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MENLO PARK, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Westly Foundation has announced eight finalists for the 2024 Westly Prize for Young Social Innovators. Each will advance to compete for $145,000 in unrestricted funding – including three top awards of $40,000 each, on Saturday, January 20, 2024 at Stanford University’s Haas Center for Public Service.
The Westly Prize honors talent, creativity, and the daring humanitarian spirit of early-stage innovators combating persistent community and global challenges. This year’s finalists are tackling such problems as addressing the 3.5 billion people globally who still lack cell service; minimizing high maternal mortality rates that disproportionately impact Black women in the United States; and eradicating drug-related deaths on college campuses nationally.
The 2024 Westly Prize finalists and their corresponding innovations follow:
Arpad Kovesdy & Mateo Abascal | Beamlink revolutionizes internet access worldwide at a 99% cost reduction with its lunchbox sized cell towers, impacting safety, education, healthcare, and equity outcomes in disaster zones and internet-deprived communities.
Ijeoma Uche & Mercy Oladipo | Birth By Us, an innovative digital platform, bridges gaps in maternal health by addressing disparities faced by American Black women who are 3-4 times more likely than their white peers.
Jason Lin, Scott Hickmann, & Schwinn Saereesitthipitak | Mida: 100+ Languages to Polished English transforms the way non-native English speakers communicate utilizing a custom version of OpenAI Whisper for transcription and an ensemble of learning language models.
Esin Gumustekin | Brain Exercise Initiative (BEI) delivers a unique approach to Alzheimer’s care, rooted in proven cognitive stimulation methods, that is executed across 80 universities internationally.
Gabriel Reyes | FLi Sci addresses the accessibility gap for low-income high school students of color aspiring to enter science graduate programs through a high-touch, transformative two-year experience.
Madeline Hilliard & Madison Minear | Team Awareness Combating Overdose (TACO) Inc., founded by former University of Southern California (USC) students during the pandemic as drug-related deaths plagued their campus, now operates as a national nonprofit dedicated to eliminating accidental overdose deaths among college students.
Karly Hou | Wave Learning Festival addresses systemic inequities in education through their live, no-cost, interactive, peer-learning platform serving 20k+ students across 600 schools and organizations.
Saanvi Arora & Ayaan Moledina | Acknowledging the absence of youth decision-making power, the Youth Power Project is reshaping the landscape of public policy engagement by empowering young people to actively participate in local, state, and federal policymaking.
About the Westly Foundation
Silicon Valley’s Westly Foundation , founded in 2000 by Steve Westly and Anita Yu, operates from the premise that investment in our children and youth paves the way for success in the future. The foundation works to improve the lives of at-risk children and youth in California and beyond through traditional grantmaking and annual Westly Prize awards.