News — August 31, 2019
Announcing the 2019 JCI TOYP Honorees
Each year, JCI honors ten outstanding young people under the age of 40. Through innovative actions, extraordinary achievement and dedication to serving others, the 2019 JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World (JCI TOYP) Honorees create sustainable impact in their communities across the globe. These young active citizens exemplify the spirit of the JCI Mission and provide exemplary service as entrepreneurial leaders, humanitarians and world peace advocates in their communities.
Along with the final judging panel, JCI members and active citizens around the world voted online to select the 2019 JCI TOYP Honorees. The final judging panel was comprised of 2019 JCI President Alexandar Tio; Singer, Songwriter and Co-Founder of E.P.I.C, JCI Ambassador Tennille Amor, Actor, Producer and Founder of Koyamada International Foundation, Shin Koyamada and the Global Youth Empowerment Fund Board Chair, Anthony Parkes. After nearly 61,876 votes were cast and the judging panel reviewed the top 20 finalists, ten young active citizens have been selected to receive this honor for exceptional service, creativity and the positive change they have created.
Get to know the 2019 JCI TOYP Honorees!
Malak Al Akiely
Jordan | Business, Economics and Entrepreneurial Accomplishments
Malak Al Akiely experienced hardship at a very young age due to family difficulties, which led her to embrace humanitarian values and become an entrepreneur for change. To establish food security in the Middle East, she founded Golden Wheat for Grain Trading—an oil and grains trade company dedicated to ensuring no one goes to bed hungry. Her company makes an effort to build a team of people who have ethical and moral values, establishing a tolerance between cultures. In addition to her trading company, Al Alkiely co-founded Golden Kayan, a marketing and consulting company for the oil and energy industries. She also began the Women BeeBuzzers project that empowers women in rural areas by introducing them to beekeeping as a source of primary or secondary income. Al Akiely is not only a female businesswoman trading oil and grains but also an activist working on unconventional solutions for building a sustainable future.
Jose Enrique Arias Chiu
Mexico | Cultural Achievement
Inspired by the current immigration issues taking place at the border of Mexico and the United States, Jose Enrique Arias Chiu creates art that supports and connects migrant communities. Arias Chiu has participated in more than 500 exhibitions, 80 cultural festivals and is currently working on a project, The Mural de la Hermandad (Mural of Brotherhood), that has been created with contributions from over 3700 people at the border wall between Tijuana, Mexico and the United States. He has used his art to paint community centers and for campaigns like Todos Somos Migrants (We Are Migrants), who support migrant communities by informing them of their rights and organizations that provide food and shelter to new migrants. Driven by his belief that the American dream can be achieved while living on the other side of the border wall, Arias Chia uses his art to inspire people to dream and create positive impact around the world.
Dr. Hala Asslan
Syria | Academic Leadership and Accomplishments
Dr. Hala Asslan’s dedication to rehabilitating historic buildings and landmarks in Syria gives hope to a country torn by violent conflict. Dr. Asslan started organizing and participating in campaigns that advocate for the preservation of cultural heritage in conflict zones. She identified the status and needs of the historical city of Homs by providing recommendations on how to restore the damage done. In 2015, she consulted for the Aga Khan organization who was focused on restoring the city of Aleppo. Also, she has been asked to assist with the restoration of areas in Palmyra, Salah el-Din Castle, Old Damascus and Jerusalem. She encourages women to play a role in rebuilding Northern Syria and empowers them to preserve rural styles, crafts and traditional architecture that is historically associated with the region. By creating sustainable cities and communities that have faced years of darkness and animosity during war, Dr. Asslan builds beauty and peace back into communities.
Dr. Gözde Durmuş
Turkey | Medical Innovation
As a child, Dr. Gözde Durmus suffered from long-lasting urinary tract infections that doctors struggled to diagnose and treat. This led Dr. Durmuş to develop an interest in biology and engineering at a young age. As a PhD researcher at Brown University, she used this frustration to find solutions and solve important medical challenges, including the growing healthcare challenge of antibiotic resistance. She developed superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPION) – an alternative that could eradicate biofilms better than conventional antibiotics. Dr. Durmuş has shown it is possible to detect and monitor the behavior of many cell types under different physiological conditions. Her discovery has reduced test times from as much as three days to one hour. Dr. Durmuş’s fight against antibiotic-resistant infections has made a broad impact on the medical industry for both doctors and patients. Her innovative work continues to make an impact on the future of engineering and medical devices.
Estonia | Business, Economic and Entrepreneurial Accomplishments
Kaspar Korjus has always been fascinated by the ways technology can connect the world. In 2014, he began developing an idea that would become known as e-Residency, which is the first transnational digital identity platform in the world. E-residency allows business owners to register for an EU-based company online using digital signatures for documents and provides access to banking as well as online payments for worldwide transactions. As the founding Managing Director of Estonian e-Residency from 2014–2019 and CEO of Borderless Nation States in 2019, Korjus helps governments worldwide to serve location independent entrepreneurs. His work globally is known for its unique leadership style—combining technology, entrepreneurial dare and public policy, the last of which is often known to be slow to innovate. Korjus has empowered and inspired global citizens to accelerate digital innovation using an entrepreneurial mindset.
