CHECK OUT OUR $100,000 BE MORE FUND WINNERS!
Each of the ten winners received a $10,000 grant from NSHSS to help fund their world betterment initiatives.
Lora Mei McManus-Graham serves as an independent DEI consultant and the PK-12 Chair of Equity & Instruction at The Blake School in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As the product of two Los Angeles independent schools, she is deeply passionate about inspiring change from within. A former K-12 teacher, McManus-Graham focuses specifically on actionable steps to reconcile school culture and create schools in which families and employees of color feel not only in the space, but of the space—the critical difference between inclusion and belonging. She also led the team that developed the My-Space virtual reality experience that envisions aspirational spaces of belonging and joy for historically marginalized groups. McManus-Graham hold M.A.s in Curriculum and Instruction & Education Administration from Cal State Channel Islands where she authored "Experiences of Discrimination and Microaggressions towards Women of Color in Independent School Headships."
Jiya Gupta is a high school senior from California. As an aspiring tech entrepreneur, Jiya founded Farmoid. Farmoid is a company dedicated to increasing yield and decreasing water wastage of small farmers, the farming industry’s most ignored yet prominent food suppliers. Farmoid provides small farmers with a system of sensors that measure soil conditions and provide farmers with digested feedback to tackle farming inefficiencies. With NSHSS’s seed funding, Farmoid moves one step closer to its goal of stabilizing the food supply worldwide!
Sixteen-year-old Chase Hartman co-founded a non-profit called Eco Brothers and an award-winning book distribution project called “read.repeat.” and has been focused on improving literacy rates and helping the environment for the past 6 years. He’s collected and distributed more than 200,000 books and impacted the lives of more than 45,000 students in Hillsborough County, Florida. Chase champions the need for more books-with-diversity and dual language books in local Title-1 schools and has worked to raise more than $110,000 to support this cause as well as various environmental projects. Chase is an Eagle Scout and Vice President of Student Government at Sickles High School in Tampa, Florida. His community service efforts have been recognized by the following awards: the Tampa Bay Lightning Hockey Team Community Hero of Tomorrow award, Florida’s Prudential Spirit of the Community honoree, and the EPA’s President’s Environmental Youth Award winner. He serves on the Points of Light Youth Council promoting volunteerism to young people across the country. Chase’s goals are to continue competing in swimming at the collegiate level and earn bachelor’s degrees in Journalism and Psychology. Learn more at www.ecobrothersinc.org.
Niveda Mahesh is a high school senior attending Woodbridge Senior High School in Woodbridge, VA. She is a three-sport varsity athlete in rowing, field hockey, and basketball. If not competing on the water, field, or court, she loves strength training at her local gym. She is a passionate leader in her school and community. She is currently the President of her school’s National Honor Society. As the Founder and President of her nonprofit organization – 4Girls 4Change (www.4G4C.org) since February 2021, she has helped raise over $18,000 to support several ongoing projects in her local community. Today, these projects support a wide range of beneficial community related activities, including – homeless shelter and support services, food donation drives, COVID-19 relief efforts, and clothing drives for Afghan refugees. Niveda has also been an active Girl Scout since third grade. In August 2022, she won the most prestigious Gold Award for her “Reducing Food Wastage in Local Restaurants” project. She is a passionate environmentalist at heart and plans to major in college in environmental science, with a focus on policy, governance, and sustainability. Her long-term goal is to become the Chief Sustainability Officer of a socially responsible and earth-centric company.
Every child deserves a warm welcome and basic necessities, yet New York City public schools are completely overwhelmed and unprepared to assist the over 100,00 students in temporary housing. This number has only grown with the arrival of over 5,500 migrant students and their families. Victoria's objective is to use her nonprofit, Forming Futures, which creates kits with hygiene and school supplies for low-income families, to help New Yorkers in temporary housing, especially migrants. In the winter months, these families need our assistance more than ever. So far, Forming Futures has distributed over 2,500 kits and nearly 50,000 products, including clothing, through schools, shelters, and religious institutions. With the Be More grant, Forming Futures will be able to distribute an additional 340 kits containing school supplies, hygiene necessities, and winter basics like a hat, scarf, and gloves which are especially needed by migrant families. Join us at https://formingfutures.org/ in our mission to help families form a brighter future.
