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Florida youth honored as Prudential Emerging Visionaries


Miami and Rockledge students will receive a $5,000 award and invitations to the 2024 summit for their work addressing the challenges of a changing world.

NEWARK, N.J., Feb. 13, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- William Charouhis, 18, of Miami, and Anjani Sharma, 17, of Rockledge, today were each named a 2024 Prudential Emerging Visionary for their inspiring commitment to improving the lives of others.

As two of 25 Prudential Emerging Visionary winners, William and Anjani will each receive a $5,000 award to help take their innovation to the next level. They are also invited on an all-expenses-paid trip to Prudential's headquarters in Newark, New Jersey, where they will be coached by Prudential employees and have the chance to meet other young leaders.

Prudential Emerging Visionaries recognizes young people ages 14-18 whose fresh perspectives and innovative solutions address pressing financial and societal challenges in their communities. The program's goals align with Prudential's purpose: to make lives better by solving the financial challenges of our changing world.

"I am inspired by the students' sense of purpose and commitment to driving positive change in their communities," said Chairman and CEO Charles Lowrey. "We're honored to support these young leaders as they bring their extraordinary projects to life."

During the summit, to be held April 20-23, 2024, five winners will also have the opportunity to present their solutions in a pitch-off, where a grand prize winner will be awarded an additional $10,000 in funding. What's more, Prudential employees will again vote to name an Employees' Choice Award winner, who will receive an additional $5,000.

Florida's 2024 Prudential Emerging Visionaries:

William Charouhis founded "A Million Mangroves," a youth-led network in Miami mobilizing to plant one million mangroves by 2030, addressing climate change by sequestering atmospheric carbon and protecting coastlines. Through the utilization of biotech to create more adaptable mangrove propagules, "A Million Mangroves" is growing mangrove forests resilient to climate change effects like flooding and severe heat.

In 2017, Hurricane Irma hit William's hometown, causing destructive flooding. Spurred to action, William advocated for the City of Miami to declare a climate emergency while starting his own initiative. "A Million Mangroves" works on mangrove conservation through organizing community cleanups and accelerates restoration by improving planting success rates. Currently, the initiative works with a team of more than 180 volunteers, has restored six miles of Florida mangroves and has educated 2,500 young people in 16 countries through an annual Climate Summit.

Anjani Sharma created "Minds Without B0rders," a youth-led initiative that works to reduce stigma and normalize conversations around mental health, mobilizing students to engage stakeholders and advocate for policies that increase mental health support systems. "Minds Without B0rders" utilizes blogs, podcasts and digital campaigns to encourage open discussion and provide pathways for mental health support, specifically focused on underserved communities.

Through the pandemic, Anjani turned to writing when she noticed that "there was no proper outlet for young people to express their mental health struggles or find appropriate help." After publishing a few blog posts about mental health challenges and interviewing mental health professionals, many young people reached out to join her work of making mental health discussions open and destigmatized. The organization operates chapters in 24 states and 18 countries.

Prudential Emerging Visionaries is sponsored by Prudential in collaboration with Ashoka, a leading organization in the social impact sector, with advisory support provided by the Financial Health Network, an authority on financial health and a longtime partner of The Prudential Foundation.

The program is an evolution of Prudential's Spirit of Community Awards, which honored more than 150,000 outstanding youth volunteers over 26 years.

To read about all of this year's Prudential Emerging Visionaries, 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.

About Ashoka
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 each individual has the freedom, confidence and societal support to address any social problem. For more information, visit ashoka.org.

SOURCE The Prudential Insurance Company of America


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