hopes to expand this ambitious initiative to other parts of the developing world. He plans to study film and history in college.

Zizi Yu, Woodbridge, CT (Amity Regional High). The guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics over the last decade emphasize avoiding food allergens in early childhood to avoid irritating young children's sensitive digestive tracts. But Zizi suspected these guidelines were wrong and that the opposite was true: that "lack of exposure allergens and pathogens in the first few years of life could result in under-activization of the immune system and a subsequent lack of tolerance even for ordinary, innocuous substances." Zizi tested her theory by surveying the diet and allergy history reported by parents of 258 children between the ages of 14 and 18. She hopes her research will help prompt pediatricians' to re-evaluate their guidelines. She plans to study biology or environmental engineering at Yale University.

2012 Honorable Mentions

Rana Abdelhamid, Flushing, NY (Middlebury College). Troubled by women's vulnerability to domestic violence around the world, Rana, a black belt in karate, founded "Unbreakable Strength," a women's empowerment program that has used dialogue and instruction in self-defense to help at-risk young women in New York and Mexico. Rana is freshman majoring in political science at Middlebury College.

Martina Carrillo, Bronx, NY (La Guardia Community College). Knowing first-hand the isolation that made being an undocumented immigrant youth so difficult, Martina helped create a space "where undocumented immigrants can come together, speak about their situation without fear, and feel part of the community," and also developed a website that provides them with current information about immigration issues. Martina is studying social science and humanities at LaGuardia Community College

Hillary Dadio-Perone, Hamden, CT (Hamden High). Passionate about making the next generation aware of the importance of sustainable food, Hillary developed an innovative class for seven- to nine-year-olds at the Eli Whitney Museum in Hamden, Ct. that included planting a "pizza" garden and learning how to dry and preserve food. Hillary will study agricultural economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Mary E. Kaufman, Southbury, CT (Pomperaug High). Mary's six-month-old sister suffered from severe eczema that was aggravated by the tiny cast she had to wear on her arm, that she used as "a personal face scratcher." To prevent her sister from scratching herself raw with her cast and tiny fingernails, Mary sewed long sleeves stitched together at the bottom, made of soft fabric, to all the baby's shirts, allowing her to move freely without being able to scratch herself. Within a week her condition improved greatly. Mary will study marine biology and psychology at the University of Miami.

Shanawaj Kair, Flushing, NY (John Browne High). Long intrigued by research on the roots of obesity, Shanawaj designed an experimental research proposal, persuaded local college professor in a local college to mentor him, and got biotech companies to donate materials he needed for his experiments. The result was an innovative study of the correlation between body mass index and the frequency of certain gut bacteria in mice. Shanawaj will study biology at Stony Brook University.

Moussaffa Khan, Astoria, NY (Health Professions High). Aware of the high rate of violence against women in Bangladesh and Pakistan, Moussaffa sought and received funding from the United Nations Entity for Gender Equity and the Empowerment of Women to help her and her team create compounds in Bangladesh and Pakistan that would be safe spaces for victims of domestic abuse. She will be studying pharmacy or biochemistry at Long Island University.

Ayisha McHugh, Brooklyn, NY (Poly Prep). When Struck by the lack of any forum in which students at Poly Prep could discuss issues of diversity in constructive ways, Ayisha founded L.E.A.D.( "Listen. Educate. Appreciate Diversity."). It has markedly increased communication on sensitive issues at her school. Ayisha plans to attend Colgate University.

Melissa Seto, Brooklyn, NY (Stuyvesant High). Melissa was troubled by the urban air pollution she encountered in New York and during a trip to China. She hopes that the innovative research she conducted on whether green roofs could reduce microscopic particles in the air that contribute to respiratory or cardiovascular disorders will encourage the city to support the construction of many more green roofs. Melissa plans to study environmental science at Columbia.

Jacob Wolf-Sorokin, Brookline, MA (Brookline High). Although the state budget cuts affected all youth across the state, young people in the suburbs and the city had never seen their fates as linked until Jacob and some fellow teenagers founded an organization to unite urban and suburban youth in fighting against these cuts together. The organization, YMORE—Youth of Massachusetts Organizing for a Reformed Economy—successfully lobbied the legislature to restore some of the cuts. Jacob plans to major in environmental studies or political science at Yale.

Grace Young, New York, NY (Trinity School). Despite the fact that one-sixth of the world's population lives in rural China, Grace found that there was no organization devoted to helping children there get an education. The organization Grace founded--Under the Same Sky-- has raised funds to send 30 children in Yunnan and Shanxi to school. Currently a high school junior, Grace plans to major in Molecular and Cell Biology and minor in literature before entering an MD/PhD program.