Jordan | Moral and Environmental Leadership
Driven by his belief that businesses can be more sustainable and make the planet a greener place, Maymoun’s work proves to the world that young people have an innovative mindset and drive to make the world more sustainable. After he became intrigued by solar panels and how dust collection can cause them to lose up to half of their efficiency, he invented a revolutionary self-cleaning technology that removes dust from panels through the vibrations of sound waves. With this invention, he founded Solar PiezoClean, a green high-tech startup, a project that has impressed the eco-engineering community due to its huge impact on regions facing severe water scarcity. Maymoun currently works as an Energy and Sustainability Consultant and has worked as a consultant for a national green buildings World Bank project. Maymoun gives back to the community by mentoring youth and speaking about environmental and sustainable causes across platforms, including the UNDP and European Union.
India | Personal Investments and Accomplishments
After a severe train accident in 2009, Anish Mohan lost his left leg and right hand, leaving him 65% orthopedically impaired. During his recovery, he felt motivated to begin a career in social work to empower those with disabilities. Mohan works as the National Coordinator and Trainer for the Institute for Person-Centered Approaches in India (IPCAI), an organization that aims to create a society that is more compassionate and inclusive for those with disabilities who come from lower socio-economic backgrounds. He also runs a project for parents and teenagers living and learning with disabilities. As an advocate for the disabled community, Mohan showcased a petition for those with disabilities, which resulted in special parking areas throughout India for this community. Turning tragedy into inspiration, Mohan’s speeches and articles have given those with disabilities a platform to voice their needs, showing his ongoing commitment to achieving social justice for all.
Japan | Humanitarian and Voluntary Leadership
After years of observing how his parents utilized nonverbal cues to effectively communicate, Tomoya Onaka developed Silent Voice—an app that improves the lives of hearing-impaired individuals specifically in the workplace. To further provide opportunities for all, Onaka also developed a corporate training program called Denshin to teach the meaning behind nonverbal cues, which allows for effective communication for both the hearing impaired and those able to hear. Onaka has created employment opportunities for 3000 hearing-impaired individuals who have participated in his training since the launch of Silent Voice three years ago. He also opened a tutoring school for children with hearing disabilities in Osaka, Japan, giving 70 children the chance to learn nonverbal cues and be better prepared for the workforce in the future. Driven by his desire to unite people of all abilities, he believes that when we foster mutual understandi
ng, we transform people’s consciousness and create an inclusive society.
Australia | Humanitarian and Voluntary Leadership
After visiting Nepal at 22, Woollard was inspired by seven disabled women who were making small soaps and candles but failing to make a living from their crafts. Woollard and the women she met launched Seven Women, an international export manufacturing business, cooking school and guesthouse. Seven Women educates, trains and employees over 5500 Nepalese women as well as sells handicrafts and teaches local cooking classes. In addition to helping form Seven Women, Woolard also developed a travel company that helps young active citizens make a sustainable impact while visiting new countries. With this program, travelers are given a more in-depth experience of the local people, culture, and community. Woollard sees her travel company as a huge force for good that can enrich the lives of travelers and locals while encouraging them to develop grassroots change. Driven by her vision to economically and socially empower Nepal’s most vulnerable women, her determination and clear vision created a global network using positive change.
Turkey | Business, Economic Development and Entrepreneurial Accomplishments
From a young age, Duygu Yılmaz became curious about the benefits of olives and after pursuing a career in biological engineering, she discovered a biodegradable sustainable plastic alternative using olive seed waste. She founded Biolive, a company that develops the technology needed to produce this bioplastic material. This material substitute not only extends the shelf-life of food but actually utilizes olive seeds as a waste product. This discovery is much healthier for humans than plastic and it also biodegrades after six months. Her company has received over 20 international awards, including recognition from Mercedes-Benz and Chobani, for its entrepreneurial and environmental contributions to society. Driven by her mission to protect our environment, Yılmaz provides awareness on matters of good health and well-being. Her studies are making it possible to develop an alternative material that can lead to eliminating plastic waste and bettering our planet.
Just like all JCI members, the 2019 JCI TOYP Honorees take action in their communities, creating sustainable solutions for a better world. To solve the greatest challenges of our time, collaboration amongst young active citizens is key. Be sure to attend the JCI Morning Shows during the 2019 JCI World Congress in Tallinn, Estonia to meet the honorees face-to-face and hear their story. Don’t miss the exciting opportunity to hear from these global leaders and their solutions for making an impactful locally and globally.
You can also congratulate the honorees during the JCI Awards Ceremony on Thursday 7 November. Register for the 2019 JCI World Congress in Tallinn, Estonia today!