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Connecticut youth honored as Prudential Emerging Visionaries

Moodus and Farmington 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/ -- Jonathan De Caro, 16, of Moodus, and Sreenidi Bala, 16, of Farmington, today were named 2024 Prudential Emerging Visionaries for their inspiring commitment to improving the lives of others.

As two of 25 Prudential Emerging Visionary winners, Jonathan and Sreenidi 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.

Connecticut's 2024 Prudential Emerging Visionaries:


Jonathan De Caro founded "One Loan Fund," a financial platform that provides microloans to unbanked rural women in Latin America with the goal of fostering economic mobility, inclusion and sustainable financial health.

"As a Brazilian, I was always invested in the economics of Latin America and wanting to create a change through taking action," Jonathan says. He decided to focus on working with rural women because of the important role they play in the labor force, education, and public and family health. Many women who receive microloans from "One Loan Fund" start their own ventures, developing a long-term source of income that enables them to attain financial well-being. So far, Jonathan has connected a network of more than 300 women to vital financial resources, fostering empowerment and opportunity within their communities.


Sreenidi Bala founded "Code For All Minds," a computer science program for neurodivergent students that provides educators and families with a curriculum to make STEM career paths a possibility for young people with learning disabilities.

Growing up, Sreenidi's best friend had autism, so she often helped in her school's Special Learning Classroom. "Despite students' talents and verbal abilities, all of them were being prepared for careers in labor-intensive industries; there were no STEM opportunities available," says Sreenidi. This realization started her on the journey to create STEM resources that use learning strategies best suited for students with autism. Since "Code For All Minds" launched, many students with special needs in Sreenidi's school district have been inspired to pursue technical post-graduate programs.

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, a leading 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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