2011 Winners

Sivan Battat, Woodbridge, CT  (Amity High School, Woodbridge, CT/ ACES-ECA, New Haven, CT)  Having grown up in a Jewish community that made her aware of the concept of genocide and the phrase "never again" at an early age, Sivan Battat found herself growing increasingly disturbed at her peers' lack of awareness of the ongoing crisis in Darfur, Sudan.   After consulting a local Holocaust survivor and a Darfur survivor, Sivan wrote and produced an original play entitled Forever Running as a vehicle for increasing young people's awareness of genocide. The play melded   perspectives rooted in the Holocaust with perspectives drawn from contemporary violence in Darfur  to dramatize the pain and suffering of the victims of genocide. It has been performed for over 1000 students. Sivan plans to major in theatre at Wesleyan University, where a continuing area of interest will be the potential of theatre to help ignite social change. 

Claire Pershan, Hamden, CT (Hopkins School, New Haven)
. When she learned that budget cuts had forced schools in New Haven to reduce or in some cases eliminate arts and music programs entirely, Claire Pershan recalled how important music had been to hear own learning experience in school, and decided to take action. Since music and the arts have been essential to Claire Pershan’s own learning experience. Determined to prevent inner-city students in New Haven from being deprived of the opportunity to make music themselves, Claire created “Vocal for Change,” a performing a capella choral group for children in two New Haven schools. Next year she will be studying education, English and environmental studies at Pomona College.

Qu Siying, China and La Grange, NC (Arendell Parrott Academy, Kinston, NC; Wayne Country Day School, Goldsboro, NC). During the nineteen-hour plane ride from China to the U.S., Qu Siying found it impossible to find a comfortable position for sitting or sleeping in her coach-class seat. Her body ached for two days from the contortions she had put it through. Months later that nineteen-hour trip in the other direction was an even greater ordeal for her American host mother, whose medical problems made it even harder for her to sit comfortably. Qu Siying decided to address this problem by using fabric and metal rods to modify a laptop bag into an innovative seat-extender that folds to the size of a  laptop (with a strap that lets it be carried on board as hand luggage) to provide greater comfort for airline travelers. Next year she will study design at Parsons School of Design, hoping to learn the professional skills she needs to work as a fashion designer when she returns home to China.

Joel Luis Suarez, New Haven, CT (Cooperative Arts and Humanities Highs School, New Haven, CT; Eli Whitney High School, Hamden, CT). Joel Suarez never lost sight of the fact that he came from “a low-income urban community in the state with the largest achievement gap in the United States.” He also recognized how crucial it was to him to have had the chance to learn filmmaking techniques from a local non-profit media design studio.  To give children younger than himself a sense that they, too, could find pleasure and satisfaction in the creative arts, Joel  designed  and taught film workshops for “at risk” youth in New Haven. Next year he plans to major in film at Quinnipiac University



Titania Green, Bridgeport, CT (Central Magnet High School, Bridgeport Regional Aquaculture Science & Technology Education Center, Bridgeport, CT) Titania Green was concerned about pollution in the Long Island Sound. Nitrogen being continuously discharged into the Sound was promoting the excessive growth of algae, which in turn was preventing enough sunlight from reaching shallow areas where submerged aquatic vegetation grew--plants that served as a habitat for shellfish and juvenile fish. Titania came up with an experiment that replicated local pollution levels in the lab to explore whether local oysters could help remove excess nitrogen from the waters around them. She is submitting her original findings to a scientific journal. Next year she will major in environmental studies at Green Mountain College.


Claire Pershan, Hamden, CT (Hopkins School, New Haven, CT)  When she learned that budget cuts had forced schools in New Haven to reduce or in some cases eliminate arts and music programs entirely, Claire Pershan recalled how important music had been to her own learning experience in school and decided to take action. Determined to prevent inner-city students in New Haven from being deprived of the opportunity to make music themselves, Claire created "Vocal for Change," a performing a cappella choral group for children in two New Haven schools. Next year she will be studying education, English, and environmental studies at Pomona College. 


Siying Qu, China and La Grange, NC (Arendell Parrott Academy, Kinston, NC; Wayne Country Day School, Goldsboro, NC)  During the nineteen-hour plane ride from China to the U.S., Siying Qu found it impossible to find a comfortable position for sitting or sleeping in her coach-class seat. Her body ached for two days from the contortions she had put it through. Months later that nineteen-hour trip in the other direction was an even greater ordeal for her American host mother, whose medical problems made it even harder for her to sit comfortably. Siying decided to address this problem by using fabric and metal rods to modify a laptop bag into an innovative seat-extender that folds to the size of a laptop (with a strap that lets it be carried on board as hand luggage) to provide greater comfort for airline travelers. Next year she will study design at Parsons The New School for Design, hoping to learn the professional skills she needs to work as a fashion designer when she returns home to China. 


