News — August 29, 2014

Inspiring Impact: Announcing the 2014 JCI TOYP Honorees

Through innovative actions, extraordinary achievement and dedication to serving others, the 2014 JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World (JCI TOYP) Honorees create sustainable impact in their communities and across the globe. 

Each year, JCI honors ten outstanding young people under the age of 40. These young active citizens exemplify the spirit of the JCI Mission and provide exemplary service to their communities, and serve as exemplary young active citizens creating sustainable impact in their local communities and across the globe.

 

Young people from around the world voted online to participate in selecting the 2014 JCI TOYP Honorees. Along with the final judging panel, comprised of representatives of select partner organizations and 2014 JCI President Shine Bhaskaran, the online votes helped determine the winning honorees. After more than 37,500 votes were cast and the judging panel reviewed the top 20 semi-finalists, ten young active citizens were selected for their exceptional service, creativity and positive change for their communities and the world. 

 

Get to know the 2014 JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World.


Zaheer Allam, Mauritius
Moral and/or environmental leadership

With a background in green architecture and project management, Zaheer Allam began a personal and professional crusade for environmental sustainability. He is an advocate, researcher and entrepreneur with a constant focus on improving and protecting the Mauritian ecosystem. Allam is a founding member of Plateforme Citoyenne, a nongovernmental organization fighting against coal-powered plants in Mauritius and calling for renewable energy solutions. His goal is to eradicate all coal-powered plants from the island. Plateforme Citoyenne is an umbrella organization supporting local NGOs and communities that promote policies to protect the ecosystem. Allam creates the sustainable solutions to challenges in his home country of Mauritius, while providing a positive example of how to protect the environment for active citizens worldwide.

 

Bulut Ersavas, Turkey
Business, economic, and/or entrepreneurial accomplishment
With a background in electrical and computer engineering, Bulut Ersavas set out to create a product that utilizes and combines wireless networks, web and mobile technologies. Taking notice of Turkey’s leading agricultural market along with the country’s mild climate and fertile soil, Ersavas discovered a need for improvement in crop efficiency. He created ClimateMinder, a product that provides solutions for monitoring field activities, improving farming efficiency and reducing labor while increasing water conservation through both its wireless and mobile capabilities. Now based in California, the company has grown into an overseas research and development center, serving clients in varying crop categories and farm sizes. Ersavas takes pride in creating sustainable farming solutions through the use of innovative technology, advancing an important industry worldwide. 


Daniel Flynn, Australia 

Business, economic, and/or entrepreneurial accomplishment

At age 19, Daniel Flynn discovered that the Australian bottled water industry was worth $600 million a year, however an estimated 900 million people at that time did not have access to clean drinking water. These two facts motivated Flynn and a group of friends to launch a bottled water product that would fund safe water access for those in need. Five years later, in 2013, Flynn lead the Thankyou team's launch of two new product ranges - Thankyou Food and Thankyou Body Care - with the sale of these products funding short-term food aid and long-term food solutions as well as health and hygiene training programs to go hand-in-hand with safe water solutions. Thankyou is a social enterprise that solely exists to fund life-changing projects in developing nations through the sale of its water, food and body care products. Under Flynn’s leadership, Thankyou has funded safe water access for 90,368 people, health and hygiene training for 87,765 people and short-term food aid and long-term food solutions for 15,216 people across projects in 11 different countries. Thankyou's products are available in more than 4000 Australian outlets, including major supermarkets Coles and Woolworths.


Dr. Alonzo Gabriel, the Philippines

Academic leadership and/or accomplishment

With a vast expertise in biology, food science and food technology, Dr. Alonzo Gabriel teaches food science, nutrition and food safety at the University level while also encouraging his students to give back to the community. He also helps micro- and small-scale food industry stakeholders who do not have the ability to conduct their own research to stay updated with the newest food safety and processing innovations. His advocacy work for improved food quality, safety and defense moves farmers, fishermen and food manufacturers to comply with international standards for production, distribution and trade. Dr. Gabriel exercises his passion for advancing the food industry while inspiring others to do the same on a local and national level. 


