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Ella and Sahana are among five Grand Prize winners honored this week by football legend Eli Manning and Prudential Chairman and CEO Charles Lowrey for their work addressing the challenges of a changing world.
NEWARK, N.J., April 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Ella Gupta, 17, of Raleigh, North Carolina, and Sahana Mantha, 15, of Charlotte, North Carolina, were among five young people named Grand Prize winners by Prudential Financial's Emerging Visionaries program at a four-day summit held this week at Prudential's Newark headquarters.
The Emerging Visionaries program is conducted by Prudential Financial in partnership with the social entrepreneurship network Ashoka, with advisory support from the Financial Health Network. It honors young people ages 14-18 from across the United States for leading initiatives that result in fresh, innovative solutions to current-day financial and societal challenges.
"Supporting the efforts of these Emerging Visionaries is another way we are working to fulfill Prudential's purpose: to make lives better by solving the financial challenges of our changing world," said Prudential Chairman and CEO Charles Lowrey. "We're honored to celebrate the initiative, creativity and empathy of these young leaders, and look forward to seeing all the great things they accomplish in the future."
The 25 winners, named in February, each earned a $5,000 prize and an all-expenses-paid trip to this week's Emerging Visionaries Summit, plus a chance to win an additional $10,000. The summit included an awards ceremony where finalists were celebrated by special guests, including philanthropist and two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Eli Manning. The students also consulted with Prudential senior leaders on topics of strategy and impact and worked with Prudential employee coaches who helped them refine and advance their projects.
As part of the four-day event, five young people were selected to pitch their ideas for advancing financial equity to a panel of judges for a chance to win the additional $10,000 in funding for their initiative. Pitch-off judges included Lowrey, leaders from Ashoka and the Financial Health Network, and two program alumni.
The panel was intended to select one Grand Prize finalist from the five who pitched their projects. However, after hearing the pitches, the judges decided to award $10,000 to each of the five presenters, in recognition of the societal impact of their initiatives. In addition to the Grand Prize winners, Prudential employees voted this spring to name an Employees' Choice Award winner, who received an additional $5,000.
North Carolina's 2022 Grand Prize winners:
Ella Gupta, 17, of Raleigh
Ella started the Initiative for Financial Literacy Exploration to address gender economic inequality by empowering young women to gain self-confidence and invest in themselves through financial education. By providing free workshops, lectures and resources, her initiative creates a safe space for young women to learn about money management.
Ella has worked as a consultant to more than 300 personal finance and leadership teams, helping them adapt their classrooms to better engage younger generations. Her book on personal finance and investing and its corresponding curriculum have been implemented in 120 schools, reaching more than 10,000 students. She is currently leading an online campaign to guarantee financial education for all high school students.
Sahana Mantha, 15, of Charlotte
Sahana co-founded Foundation for Girls, which empowers mothers experiencing homelessness, connecting them with long-term coaches who accompany them on their journey to financial health and economic security. Working alongside her sister, Sahana focuses the project on supporting women to be financially savvy, career confident, digitally capable and socially connected.
"I began my journey by understanding the issues in my community to learn about the root causes of issues impacting women and children," she said. Over the past six years, "Foundation for Girls" has reached more than 2,500 single mothers and their children experiencing homelessness in nine states through group workshops, coaching and care packs.
To learn more about Prudential Emerging Visionaries and all 25 winners, visit prudential.com/emergingvisionaries.
About Prudential Financial
Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a financial wellness leader and premier active global investment manager, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Prudential's diverse and talented employees help to make lives better by creating financial opportunity for more people. Prudential's iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century. For more information, please visit news.prudential.com.
Ashoka is the largest global network of leading social entrepreneurs — individuals with new ideas to systemically address the world's biggest challenges and the entrepreneurial skill to transform those ideas into national, regional and global social impact. Over 40 years, Ashoka has supported more than 3,600 social entrepreneurs in 90 countries with solutions addressing society's most pressing issues. Ashoka's vision is a world in which Everyone is a Changemaker — a society that responds quickly and effectively to challenges, and where every individual has the freedom, confidence and societal support to address any social problem. For more information, visit ashoka.org.
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SOURCE Prudential Financial, Inc.