YouthActionNet® Network of Social Entrepreneurs Tops 930

Solving a problem often requires looking at it in a different way. For Daniel Uribe, 28, restoring degraded beaches in Costa Rica meant working with local community members to recognize the value of coastal forests. His answer is Costas Verdes (Green Coasts), a nonprofit that plants trees and promotes volunteerism, while strengthening tourism. For Emma Colenbrander, 25, improving the living conditions of thousands of urban slum dwellers in India meant first addressing urgent needs for clean energy. Her solution through Pollinate Energy is to make low-cost solar lighting and improved cookstoves available via a network of local entrepreneurs.

These two are among 20 exceptional social entrepreneurs, ages 18 to 29, to be selected as 2014 Laureate Global Fellows through a partnership between the Sylvan/Laureate Foundation and the International Youth Foundation (IYF) through its YouthActionNet® initiative.  

“The 2014 Laureate Global Fellows exemplify the compassion, creativity, innovative mindsets, and uncommon drive that we look for in today’s young leaders,” said Bill Reese, IYF President and CEO. “Thanks to the generous support of the Sylvan/Laureate Foundation, these young social pioneers have access to the training, knowledge, and networks to take their social change solutions to an even greater level of scale and impact.”

“Congratulations to the 2014 Laureate Global Fellows, who understand that truly lasting change comes from addressing the root causes of today’s global challenges,” said Douglas L. Becker, Chairman and CEO of Laureate Education, Inc. “Investing in the talents and skills of these young innovators and entrepreneurs ensures that they are able to maximize their contributions over a lifetime—and inspire many others in the process.”

Other 2014 Laureate Global Fellows include:

  • Qasim Aslam, 26, who created The History Project in Pakistan to revolutionize how history is taught to students, ages 12 to 16, and promote understanding of diverse perspectives.
  • Cherrie Atilano, 27, who co-founded Agricool to encourage the young generation to pursue careers in agri-related enterprises, while promoting reverse migration from urban to rural areas.
  • Dr. Yaseen Khan, 29, who co-launched The Open Medicine Project, South Africa to dramatically improve health care through the innovative use of mobile technology.

As part of the yearlong program, the Laureate Global Fellows will benefit from advanced leadership training, advocacy, and networking opportunities. From October 14 to 22, 2014, each will participate in an in-depth training workshop in Lima, Peru and will share their innovations with students and faculty at Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas, a member of the Laureate International Universities network and YouthActionNet’s partner in Peru.

The YouthActionNet model has now been adapted through 19 national/regional institutes around the world, including at 11 Laureate International Universities in 7 countries.