GOALS & ACHIEVEMENTS
Founder and Executive Director of AYANA International
Mahika Halepete is a 16-year-old award-winning social entrepreneur as the Founder and Executive Director of AYANA International (www.ayanainternational.org), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that she created to magnify the power of youth innovation in addressing global problems. Mahika is passionate about creating sustainable solutions for global issues. It was her interest in these issues that inspired her to design the foundation of the Youth Innovation Lab: a program for young people in developing countries to discover their potential as changemakers while tackling local problems through the lens of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
In June 2018, Mahika was recognized as a 2018 Ashoka Young Changemaker, an honor given to just 10 young nonprofit founders across the nation, and in October 2018, she was given a Point of Light Award, which honors individuals and groups across the US who are creating meaningful change. In 2019, she was selected out of hundreds of applicants as a Global Teen Leader by the We Are Family Foundation, a distinction given to 33 young leaders hailing from 6 continents. She currently serves on the Youth Leadership Board of GripTape, a nonprofit organization which supports youth-guided learning initiatives across America with which she travels to consult multiple times throughout the year. Passionate about youth engagement, empathy, design thinking, sustainable development, and transforming education, Mahika has been selected to speak at the 2017 Global Education Conference, 2018 Youth Tech Health Live Conference, and the 2018 CCTE Conference.
Mahika has a deep love of learning, a passion for travel, and a desire to better understand the world; she has visited 6 continents and 26 countries. She lives in San Jose, California, where she continues to focus on expanding AYANA's reach to improve the lives of the global populace, creating a better world and a brighter tomorrow.
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