Veterans Tech Support was founded in 2022 by 15-year-old Abigail Johnson. VTS provides computer education and the supplies needed for it to veterans organizations. Abigail is increasing the quality of life for the veterans she serves by increasing critical skills. Abigail is a student at Davenport North High School and Eastern Iowa Community College where she is concurrently enrolled in pursuing her high school diploma and associate of arts at the same time. She is a varsity cheerleader, on the tennis team, student council, in the anime club, science bowl, yearbook, junior optimists international, cultural diversity club, and on the youth leadership team. She is a member of the National Society of High School Scholars and the National Society of Leadership and Success. Outside of school, she is the First Vice President of Iowa's Children of the American Revolution and the President of her society, a Grand Officer for Iowa in the International Order of Rainbow for Girls, actively involved in her American Legion where she is a member and loves to read, write, draw and sing. After High School, she hopes to pursue a medical degree and bring her technology skills to the field of cardiovascular surgery. To learn more, visit www.veteranstechsupport.com
Jesse Harmen Rupe lives in Southern California and loves to invent. He plans to start a company called JHR Innovators to help the world. Jesse adores music, and he spends his days being social with friends. Jesse has developed an optimistic view of the world and wants to spread good where he can. "See a need; Fill a need!"
Keisha Wallace is the Founder and CEO of Acewall Scholars LLC, an educational support agency holistically designed to meet the unique needs of each child. With degrees in Industrial Systems Engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and Applied Mathematics from Oakwood University, Keisha uses her experiences, knowledge, and spirit of curiosity to provide an engaging and inspiring approach to education. With a combined 15 years of experience in K-12 and collegiate education, Keisha works to bridge educational gaps and provide a deeper understanding to all her students and mentees by enriching their minds, body, and spirit. An avid public speaker, coach, and educator, Keisha works tirelessly to change the world for the better by inspiring one child at a time to reach for the seemingly impossible knowing that they can make anything a reality. To learn more, visit https://www.acewallscholars.org/
Sixteen-year-old Aditya Krishnan is from Lake Nona in Orlando, Florida. His love for Math and Algebra stemmed from his favorite math teacher Mr. Chris Hall. He thought of, designed, and created his app Algebraic! after spending his sophomore year summer assisting with an Advanced Math camp. At the end of the camp, Aditya wanted to do more for the children he taught Algebra. He always wanted to help his community in many ways. Whether volunteering at Ronald MacDonald or handing out school supplies to less advantaged kids, Aditya believes in constantly giving back to the community. He tutored in English, Geography, Math, Geometry, and Algebra. Aditya created Algebraic! because he realized that several kids wanted to practice beyond their summer camp hours. Aditya believes that no child should be left behind in this difficult post-COVID era, wherein students struggle to understand Algebra which is essential for exams like the SAT and PSAT. With his grant from the Be More Fund, Aditya hopes to improve on personalized training.
There are three primary issues in healthcare that must be addressed: equity, trust, and misinformation. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed and exacerbated global medical inequality, increasing barriers to care. The increased use of social media and availability of unverified sources intensified public confusion and contributed to widening public mistrust of the healthcare establishment. The wealth of information coupled with some posing as experts restricted individuals from attaining proper medical guidance and contributed to greater animosity toward honorable healthcare professionals who advocated for vaccination, masking and social distancing to attain better control of the global crisis. Today, demographics continue to define individuals’ health and their experiences with healthcare, resulting in intense disparities. Harnessing the newfound power of virtual communication, Alexandra worked to build MedNews Week with the leadership and mentorship of Dr. Yan Leyfman. As a free 1.5-hour conference where global leaders in medicine without profit motives gather to educate a diverse global audience about the latest developments in dozens of medical specialties, the primary goals are to combat healthcare misinformation, contribute to global healthcare education, and combat healthcare inequity in an accepting, accessible space for people of all backgrounds to learn. In its first year, MedNews Week has reached more than 79,000 attendees from over 60 countries with 88,000 social media subscribers.
Ten years ago I was walking about my hospital room, normal day for me, and I stepped on my IV line and ripped it out of my port. From that day forward I never wanted that to happen to me again or to any other child. I had my mom go out and get supplies for me to use to make something to hold my line off the ground, and that is when The Chemo Cuff was born. Each day seven children are diagnosed with cancer, countless kid's ports are accessed, and those children's doctors tell them that they need to walk around. But walking around can lead to IV lines mistakenly being ripped out. The Chemo Cuff provides a safe feeling to the child reducing the chance of their lines being stepped on. The Chemo Cuff is free to anyone who can not afford to purchase one.
Rohan Malyala from Santa Clara, California works to provide and sustain a single platform that encourages the youth to freely learn, share, and collaborate with others, while serving and benefitting the global community. The platform helps students learn-share "several skills” with each other. It provides opportunity to share a skill, showcase talent, serve the community while offering the ability to inspire or guide others, encouraging them to acquire well-round skills. Persons can participate as a Learner, Leader, Mentor or Volunteer.