Joel Suarez, New Haven, CT (Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School, New Haven, CT; Eli Whitney High School, Hamden, CT)  Joel Suarez never loses sight of the fact that he came from "a low-income urban community in the state with the largest achievement gap in the United States." He also recognizes how crucial it was for him to have had the chance to learn filmmaking techniques from a local, non-profit, media design studio.  To give children younger than himself a sense that they, too, could find pleasure and satisfaction in the creative arts, Joel designed and taught film workshops for "at risk" youth in New Haven. Next year he plans to major in film at Quinnipiac University. 



Emily (Leah) Kate Larson  (Sharon, MA) Recognizing that observant young Jewish women found no publication that addressed people like themselves, Leah Larson created a magazine to fill that void.  Yaldah, the  magazine for young Jewish girls that she launched, not only fills a need by providing a publication for a group that had trouble seeing their own interests and values reflected in print previously--it also provides an creative outlet for expression for these young women.   Ms. Larson’s high school experience was a combination of the Bais Chomesh school in Toronto and homeschooling; after completing a year of study at the Beit Chana Seminary in Israel, she will attend Stern College of Business at New York University, where she will study business and entrepreneurial studies, English, and graphic design. 

Alexander Hanyu Lin  (Westerly, RI) Distressed by the volume of electronic waste produced in his community, Alexander Lin  came up with some innovative ways of addressing the problem, while at the same time spreading information technology to places where it is greatly needed.  Whether he was initiating a computer recycling program in his community, refurbishing over 300 computers, and collecting large quantities of e-waste, or whether he was educating his community, working to successfully get e-waste legislation passed, and raising funds to create “A Green Bridge across the Digital Divide,” he has made a difference in both his own community and a number of other communities around the world.  His efforts have resulted in the creation of  computer centers in the USA, Sri Lanka, Cameroon, Mexico, Kenya and the Philippines that provide resources and opportunities of the internet to over 7000 individuals. Mr. Lin, who spent part of his high school career at the  Westerly High School in Westerly, Rhode Island, is a graduate of the Williams School in New London, Connecticut.  He will attend Stanford University, where he plans to major in chemical engineering.

Manju Mukesh Malkani (Lyndhurst NJ) Manju Malkani’s observations in a rural clinic in India made her aware of a more widespread problem that disturbed her: Indian teaching hospitals were not providing sorely-needed training in mental health to medical practitioners. To address this problem,  she worked with experts in child psychiatry in the U.S. to develop a series of up-to-date, evidence-based medical lecture modules which are now being streamed to  teaching hospitals in India. Ms. Malkani, who is a graduate of Academies@Englewood, will attend Stern School of Business at New York University, where she plans to major in marketing.

Jacob Donald Ness (New Milford, CT) Avoiding herbicides and pesticides while growing edible and cost-effective crops is a key challenge faced by organic farmers everywhere.  Jacob Ness addressed this challenge as it pertains to edible pumpkins in the Northeast. Rather than simply accepting that were no edible pumpkin varieties that were resistant to powdery mildew, a bane of farmers across the Northeastern U.S., he decided to try to try to create one. His painstaking and inspired experiment allowed him to develop a strain of pumpkins that is both resistant to powdery mildew, and edible--an achievement that will have potentially important implications for organic farmers, making it much more economical for them  to grow an appealing vegetable without harming the environment. He is currently a junior at New Milford High School.

Lorissa Nguyen Pham  (Portland OR) Since vitamin B12 is understood as coming from animal sources rather than plant sources,    B12  deficiencies are a well-known problem confronting both vegetarians and people in developing countries who eat little meat. Lorissa Pham undertook a creative experiment   to find a vegetable-based source of B12 to help address this problem.   Her preliminary success at developing just such a source in cabbage fermented with Lactobacillus offers intriguing possibilities for developing countries.  Ms. Pham, who is a graduate of Oregon Episcopal School, will attend Yale College, where she plans to double-major in biology and creative writing. 

Aayush H. Upadhyay (Miramar, FLA) Most students with perfect scores on virtually any standardized test they took would be pleased with the  congratulations they would get from teachers and parents and would be resigned to the inevitable envy they would get  from  their peers. But Aayush Upadhyay’s response was different: he analyzed the test-taking skills and attitudes that helped him succeed on these tests, and developed a method for teaching them to his fellow students. His school’s principal confirms that the innovative strategies he taught his peers helped raise their test scores significantly. Mr. Upadhyay, who is a graduate of Somerset Academy in Pembroke Pines, Florida, will attend Yale College, where he plans to major in computer science.

Jourdan Brandt Urbach (Roslyn Heights, NY) As a talented and accomplished young musician, Jourdan Urbach  became aware of the unique ways in which music and medicine together could improve pain-management and healing. He used that insight to help empower other young musicians like himself to save lives through music.  “Concerts for a Cure,” sponsored by the philanthropic organization he created, “Children Helping Children,” has encouraged  young conservatory musicians  to hold fund-raising concerts  for a wide range of music therapy programs for children in major medical centers across the country. His efforts have raised millions for the fight against neurological diseases in children, funding innovative medical projects that change the way children are being healed in our hospitals. Mr. Urbach, a graduate of Roslyn High School, will attend Yale College, where he plans to major in neuropsychology and music.

