Twelve Tri-Valley students were recognized this week at the annual Dreammakers and Risktakers Awards luncheon, sponsored by the Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group, at The Palm Event Center in Pleasanton.
"Our community is inspired by these students from all across the region who lead with grit, technical competence, and the heartfelt desire to make the world a better place" said Lynn Naylor, CEO of Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group. “This heartwarming event shines a spotlight on the next generation of incredible young leaders and their commitment to empathy, equity and boundless innovation."
The business-led organization’s annual awards program showcases student risktakers as essential to the regional innovation ecosystem. This year’s winners were:
Jeffrey Tan - Inspired by an ocular challenge he experienced as a young child, Dublin High School student inventor Jeffrey Tan designed a more affordable and refreshable electrotactile braille display that allows braille readers to more easily read computer screens.
Alexander Vasquez – A first-generation college student in chemical engineering, Alexander Vasquez worked on a project at Las Positas College to develop a way to stabilize DNA and RNA without refrigeration, so medical samples can be stored at room temperature with less risk during power outages.
Alessandra Beltran, Ahalya Rajesh, Ariella Stewart, Dario Stewart, Will Taggert, Meadow Walton and Mason Wolf – The seven Granada High School students turned their frustration into action as they faced the rapidly spreading vaping epidemic in the community, and moved beyond health and wellness education into effective political advocacy. The student lead team that effectively channeled their collective and powerful voice includes Livermore students
Megan Sloan – Described as wise beyond her years, the Amador Valley High School student enjoys helping create inclusive, empathetic projects that help students feel connected in a warm.
She was recognized for her involvement in the creation of a cell phone app, called the PRIDE button, that recognizes students for their positive behavior on campus.
Maodan Tohouri -- Tohouri was recently invited to speak at an International Teen Conference in Nepal, where she inspired other young leaders with ideas about how to make a difference in their own communities. A Tri-Valley Regional Occupational Program student, she is president of Students for Social Change, communication coordinator at Student Voice, and serves on the planning committee for the Tri-Valley Climate Summit.
Myles Molnar – The Foothill High School student was honored for spreading optimism, determination and positivity among his fellow high school students, while managing his personal challenge of paralysis from a wrestling injury. Myles has been an inspiration to those around him, continuing without complaint to innovate new ways to achieve everything that he always planned to accomplish.