Ishaan Makam Among T-Mobile Foundation Changemaker Challenge Winners
Indian American teen Ishaan Makam was named by T-Mobile and the T-Mobile Foundation as a winner of the 2021 Changemaker Challenge. (photo provided)
India-West Staff Reporter
T-Mobile and the T-Mobile Foundation June 3 announced the winners of the 2021 Changemaker Challenge, with Indian American Ishaan Makam among the recipients.
The Changemaker Challenge is a nationwide contest that mobilizes youth who have big and bold ideas on how to change the world for good with seed money and mentorship, a news release said.
Makam, of Bellevue, Washington, was named as one of the winners in reducing waste, among four teams of winning ventures from this third annual challenge, sponsored by T-Mobile, the T-Mobile Foundation and Ashoka, among the world’s largest network of systems-changing social entrepreneurs.
The winners came from individuals and teams between the ages of 13 to 18 and tackle issues ranging from water conservation to underrepresentation in medicine to reducing waste, the release said.
Winners have earned seed money from the T-Mobile Foundation and an all-expenses-paid trip to T-Mobile’s headquarters in Bellevue, Wash. (subject to and following the CDC’s COVID-19 guidance) for the Changemaker Lab to get inspiration and develop action plans, the release said.
“This year’s T-Mobile Changemaker Challenge applicants aren’t just dreaming about change — they are taking steps to BE the change they want to see,” said Janice V. Kapner, T-Mobile’s chief communications and brand officer, in a statement.
“We were blown away with their inspiring ideas to create more connected, sustainable and informed communities,” Kapner added. “These bright young minds embody the Un-carrier’s fearless spirit and are tackling urgent challenges and imagining a brighter future — and during a global pandemic no less! We can’t wait to help turn their ideas into reality.”
Entrants focused their projects on technology, environment and education. For each category, five winners were chosen and one of the projects was selected as the category winner. This year, the challenge also included a separate category for T-Mobile employees and their families.
Each team receives $5,000 to help supercharge their ventures. Each team will join the Changemaker Lab from Oct. 4 through Oct. 6, for a three-day immersive experience includes mentorship from T-Mobile executives, skills training from Ashoka and networking opportunities with other teams.
The three category winners receive an additional $5,000 in seed funding and the opportunity to pitch their projects to T-Mobile senior leaders at the Changemaker Lab, the release added.
Among the three category winners, one will be selected as the Grand Prize Winner and will receive another $5,000 — for a total of $15,000 in seed money — plus a one-on-one meeting with a T-Mobile senior leader for additional guidance on how they can grow their venture, it said.