Anna K. Wallant (Ridgefield, CT) Anna Wallant’s interest  in art therapy and the environment combined to prompt her to embark on a project that had positive implications for both.  Troubled by the fact that tremendous numbers of old crayons--which are not biodegradable--simply go to waste in her community, she launched a used-crayon drive and came up with an innovative and well-executed plan to recycle them.  She developed a method for melting the crayons down and molding them into new distinctive, multi-colored crayons which she   enveloped in wrappers bearing messages that encouraged creativity; she then packaged the appealing and functional new crayons in attractive, biodegradable, environment-friendly containers and distributed them to area art therapists. Ms. Wallant, who is a graduate of The Harvey School in Katonah, New York, will attend Pratt Institute, where she plans to major in art education and industrial design.


2010 Honorable Mentions

Heather Leask  (Bozrah, CT) conducted innovative and painstaking original research on how to fabricate devices with memristive properties, an important and promising area  in  electrical engineering. A graduate of Norwich Free Academy in Norwich, CT, she plans to major in chemical engineering at the University of Connecticut.

Stephane E. Fouché (Chestnut Ridge, NY) addressed the challenges faced by other students who, like himself, grew up speaking a language other than English before immigrating to the U.S. by creating  One World Mentoring, a peer-mentoring and peer-tutoring  program designed to help ESL students in his school, Spring Valley High School in Spring Valley, New York. He will attend Harvard College, where he plans to major in international relations.   

Amber S. Moye (New Haven, CT) was troubled by the fact that young African American women in middle school in New Haven were being given little guidance as they made the transition to high school.   When she recognized that they would benefit greatly from being mentored by high school students who shared their background and appreciated the special challenges that they faced, she created a mentoring program geared to their particular needs. A graduate of James Hillhouse High School, Ms. Moye will be attending Howard University, where she plans to major in communications.

Alexander Epstein (New York, NY) addressed a range of problems faced by citizens of New Orlean’s Lower 9th Ward as they tried to rebuild their community by creating, with his peers, the New York 2 New Orleans Coalition. The organization’s efforts helped make it possible for some 800 students volunteers to help rebuild New Orleans.  He has extended his efforts to encourage students to become engaged in initiatives geared towards  sustainability, economic development, food justice, and youth leadership in the Philadelphia community surrounding the college he attends, Temple University, where he is majoring in sociology.

Dylan Jared Assael (Woodbury, NY) conducted original research regarding the relationship between picocyanobactria and silicon that might help chart a new approach for solving environmental challenges in the future. Given the key role that this organism plays in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, his research could have important implications for the ways in which we understand the response of the oceans and atmosphere to global climate change. A graduate of Syosset High School, he will be attending Dartmouth College, where he plans to major in biology and environmental science.

Ishan Sinha (Orange, CT) conducted innovative research on the intersection between neuroscience and music. One project involved using music therapy to help a stroke victim regain speech. Another involved researching the ways in which music can impair driving skills--research which has been incorporated into the middle school curriculum in his town. A graduate of Amity High School in Woodbridge, he will be attending Yale University, where he plans to major in neuroscience and music.

More Past Winners:

Daniel Boccato (Yonkers High School, Yonkers, NY) Recognizing that his community lacked a venue in which students could engage each other--as well as artists, parents and educators--in dialogue on creativity and the arts, Daniel created the ARENAgallery in Yonkers High School. Using his experience as an immigrant to the U.S., Daniel created portraits of himself and of his peers, and invited other teens to express themselves through  media including oil paintings, linoleum prints and video productions that have formed the core of a series of successful exhibitions  of student art organized around intriguing themes such as “Beautiful Audacity.” The gallery embodies the idea that Art can be a mechanism for social change--in Daniel’s words, “posing new problems, urging us to question the status quo and even ourselves.” He currently attends Cooper Union School of Art.


Irina Denisenko (Staten Island Technical High School, Staten Island, NY) Irina was troubled by the fact that when patients are being treated for spinal cord injury, painful and expensive surgery is commonly the only option offered to treat the damage suffered by otherwise-healthy areas of the spine adjacent to the injury. She knew that researchers had met with little success when they tried to stimulate nerve action through the use static magnetic fields. But they had not explored the effectiveness of oscillating and pulsed magnetic fields. After extensive library research, Irina devised and conducted an experiment at the College of Staten Island’s neuroscience lab that demonstrated the potential of oscillating and pulsed magnetic fields to successfully stimulate sciatic nerves.  Conclusions from her research have inspired other researchers to continue to explore the possibilities of repairing damaged nerves without surgical intervention. Irina currently attends the University of Pennsylvania and plans to major in Life Sciences and Management.


