TEDxRedmond 2014


photo.PNGAmrutha Gujjar

Amrutha Gujjar, 17, is a senior at Woodinville High School. She is a curious and ambitious student who has a wide and versatile range of interests. At fourteen years old, she created her very first iOS Application and has since been enthralled by both programming and design. Currently, she is a national champion in FBLA’s technology event, E-Business where she built a fully functioning e-commerce website. Whether it is exploring on Visual Studio or messing around on Photoshop CS6, she always appreciates a challenge. Over the past few years, she has been working actively to integrate more women into STEM fields. Amrutha is also highly interested in government and politics. For her, it brings a greater meaning to the life and society that we live in today. She had the privilege of attending the prestigious Girls State and Girls Nation programs in Washington D.C. Here, she was appointed the head of the National Science Foundation and got to meet with influential leaders in the nation’s capital, including many U.S. Senators and President Obama. Amrutha believes very strongly in the power of the people to bring change, and she lives by the creed of hard work and determination. In her free time, she is an avid trivia geek and a Sporcle prodigy. She loves reading novels and watching YouTube vloggers.


Chirag VedullapalliChirag Vedullapalli

Chirag is 13 years of age and a 7th grader at Chief Kanim Middle School. He is a very talented artist and creates gorgeous art using lots of different mediums including oils and acrylics on canvas. He is a social entrepreneur and supports charities through the sale of his art. He has donated over $20,000 from these sales to many charities including Seattle Children’s Hospital, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and others. Chirag is also the founder of Creative Children for Charity (3C) whose mission is to empower 1 million kids and teens to donate their time and talent for charitable and social causes. Thus far he has organized over 10 events in various communities and brought thousands of kids and teens to contribute their time and talent to various charities in the region. In addition to being a social entrepreneur Chirag is a representative of his grade representing over 250 classmates in his school and an active Leo Club member making a difference in the community. Currently he serves as the President for a growing Toastmaster Club. Chirag has also won several awards including, Youth Spirit and Trevor Award for community service.


DaniellaCohenDaniella Cohen

Daniella Cohen is a girl who loves to make new friends. In fifth grade, she started a pen pal connection with a school in Bangalore, India and learned the importance of friendship through her pen pal, Suma. Daniella’s passion for friendship and cultural understanding led her to co-found G.I.V.E. G.I.V.E is  a project with the goals of promoting empathy and enhancing education. The project has sent thousands of letters and flip flops, signed with messages of hope, from schools across the US to schools in India, Uganda and Rwanda. With recent funding G.I.V.E has been able to install internet and send laptops to some of their partner schools. Daniella has been invited to speak at several universities and youth conferences.  She has also received the Build-a-Bear Huggable Hero Award, The Presidents Volunteer Service Award, Princeton Prize in Race Relations , and The Prudential Spirit of Community Award. She was featured in a Belgian documentary: “30 under 30 International Social Entrepreneurs” by GoYoung.  She is a Junior at Highland Park High School in Highland Park, Il. and is on the Girls Varsity Golf Team, Math team and Mock Trial Team. She also loves to figure skate.


Jonny in front of school bus #2 head shot NS photoJonny Cohen

Jonny Cohen is the founder and inventor of GreenShields, an aerodynamic add-on for school buses that redirects the airflow, decrease drag and increases gas mileage approximately 10%, saving money for schools and decreasing CO2 emissions. Jonny was named to the 2013 and 2012 Forbes 30 Under 30 Energy List for his work in green technology. Jonny is a Youth Advisor for the USA Science and Engineering Festival and has received numerous grants and awards to fund his work, including the support of Youth Service America and the Ashoka Foundation. GreenShields has been featured in Scientific American, Forbes, Good Morning America and in other media. Jonny is passionate about helping youth turn their ideas into a reality and he speaks at universities and youth conferences. Jonny is a sophomore at Columbia University studying mechanical engineering and is the CTO at Ecoviate, a green technology start-up. Jonny works in product design for Medline Industries.


4741114Krithika Yetchina

Krithika Yetchina is currently a sophomore at Lynbrook High School in San Jose, CA. Since the age of 9, Krithika has had a passion for entrepreneurship and STEM. She attended and won her first hackathon at the age of 11, and has attended several hackathons around the state. Krithika creates applications to create solutions to social problems with intensive research and data. With her experience in the hackathon scene, she has recently organized HSHacks, a hackathon catered for high school students, which had over 700 attendees. She also judged AngelHack, a hackathon with over 500 attendees next to CEO’s and major figures in technology. One of her projects, FoodFast, enables employees to order food from their corporate cafe through their mobile smart phones. This idea is now being used in PayPal and EBay. For the past year, she has been an active member of the CFI (Code for India) non-profit organization, where she spends time on the weekends creating programs and apps to create a transparency for issues in India. She is currently a project manager for one of their main projects, which protects women in India from rape and sexual abuse.  She was also invited to the IEEE- WIE conference as a keynote speaker to voice her opinions on women in technology, as well as her own future, and how she plans continuing her journey. In her free time, she plays a variety of sports, including swimming, wrestling, and cross-country. She also tutors young children, teaching them the fundamentals of programming. Krithika believes that anything is possible with determination and self-drive. She sees herself continuing up the pathway of technology and entrepreneurship while motivating and encouraging those around her.


10445990_1461913924053005_515743405412569464_nNellie Shute

Nellie Shute, 12 years old, is an Australian girl living in Hong Kong, who is fighting for the survival of African Elephants.

After discovering that elephants could become extinct within ten years due to high demand for ivory in Asia, Nellie started an anti-ivory campaign which has had far reaching effects. She is attempting to change the long held attitude that ivory is valuable and that it’s acceptable to display ivory as artwork. Through the collection of thousands of signatures, Nellie and like minded friends were able to change Hong Kong government policy on confiscated ivory and are now petitioning for a total ban on the ivory trade in the region. She has had “educational” ivory displays removed from schools and raised money to sponsor baby elephants orphaned by poaching.
Nellie is targeting her message to the younger generation as it is they who face a future without elephants if the poaching crisis continues. She has presented to hundreds of young people in Hong Kong and recently at a youth empowerment conference in Paris. Nellie’s campaign has appeared in news articles all over the world and in National Geographic.


Photo_2013_11_28_056_150x150Rachel Lau

Rachel Lau, a freshman at Lakeside School, loves writing, debating, playing piano and violin, and volunteering. She has been recognized for her persuasive writing with two honorable mentions and a Gold Key for poetry in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Her play, Ugly Sweaters, was one of the six Washington State finalists in Young Playwrights for Change. In addition to writing, Rachel loves volunteering in Bellevue Youth Link’s Youth Court where she has served as a juror, bailiff, and clerk. However, she is most proud of her work with Free the Children. Last year, Rachel founded and led a Free the Children Club at her former middle school (Open Window School). She raised $2,800 to build a school in Kenya, won a scholarship for and attended a Take Action Camp in Arizona, spoke at a We Day fund raising conference, and was recognized on stage at We Day Seattle 2014. She was the recipient of her former middle school’s (Open Window School) highest honor, the Horizon Award 2014, and was titled as the Outstanding Middle School Student in Bellevue City’s Community Leadership Awards. She passionately believes that education is a fundamental privilege for all children, and that volunteerism is indispensable.


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