Nicolás García Mayor, Argentina

Contribution to children, world peace, and/or human rights
With education and experience in industrial and eco design, Nicolás García Mayor uses his skills to give back to his community. Combining his humanitarian passion with design, he founded ar estudio, a design and innovation space that develops new products in industrial design, architecture graphic design and eco design to improve people’s quality of life. García Mayor also developed the idea for Cmax system, an immediate response system of emergency shelters for those displaced by natural disasters, armed conflicts and complex emergencies. Overcoming initial development challenges, García Mayor has created a working shelter that is safe, healthy and quickly assembled for victims of disaster. His sustainable design initiatives provide a positive example to others of combining one’s expertise with one’s dedication to serve others in great times of need. 


Po Man Lo, Hong Kong

Business, economic, and/or entrepreneurial accomplishment
After graduating from Duke University at 19, Po Man Lo moved back to Hong Kong and joined the family business,
Regal Hotels Group, bringing creative marketing ideas to save the fledgling company during tough economic times. She soon resumed her dream to contribute to the psychological and moral development of children by turning her pet poodle Bodhi into a cartoon character starring in a collection of comic stories. Bodhi’s popularity increased and the comic stories were soon adopted as a textbook used in Hong Kong schools. Lo has expanded this concept into an edutainment brand with a 3D animated series and now an interactive online platform. Her goal is to provide equal access to quality education empowering children to pursue their dreams. 


Darren Lomman, Australia

Scientific and/or technological development
Applying his education and experience in biomedical engineering, Darren Lomman strived to combine his skills with a passion for helping people with disabilities. The success of his first invention, a hand-controlled motorcycle for paraplegics quickly ignited the formation of DreamFit, a nonprofit providing innovative equipment solutions for making dreams possible for people with disabilities. He focuses on his client’s ultimate dreams, making it a priority to find, design and build equipment that can turn these dreams into a reality. Through programs with university students, he works to build awareness and acceptance of people with disabilities and believes that all people, despite physical obstacles, should be able to pursue their dreams. 


Luvuyo Rani, South Africa

Business, economic, and/or entrepreneurial accomplishment

Growing up in a small town in South Africa, Luvuyo Rani received an education in technical skills and business administration. In an effort to provide access to technology in his hometown, he opened an Internet café that also offered computer training and IT support for local citizens. Expanding his services to a full-scale business, Rani and his brother started Silulo Ulutho Technologies, selling refurbished computers, providing IT trainings and assisting to write business profiles and plans for local businesses. He then opened a school that provides computer training to the public. His business and education programs continue to empower people to learn new skills and use them for increased communication, connection and employment.


Ruth Riley, USA

Humanitarian and/or voluntary leadership

A professional women’s basketball player in the WNBA, Ruth Riley is a leader and visionary on and off the court. Always aiming to serve others, Riley joined the UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign to create awareness, advocate for government support and inspire other athletes to join the fight against malaria. She also co-founded an NGO called Inspire Transformation. The organization’s programs support local leaders in underprivileged areas to establish community-based initiatives using sports, music, counseling or other activities to create positive change. Riley works in these communities in Africa sharing resources, knowledge and the training needed to sustain the initiatives.


Nick Shen Weijun, Singapore

Cultural achievement
As a child, Nick Shen Weijun developed a passion for traditional Chinese opera and first started performing this rare art with volunteer and street troupes, using his talents of acting and singing to keep the dying art of Chinese opera alive in Singapore. Shen Weijun performs traditional Chinese opera in a non-traditional way adding modern magic, masks and puppetry and makes the performances bilingual, reaching out to people from other races and backgrounds. He also promotes awareness and understanding of the arts by working with students in local art programs. He aims to preserve this ancient art form while cultivating and encouraging the development of the next generation of talented, artistic young people. 


Meet these 10 inspirational individuals face-to-face at the 2014 JCI Awards Ceremony featuring the 2014 JCI TOYP Honorees at the JCI World Congress in Leipzig, Germany on Friday, November 28. 

 

Be sure to also attend the JCI TOYP Honoree Workshop: Collaborating for Impact on Friday, November 28. Just like all JCI members, the JCI TOYP Honorees take action in their communities, creating sustainable solutions for a better world. In this workshop, Congress delegates will have the opportunity to meet, work and share ideas with these ten inspirational individuals. To solve the greatest challenges of our time, collaboration amongst young active citizens is key. Don’t miss this exciting new program and return home to your fellow members with fresh ideas and solutions for taking impactful action, just like these Honorees. 

 

Discover more about each JCI TOYP Honoree in their official press releases. 

 

Learn more about World Congress in Leipzig, watch the official See You in Leipzig video and register today.

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