Victor M. Flores Jr. (Uniondale High School, Uniondale, NY) Disturbed  by the impact of pesticides on the environment and on the human health,  Victor chose to explore the properties of a natural alternative to chemical pesticides: bio-pesticides known as plant elicitors, which can activate hormonal pathways in plants.   While the use of chemical pesticides has been associated with problems including brain cancer, leukemia, birth defects and diabetes, the use of plant elicitors as a form of pest control has no side effects on humans. Victor conducted experiments that demonstrated not only that plant elicitors were effective in protecting pea plants against pea aphids, but also that they increased the plants’ rate of growth. His work has attracted the interest of professionals working in this field. He currently attends Harvard College.


Christina Yvonne Johnson (Renaissance High School, Bronx, NY) Christina looked around her northeast Bronx neighborhood and realized that she was far from alone in having a weight problem: obesity was almost an epidemic among young people in her community, where parks were unsafe, and where the kind of outdoor activities that helped keep young people fit in other places were fraught with too many dangers to pursue. Christina addressed her own health issues and those of young people in her community by founding “Get Active, Get Healthy.” “Get Active, Get Healthy” addresses childhood obesity through a comprehensive set of prevention initiatives pursued in collaboration with Federal, State and local public agencies and the food industry. It creatively uses the Wii game, aerobics classes, bowling, etc. to combine fitness, exercise, good nutrition and fun.  The program has coordinated a successful campaign to heighten awareness of Childhood Obesity, and to give the community tools to combat it.  It has helped make Christina, and young people in her community, more healthy and fit. She currently attends Penn State University and plans to major in Biology and minor in Theater.


Alexandra Michele Larsen (Stuyvesant High School, New York, NY ) was aware of the fact that early diagnosis of autism could make a huge difference in the effectiveness of various treatments and in the long-term cost of a person's care; but she also knew that general nature of the symptoms made early diagnoses extremely difficult.  Using an MEG (magnetoencephalography) machine, Alexandra found that some specific brain activity in subjects who had already been diagnosed as autistic was not present in subjects who did not have autism. Her research opens up possibilities for diagnosing autism much earlier than has been possible in the past.  Since early intervention dramatically improves the quality of life for an autistic person and his or her family and has the potential to significantly reduce the annual $35 billion cost for care of people with autism in the U.S., her findings have far-reaching implications She currently attends Johns Hopkins University and plans to major in Public Health with a concentration in Neurology.


Olivia Rose Mahler-Haug (Branford High School, Branford, CT) was excited to have the chance to teach a pottery class for children at the Eli Whitney Museum, but was stumped by what to do about the fact that it normally took much more than one week (the duration of the course) to design, craft, and fire pots. Olivia met this challenge by creating an innovative one-week “micropottery” class and portable clay studio that   condensed the process of making pottery from theme to finished earthenware into  tasks that could be completed in a week, with time left over for her to teach her young charges not only the craft of pottery-making, but also what pottery can reveal about different cultures. Her pupils left her course with a sense of the various forms and functions of the most iconic ceramics and vessels around the world, from celadon Chinese teapots, to carved English tiles to Native American etched pinch pots--and got to take home the miniature ceramics they had designed themselves


Tiara Alexis Marshall (Brentwood High School, Brentwood, NY) Tiara knew that oil contamination posed tremendous problems for the water supply in the developing world--that the water supply in villages in Ecuador, for example, was still contaminated by oil from spills in the 1960s. But what if bacteria with the ability to digest oil could be enlisted to get rid of the oil in a community’s water supply? Tiara, who plans to pursue an education in environmental science, was the leader of a team of Brentwood High School students who explored the possibility of creating a cost-effective filtration system using a biofilm membrane to eliminate oil and other contaminants in water. Funded by the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams Initiative, which gives grants to invent technological solutions to real-world problems, the team collaborated with staff of the SUNY Stony Brook Garcia Laboratory to develop a biofilm and a pump housing unit as a prototype. If the pump proves successful when it is tested in Ecuador, Tiara and her colleagues plan to market it at cost to other communities plagued by oil-contaminated water supplies.


Nicholas James Wasko (Joel Barlow High School, Redding, CT) loved drama, but the stage in his high school auditorium was so rundown as to be unsafe. To raise money for capital improvements to the Joel Barlow High School’s deteriorating performing arts theater, Nicholas founded an improv comedy troupe, Troupe du Jour, which was so successful that it raised not only the $15,000 needed for his school to purchase new curtains, a new lighting system, and a new stage floor, but an additional $30,000 as well (from sponsors and fans in the community)  that it donated to  Hurricane Katrina-related  rebuilding efforts, the local food pantry, and other charitable organizations. Nicholas currently attends the University of Connecticut and plans to major in Neuroscience.