Mindfulness has been scientifically proven to help treat children and adolescents with conditions such as anxiety, stress, depression, ADHD, and autism. With research in children and teens growing, it is clear that mindfulness can be a beneficial tool to help kids better manage their thoughts and feelings. Meet Omi the Elephant® : "Omi & Friendz" is a collection of interactive stuffed toys that introduces mindfulness to kids in a fun & relatable way. Each friend supports social-emotional growth by using a STOP, BREATHE & RESET method. Omi the Elephant®, the first in the Mindful Buddiez collection, comes with three guided exercises that introduce mindful breathing, emotional regulation skills, and positive thinking. Kids simply listen to Omi's soothing voice as he guides them through a mindful breathing exercise and helps them feel calm. With Omi’s help, a child begins to understand how to self regulate their thoughts and feelings.
My idea for this project evolved when I was in tenth grade. My biology teacher suggested I write a paper on water insecurity in Ethiopia for the World Food Prize. This would be easy for me. I didn’t have to do much research because I had experienced it first hand. After presenting my paper, I became a Norman Borlaug scholar. This was where my dream for the project began. I would build a well on my family’s farm in Ethiopia and turn it over to the community. The money given to me by my church and the community of Cedar Rapids, along with online fundraising, allowed me to return to Ethiopia to start the project on my family’s land. The project is now well-underway.
Elopement is a serious problem in the autism (ASD) population. We often hear of missing children in the news and later hear of their untimely death. The deaths are caused from drowning, starvation, dehydration, and injury. Due to the critical issue of elopement, I started Boomers to help keep children with ASD safe. Boomers is a nonprofit organization that provides families impacted by ASD with a solution to finding their eloped children. Today, families experiencing issues with elopement buy GPS trackers that are embedded in bracelets or hook to backpacks and clothing for the children to wear. The problem with these products is that they are not authentically integrated into the child’s life and they do not use them 24/7/365. My solution is to conceal a small GPS tracker into a pair of undergarments; something that every child has and will have on them at all times. Therefore, should a child go missing, the family has Boomers to rely on.
I utilized a study method that allowed me to recall the material through “personal connections.” I did this by physically moving to different locations in an effort to install literal connections with the material I was learning, ultimately remembering the material based on where I memorized it. This artificial connection triggered my memory and therefore proved itself as an effective way of memorization. I believe VR (Virtual Reality) technology will help us create sentient experiences that will directly translate into achieving maximum performance in memorization. I hope that 3D Study Cube can change our educational environment from competitive to collaborative by allowing numerous student “Followers” living in underdeveloped areas to learn effectively from their “Leaders” and “Advisors” through direct help. I dream of the restoration of the original definition of friendship that highlights companionship.
In the average African-American community in the United States, stores do not offer skincare products suitable for all skin types and ethnicities. The products available often include synthetic ingredients like chlorine and phenoxyethanol that cause damage to the skin (e.g. acne, burns, rashes, diseases). Also, the production process of these products is not safe for the environment; cross-contamination is likely to occur between the mixing utensils of each product. We formulate hand-whipped shea butter that suits various skin types, compliments the skin, and is affordable and natural. We provide numerous skincare products and use natural ingredients like lavender oil and cacao powder. Our sustainable production process gives back to the environment due to the supplies and ingredients we use.
Every student deserves an opportunity to have access to Fine Arts in their educational setting. Yet, Florida ranks 48th out of 50 states in funding for Fine Arts. It is my goal to use my non-profit program, Many Mini Musicians, to stand in the funding gap for Fine Arts programs, providing grants where federal and state funding has been removed. Music education increases standardized test scores, graduation rates, and overall feeling of self-satisfaction in students, and access to quality music education should not be limited by the availability of funds in the school that they choose to attend. My nonprofit addresses the needs of music programs and individuals across my state.
Signal Technologies is a software company aimed at creating products that help encourage inclusivity into our world. Our current focus is developing our first app InfoBytes, a more accessible approach to tracking what you eat. Accessibility and health are topics of growing importance. There are many different diets in the world and a variety of visual impairments. There is a need to make the shopping process easier for anyone in those categories. Food allergies, dietary preferences, or visual impairments aren’t going away anytime soon. Neither is the importance of or need for accessibility. Having a more simplified shopping experience and making that process more accessible is going to be in demand for a very long time.
Michael Roman, from Spring Texas applied to the Be More fund because it aligns with his philanthropic efforts and goal of launching a nonprofit to “Give Joy” to underserved youth by ensuring extracurricular opportunities. He learned to volunteer early through his military community and his parents’ service. Seeing his parents work hard to achieve financial stability and break generational poverty has provided purpose. Together with family and other committed community members, the Joy Oquendo Foundation is launching a nonprofit with the goal of closing the racial wealth gap. The foundation will provide microloans, extracurricular and trade school scholarships to minority low-income school aged students.
