A Spotlight on 3 of Hello World’s Uniquely Passionate Teens

Our mission to discover and develop diverse talent takes two forms.

First (and most pressing) is the matter of diverse backgrounds. Talent and potential exist in all corners of the world, and it is our collective responsibility to notice and back it, no matter where it comes from or what it looks like.

Second is the matter of unique talents, or passions. In traditional application processes, a person’s authentic passions can get subdued by grades, test scores, and the challenge of self-expression in high-stakes interviews and formal essays.

Hello World is a one-of-a-kind platform because our applicants can (and do) lead with their inspirations, the local and global challenges they care about solving, and the tools and opportunities they need to do so.

Here, we’re shining the spotlight on just a few of the teens with unique, deeply felt passions on Hello World. They are the types of applicants that Hello World attracts, and the kinds of teens our partner organizations can support with scholarships, educational programs, and other youth development opportunities.

It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Rhea, Fareedah, and David.

Rhea wants to study computational neuroscience to build cutting-edge medical technology

Rhea doesn’t just know what she wants to do when she’s older—she knows the specific product she wants to develop: a device that can communicate with the brain to provide noninvasive therapy for chronic health issues.

Rhea, an American high school student, attributes her interest in chronic health intervention to her mother, who suffers from long-term bone disease. Rhea’s mom cannot seriously consider invasive and costly surgery, so she is resolved to live with lifelong pain and discomfort.

However, Rhea believes this could change within her lifetime. She also intends to be part of the solution.

Inspired by Neuralink, Rhea wants to study computational neuroscience to engineer a handheld device that enables people to “trick” their brains into repairing the body, even when it wouldn’t be naturally possible. A burn victim, for example, could press a button to trigger neurons in the brain to rapidly grow new, healthy skin at the site of the burn.

Rhea elected to study at a high school focused on medicine, and she takes additional online courses to gain foundational knowledge in the field. She is currently taking computer science and neuroscience courses on edX and plans to enroll in a computational neuroscience course on MIT OpenCourseWare afterward.

With such a clear idea of what she wants to do, Rhea is eager to find new opportunities to gain related skills and experiences. Specifically, she seeks mentorship in the field of computational neuroscience and research opportunities to get out from behind the computer screen and into a lab sooner rather than later.

Watch Rhea’s video about her passion for computational neuroscience and medical product design, here.

Fareedah wants to fight for universal access to education in Nigeria

“All around me, I see children on the streets and in squatter settlements selling and begging with their parents,” Fareedah said. “I think, ‘How can I give them the same opportunity that I had?’ And my answer is education.”

A Nigerian high schooler, Fareedah considers herself privileged because her family supported her education from a young age. Compared to most kids in Nigeria, she is privileged: Only 6.7% of Nigeria’s 2020 national budget is allocated to education, compared to a global average tends to fall around 14%. As a result, Nigeria is home to approximately 20% of the entire world’s population of out-of-school kids.

When she’s not in school, Fareedah volunteers at a camp for internally displaced people, where she teaches children basic subjects, such as science, English, and math, as well as social topics, such as gender equality and human rights.

Looking ahead, Fareedah sees an opportunity to make a meaningful impact on the state of education in Nigeria. Rather than becoming a teacher after school, Fareedah believes she could have a larger impact by advocating for increased funding and access at an economic and governmental level.

She came to Hello World expressing her hunger to gain leadership skills, learn more about educational advocacy, and build impassioned networks to help her on her mission to create structural change.

Watch Fareedah’s video about her passion for Nigerian education reform, here.

David wants to develop robot dogs to fight alongside military units

David’s vision of robot dogs sounds like science fiction—until he turns the camera on a working prototype.

The Kenyan teenager embarked on this robotics project in response to a years-long conflict at the Kenyan-Somali border. He was devastated by the loss of life and decided to use his advanced engineering skills to create a robot that could fight with — and one day in the place of — human soldiers.

His design physically looks and functions like a dog: it has a hinged jaw, multi-joint legs, and a flexible spine to simulate canine movement. Eventually, he also hopes to install artificial intelligence modeled after human behavior.

David has already created multiple functioning prototypes of the robot dog. Next, he’s eager to find opportunities that will provide him with more funding and time in order to take the project out of his garage and to the next level.

One of the best qualities of David’s video is that he was able to show, rather than just describe, his passion. His robot dogs may not yet be advanced enough to fight on the battlefield, but watching his undeniable commitment to robotics and his works in progress speaks volumes about his passion and potential.

Watch David’s video about his passion for robotics and the future of warfare technology, here.

Diverse passions should be met with diverse opportunities

With all of these clear, earnest expressions of passion, finding meaningful ways to support youth development has never been easier.

At Hello World, we specialize in helping teens articulate their passions and connecting them with a wide range of opportunities to provide them with new skills, experiences, and networks.

This represents a unique opportunity for all kinds of organizations—businesses, foundations, and universities—interested in offering youth-development programs.

Normally, when an organization offers coaching, a scholarship, or an internship, they’re flooded with applications with  more-or-less anonymous GPAs, test scores, and formal writing assignments. But Hello World offers a new type of selection process, one that prompts applicants to show us their backgrounds, passions, and goals.

It’s the difference between recruiting a resume and recruiting an entire person.

If you’re interested in partnering with us to build and offer opportunities to passionate, motivated, and often overlooked teens, please reach out. I’d be thrilled to provide a product demo and start a conversation about the types of opportunities you can provide.

Please, say hello!