Jeremy Trungdzu Bui (Enfield High School, Enfield, CT) After visiting his ancestral home of Phan-Rang in Vietnam, Jeremy saw a need to help impoverished children in the village gain greater access to education. Moved to action, he created the Viet-Sun Foundation with his brothers to provide academic scholarships for children in the village. His work involved building relationships with the families of Phan-Rang and with communities in the U.S. Through events, such as a sporting tournament and walk-a-thon, he successfully raised funds across the nation and increased awareness about the lack of educational opportunities for children in poorer nations. He currently attends the University of Connecticut and plans to major in Accounting or Finance.


Christopher Marquies Daniels  (James Hillhouse High School, New Haven, CT) How do you give the students who make up a tremendously diverse student body a sense of pride in their school and themselves? That’s the challenge Chris took on when he had the opportunity to design and paint murals at Hillhouse High School in New Haven, CT as part of an Art Club project. Themed “I Am,” Chris’s distinctive murals celebrate the diversity of the student population and the uniqueness of every student, while projecting an inspiring spirit of hope. He currently attends Paier College of Art and plans to major in graphic design.


Kasey Ross Glass (West Hill High School, Stamford, CT) Kasey’s response to the dearth of opportunities in her community for teenagers to engage in meaningful community service while building self-esteem, was co-founding the Happy Club for Teens , an organization that  helped  her peers engage in activities that  were both constructive and personally enriching. Members orchestrated food drives, raised funds for animal welfare, visited senior citizen centers, volunteered at drug rehabilitation residential facilities, and planted a Memorial Garden to the fallen soldiers of the Iraq War. She currently attends the University of Connecticut and plans to major in Psychology and Languages.


Mackenzie Eileen Goodrich (Bristol Eastern High School, Bristol, CT) Although organizations in her community provided lunch and dinner to people in need, the hungry were on their own when it came to breakfast. To help fill this gap, Mackenzie created Mack’s Morning Meal at a local soup kitchen. Drawing on her years of volunteer experience in gathering food for food pantries and homeless shelters, Mackenzie organized local grocers, religious institutions, nonprofits and supportive community members to provide an additional meal for the hungry. In between breakfasts, she planned menus, solicited donations, and picked up food from various vendors. She currently attends College of the Holy Cross and plans to major in Pre-med and Biology.


Crystal Shannon Knox-Smith (Queens High School of Teaching, Laurelton, NY) Concerned that young women in her community lacked the awareness and knowledge that could help them avoid abusive relationships, Crystal created the "NO DISRESPECT: abuse is not love" Domestic Violence Awareness patch program for the Senior Girl Scouting Gold Award. Crystal’s efforts involved collaboration with state and national organizations; the innovative and constructive patch program she developed has the potential to be replicated on the national level, where it would reinforce other initiatives designed to prevent  domestic violence. She currently attends Penn State University and plans to major in Education.


Amalie M. Kwassman (Edward R. Murrow High School, Brooklyn, NY ) When a stabbing occurred outside her school, Amalie Kwassman  found herself wondering whether her peers had sufficient outlets for their intense emotions other than physical violence.  Those doubts--combined with a love of words and expression she had had since third grade--led Amalie to found the  “Poetry With a Purpose” Club, an activity designed to promote the use of creative expression to foster social justice and to provide her peers with  an outlet for expressing their thoughts and feelings in a constructive manner at a particularly difficult time in their lives. She currently attends Smith College and plans to major in Creative Writing.


Gayatri Malhotra (Stuyvesant High School, New York, NY) Although  the adult Indian American Community had a magazine that spoke to their needs, Gayatri found that no such publication existed for children. Gayatri created the VishwaKids magazine for children to further peace and tolerance through the understanding of the diverse cultures of India. Gayatri’s project not only serves as a way to educate and entertain Indian American children, it also helps different religious and ethnic groups of the Indian American community find common ground.  She currently attends Barnard College and plans to major in Biochemistry and French.


Alexa Louise Muri (Lewis S. Mills, Burlington, CT) The  abandoned two-hundred-year-old one-room school house in her town struck Alexa as a wasted opportunity. In cooperation with her local historical society, she turned it into a thriving and educational window on history. She initiated the renovation and secured assistance from Historical Society members and volunteers. And she developed a curriculum on colonial life to bring an important part of our nation’s history to life for grade school children. She currently attends the College of William & Mary and plans to major in International Business.


Tyler Samuel Nighswander (Hamden High School, Hamden, CT) Tyler found that the conventional materials used to teach electronics to children were not sufficiently engaging the children he taught at the Eli Whitney Museum, so he developed materials of his own. Working with another high school student and a college student, Tyler designed a paper schematic glued to fiber board with aluminum strips; he later supplied copper strips which enabled the children to place electrical components anywhere on the board, thereby constructing unique models. Tyler’s innovations made learning electronics much more fun for his students. They taught basic concepts and problem solving-skills and helped children experiment and apply those concepts to their own creations. He currently attends Carnegie Mellon University and plans to major in Computer Science.


