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Texas youth honored as Prudential Emerging Visionaries


Nolanville and Houston students will receive $5,000 awards and invitations to the 2024 summit for their work addressing the challenges of a changing world.

NEWARK, N.J., Feb. 13, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Donte Jennings, 17, of Nolanville, and Saheb Nibber, 17, of Houston, 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, Donte and Saheb 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, 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.

Texas' 2024 Prudential Emerging Visionaries:

Donte Jennings founded "EmpowerME," a youth literacy project for Black boys struggling with mental health challenges that cultivates a love of reading, encourages self-expression and shared storytelling, and helps to build a supportive community that advocates for mental health awareness.

At age 15, Donte witnessed a lack of support for his community, so he founded "EmpowerME," an organization that works to improve mental health, well-being and educational outcomes of Black boys ages 7-18. Through a book club, a mentorship program, community service projects and discussion groups, "EmpowerME" is creating safe spaces for young people and destigmatizing mental health challenges in the Black community.

Saheb Nibber leads "Smart City Houston," an initiative that hosts non-coding hackathons for young people to design solutions that address urgent community issues, introducing a new generation to civic engagement. "Smart City Houston" envisions a generation of empathetic and civically engaged citizens ready to lead the transition to more equitable and resilient communities.

In founding the organization, Saheb was inspired by his experiences with the impacts of Hurricane Harvey's severe floods on his hometown. "The city planners had failed us," says Saheb. "First, it was too much water. Now, it was too cold. Where were the solutions?" Since its inception, Saheb and his team have hosted two international hackathons with more than 50 young participants committed to solving their communities' challenges through innovation.

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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