Three Indian-origin students among TIME's most influential teens of 2018
Three Indian-origin students - Kavya Kopparapu, Rishab Jain, and Amika George - have been named among TIME magazine's list of 25 most influential teens of 2018. The list, which is compiled based on teenagers' achievements across various fields, their impact through social media, and their ability to drive news also features FIFA World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe and Stranger Things star Millie Bobbie Brown.
The youngest among the trio is 14-year-old Rishabh Jain, an Indian-American from Oregon. Jain, an eighth grader, was recognized for developing a software tool that was shown to help doctors zero in on pancreatic cancer, thereby improving the potential for treatment. Jain's algorithm won him $25,000 at the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, and he's now looking to conduct clinical trials.
"I've gotten to see how doctors can make an immediate difference in people's lives, so I want to pursue that," Jain told TIME magazine on his decision to partner with hospitals and pursue clinical trials.
18-year-old Kavya Kopparapu too was recognized for contributing to cancer research. Kopparapu, a freshman at Harvard University, developed a deep-learning algorithm that could scan slides of tissue from brain cancer patients to find differences in density, colour, texture and cellular alignment, all of which are unique to each patient. The idea behind the algorithm is to help develop targeted therapies for brain cancer patients.
Kopparapu has already received a provisional patent for her algorithm, and is looking to start clinical trials at Georgetown University. She is also the founder of the non-profit Girls Computing League that is bringing computing opportunities to girls in northern Virginia and Washington DC.
19-year-old Amika George, an Indian-origin resident of the UK, was recognized for her fight to end 'period poverty'. George has been campaigning to get the UK government to fund and distribute menstrual products to school-going girls in a bid to keep them in school. George's fight began after she learnt that many girls in the UK routinely missed school during their periods as they couldn't afford menstrual products.
Earlier this year, George was awarded the Campaign Award by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for her #FreePeriods campaign that saw over 2,000 people turn up in protest outside 10 Downing Street. The Campaign Award is one of the three Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards, popularly called the 'Oscars' for social progress.