Benjamin Kevin Nissan (Collegiate School, New York, NY) While at a school assembly, Benjamin learned about the dangers of climate change from a former student who is an environmentalist and became determined to find new ways to reduce the environmental impact of human activity. One day, while looking up at the lights in school, he decided to tackle strategies for reducing his school’s energy consumption. After some detective work, he discovered that the school was wasting a lot of energy: old lighting fixtures provided the same amount of light all the time, whether or not sunlight was streaming in through the windows. Benjamin developed a plan to reduce energy waste through the use photosensors that dimmed the artificial light in a room according to the level of ambient light that was available. His work demonstrated that the energy used from lighting could be reduced by 80-90% in most rooms and informed the school’s Physical Plant and Finance Directors’ decision to implement a project to make the necessary modifications over three years. Benjamin’s work serves as a model for others to take an active role in addressing climate change and environmental issues. He currently attends Harvard College.


George Henry Ortega (Dalton High School, New York, NY) George’s little brother never spent enough time brushing his teeth: the reasons to brush were too abstract to convince him to brush long enough to do the job. But what if he could get his little brother to view brushing as doing heroic battle against evil germs? George transformed the abstract concept of a germ into a somewhat evil-looking cartoon-like character that he affixed to a home-made timer. The result was getting his brotherexcited by the notion that if he brushed his teeth for two minutes, he could defeat evil germs like the one on his timer. George worked with the National Foundation for Entrepreneurs to develop his innovative creation into a product that can help children become early adopters of good oral hygiene, an important component of overall health. His product is patent-pending. He currently attends Yale College and plans to major in English and Economics.


Stephanie Paola Peraffan (Forest Hills High School, Forest Hills, NY) Stephanie knew that New York City had a Condom Availability Program that had the potential to reduce teen pregnancy and the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases among high school students in New York but students in her school were not taking advantage of it. Stephanie worked with Miranda Rupchand to investigate why--and to develop a series of creative strategies to make students aware of the health resources available to them, and encourage them to use them. She currently attends Queensborough Community College.


Priya Gautam Ranade (East Lyme High School, East Lyme, CT) Troubled  by the lack of screening guidelines for melanoma,  Priya developed an innovative preventive screening program to minimize melanoma deaths. The computer simulation model she developed has the potential of reducing the toll taken by melanoma, the only cancer for which incidence and death rate continues to increase. She currently attends the University of Connecticut and plans to major in Pre-med and Biology.


Miranda Rupchand (Forest Hills High School, Forest Hills, NY) Miranda knew that New York City had a Condom Availability Program that had the potential to reduce teen pregnancy and the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases among high school students in New York but students in her school were not taking advantage of it.  Miranda worked with Stephanie Perrafan to investigate why--and to develop a series of creative strategies to make students aware of the health resources available to them, and encourage them to use them.  She currently attends John Jay College and plans to major in Computer Science and Law.


Zak David Smolen (Staples High School, Westport, CT) Zak was an avid fencer who needed more practice than he could rely on sparring partners to provide. He transformed a personal interest into a public benefit by using his knowledge of physics, golf balls and counter weights to invent an automated fencing practice target that his coach plans to have the fencing team use from now on. He currently attends Union College and plans to major in Electrical Engineering.


Michael Tom (Greenwich High School, Greenwich, CT) Recognizing that people with the medical condition known as neurogenic bladder have great difficulty determining   when their bladders are full, Tom invented a tensiometer to measure tissue tension. Tom’s invention could be developed into an implantable device that that could send individuals a signal about bladder fullness when they needed it. It has the potential to improve the quality of life for millions of people who experience complications associated with neurogenic bladder, such as urinary incontinence, infections of the bladder and kidney stones. He currently attends Harvard College and plans to major in Physics.


Heather Marie Allen (Somers High School) knew from first-hand experience how difficult it was for hospitalized children to write and draw comfortably in bed. She creatively improved the lives of hospitalized children by designing and producing special stainless steel lap easels that make it easier for bedridden children to draw and write. She will use her scholarship at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Stephen Ross Bukowsky (The Morgan School, Clinton) pioneered new designs for pulse jet engines.

Anjali Deshmukh (East Lyme High School) knew that her classmates could do more to help victims of floods, earthquakes, and mudslides abroad and poverty and bigotry at home. She devised a range of creative strategies to mobilize her classmates to become more engaged in supporting world disaster-relief efforts and in fighting bigotry in their school and community.