According to UNESCO, an estimated 132 million school-age girls are out of school, and 15 million of those girls will never see the inside of a classroom. Education is a fundamental right that a multitude of girls across the globe are being denied, and can often be attributed to a girl's menstrual cycle. At Project 214, we firmly believe that a period should end a sentence and not a girl's education. By elevating and providing resources to girls in vulnerable circumstances, it increases their chances for a better future, provides them with opportunities, and boosts economic growth in the societies in which they live. Learn more at https://www.project214.net/
GREEN HOPE PROJECT is a nonprofit that began in 2019 born out of the desire to continue with, and improve upon, what It's Your World Project began in 2015. It’s Your World Project is a high school art/environmental group in El Paso, Texas. Our focuses include environmentalism, the Arts, and education. We believe that we can make a positive change by uniting in our efforts, identifying environmental problems, and changing our collective culture through the Arts and education. The more we offer people experiences, the more they become enlightened and empowered to be the change we need. What better way to do this than through the Arts? Learn more at https://www.greenhopeproject.org
I wanted to make a difference in the lives of children and fill a need within the foster community. Founding Feeding the Fosters Inc Nonprofit discovered a need that I didn’t realize was so prevalent; Foster families need help from the community. In a little over a year, 1500+ volunteers signed up to serve 35+ foster families, cooking 250+ individual meals each night. Our mission helps the licensed foster homes to continue accepting children, knowing the community will be there to support them. Learn more at www.feedingthefostersinc.com
The Future is Fungi exploits the efficiency of a certain pink oyster mushroom in converting cellulose into glucose that can then be used to produce biofuels—a broadly overlooked source of sustainable fuel. An added benefit of my concept is that it provides organic produce for the community while also reusing and harnessing waste material to be used as raw material for biofuel production. I will use the grant money to cultivate more mushrooms, continue experiments to prove the most efficient pathways, and build a relationship with the Tennessee Department of Transportation to begin supplying ethanol to gas stations in Tennessee.
As malnutrition continues to decimate Asikuma, Ghana's community, Royal Promise has begun the fight to eradicate this disease; thus, attacking micronutrient deficiencies within all 40 orphans living at the center. The Royal Promise Mission Center has a Christian school that provides education to 400 students of Asikuma; feeding these children corroborates a more successful future for our world and prohibits positive communal growth. Learn more at https://www.royalpromise.org/
Three summers ago, the news was reporting that one-third of our honey bees had died in the past year. Some sources were saying that it was closer to 40%. As I considered these issues, I realized a solution might already live in my backyard. Mason bees are solitary, so they aren’t likely to sting, and raising them takes hardly any work. All you have to do is build a house for them. These amazing bees pollinate 95% of the flowers they visit, as opposed to the 5% honey bees pollinate. To share this knowledge with my community, I founded Build for Bees in 2018. My goal was to lead workshops to teach others how to build mason bee houses. Learn more at https://build4bees.com
Australia has been in a constant battle with mental health due to a lack of accessible and affordable services in the preventative space. We’ve become over-reliant on medication and the Royal Commission has even revealed that patients are turned away due to “not being sick or suicidal enough”. Linkmate is an app that connects you with a peer who has lived similar challenges as you for real-time, empathetic support. They listen, validate your struggles and can inspire you to access additional sources of social support in your local community (e.g. financial assistance or a book club). Learn more at https://linkmate.com.au/
My business solves a common problem; limited access to the information and resources needed to homeschool effectively in one place. My business uses databases, resources, and my own personal knowledge of homeschooling to help parents and students be their best. From one-on-one consulting to a personalized curriculum plan, my business has you covered. I want to improve the quality and effectiveness of homeschooling by giving families the information and curricula needed at an affordable price. Learn more at Canary Academy Online: canaryacademyonline.org
Water contamination remains a key challenge of modern civilization. We have been able to design an efficient, sustainable, and affordable filtration material for the rapid removal of these contaminants from water. Integrating engineering with environmental chemistry, a filter capitalizing on biochar properties can be created for worldwide distribution at a cost of fewer than twenty cents per month for use in homes, rural, urban and industrial settings, agriculture, and aquatic ecosystems. Learn more at https://aquauniversa.webnode.com/
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has initiated a global race for the development of a vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. While several vaccine candidates have entered late stage clinical trials in record time, this process is likely to span several years before they can reach phase 2 and 3 clinical trials. This step can be greatly sped up through the recent development of machine learning algorithms that can predict potential epitopes in-silico and thus save countless hours of time traditionally required for the identification of neutralizing epitopes. My research will result in a drastic reduction in time spent in pre-clinical vaccine development.