Arthur Philip Dutra (O.H. Platt High School, Meriden) designed and built the world's first holonomic or omni-directional-drive robot using VEX components. Noting that his community seemed largely oblivious to the history that had shaped it, Peter Eason (Fairfield Prep) brought the past alive in his hometown by researching, taking photographs for, writing, and publishing a small book that made it easy for residents and visitors to take an informative historical walking tour. He donated funds raised by the sale of the book to the local historical society.

Gregory Michael Fisher (South Windsor High School) created a summer soccer program for pre-schoolers as an innovative way of supporting his local food bank.

Sean Dolan Hildebrandt (Branford High School) created photographs of abandoned industrial buildings that encourage New Englanders to look at the legacies of their industrial past in fresh ways.

Whitney Dyshaun Kelley (Co-Op High School, New Haven) used imagination and enterprise to meet the challenge of making New Haven's program in Leadership, Education, and Athletics in Partnership (LEAP) more responsive to the needs of the young people it serves by developing the program's Youth Council. She also engaged as a poet some of the same social issues she addressed in her work with urban youth. She will use her scholarship at Temple University.

Aerim Kim (Greenwich High School) assisted North Korean refugees and increased student awareness of the problems faced by refugees around the world by creating a Refugee Aid Club in her school.

Hugo Lara (East Haven High School) was disturbed that his community held negative stereotypes of artists as self-centered and unconcerned about the world around them, and that the arts were not encouraged in his town. He countered that stereotype and the place of the arts in East Haven by creating a club called STATE of the Arts--Students Taking Action Through Expressive Arts, which turned an abandoned storefront in downtown East Haven into a vibrant gallery and performance space for young artists. He also created Art with a Heart, a program to deliver one hundred art kits to children in third world countries where war and poverty have disrupted their education.

Erica LeCount (Bunnell High School, Stratford) was troubled by the fact that many local minority children whose families count not afford a conventional sports camp missed the chance to play soccer, the sport she loved. So she created the Kick Start Youth Soccer Clinic for these children, motivating varsity soccer players at three high schools to donate their services, and persuading local businesses to donate funds.

Concerned about the negative effects of bullying on students from elementary school to high school, Dana Lovallo (RHAM High School, Hebron) made an innovative video that helped spark constructive community conversations about bullying locally and around the state.

Troubled by watching fellow teenagers in his community succumb to despair and defeat in the face of the violence and poverty that surrounded them, Jonathan Moreno (Bridgeport High) wrote, composed and recorded an album of Christian rap songs designed to inspire them to recognize both their vulnerability and their potential, to reject anger, and to strive to achieve positive goals. Sales of the recording raised money for his church.

Tara Marie Moriarty (New Fairfield High School) created an organization that transformed the social experience of children in Special Education in her school by integrating them with peers in a range of activities outside the classroom.

Danielle Patrice Myers (Hartford High School) created, produced, and directed a distinctive stage production about Black history and culture.

Rachel Kauder Nalebuff (Choate Rosemary Hall, Wallingford) compiled a collection of first period narratives'¯ from women around the world into a book that will help illuminate, with empathy, humor and insight, a usually invisible aspect of women's lived experience. New York Times article on Rachel Nalebuff's project

Charles Gordon Nathanson (Hamden High) expanded the science and math offerings for top students at his high school by developing a curriculum and teaching two advanced courses himself.

Edward Joseph Quish (Jonathan Law High School, Milford) creatively explored connections between poetry, philosophy, and science.

Realizing that many students couldn't even locate major countries on the map, Marybeth Tamborra (Norwich Free Academy) organized ground-breaking activities to spread knowledge of world geography.

Colin Theys (Amity Regional High School, Woodbridge) turned his personal fascination with creating imaginative, compelling 3D computer graphics into an internet-based international network of artists that pioneered in sharing new experimental techniques and applications. He brings an inventive, creative spirit to a range of endeavors from animation to rocketry.

Vadim Tsipenyuk (The Hopkins School, New Haven), came up with an innovative way of addressing the problem of senior citizens' wariness of computers; the program he created, Surfing USA, helped senior citizens at Woodbridge Senior Center learn to navigate the information superhighway.

Mansur Iskanderovitch Tokmouline (New Fairfield High School) addressed the problem of how to help minors who have committed misdemeanors get back on track by devising a plan to create a Juvenile Review Board in his town.

Angeline Marie Ucci (East Hampton High and the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts) channelled personal emotional challenges into a series of paintings that creatively rework familiar paintings by famous artists into commentaries on contemporary culture.

Jenny R. Urfer (Newtown High School) developed a set of innovative and successful strategies for teaching pottery skills to the blind.

Lily Yeung (Danbury High) responded to the genocide in Darfur by conceiving and helping to produce a short documentary that became an effective means of combating apathy and ignorance.


The Renee B. Fisher Foundation congratulates all of these students for their innovative solutions to individual and community problems, and for demonstrating their creativity in a broad range of fields.