When was the last time that you were truly inspired? The kind of inspired that gets you out of bed quickly, excited to start your day and tackle your list of ideas you’ve been dreaming about?
For me, it was hosting our recent Windows 10 Student Showcase Dream. Create. Do event that featured six young students from around the world in New York City. After spending the day and with them and learning more about their stories, we were further inspired by how using Windows 10 technology and devices can positively impact the world.
Mikaila Ulmer, 11-year-old Founder and CEO, Me & the Bees
Meet Mikaila, the 11-year-old who decided at age four to start a lemonade business. And not just any lemonade company, one that won over the heart (and backing) of Shark Tank investor Daymond John and recently went on to sign a distribution deal with Whole Foods. But Mikaila’s biggest passion? Saving the honeybees. She donates 10% of her profits to bee-saving organizations. Microsoft is helping Mikaila to grow her business by streamlining efficiencies through use of Microsoft technology like Windows 10 and Office 365.
Micah Kim, International Space Station Program Participant, Quest Institute
When you were a kid, do you remember dreaming of being an astronaut? Or what about sending experiments into space? Middle-schooler, Micah Kim, is living out that dream by sending a Windows 10 IoT experiment module into space next month to test how metals react. He and other students in the QUEST ISS program are using coding and Lego robots to solve for real problems in partnership NASA scientists.
Belen Guede, Computer science education advocate, YouthSpark for Change Winner
Belen recognized that Chile had a problem. Despite all the creative potential and its cultural diversity, the average student aspires to be the next Lionel Messi instead of the next Satya Nadella. But why? In Latin America, the opportunity to learn computer science wasn’t easily accessible. So, Belen applied for Microsoft’s Challenge for Change program to work towards changing the accessibility. Now, she ignites curiosity in young people by bringing robots into local libraries to teach coding. Her goal is to transform children in Chile from users to creators.
Blaigne Sixon, Texas All State Jazz Sax Player, E4 Youth
As a high school student, you’re not always sure which dreams you’ll chase after. For Blaigne, he knew early on that he wanted to turn his passion for music and the saxophone into a career as a composer. E4 Youth is a program that Blaigne is involved in, that helps creative youth connect with creative careers. He wrote a proposal to the founder about his need for a Surface to be able to create compositions digitally. Blaigne now writes, composes, records and produces music with his Surface Pro 3 and never leaves home without it, or his sax.
Juliana Pirani, Co-Founder of eFitFashion and Winner of 2015 Microsoft Imagine Cup
Juliana built a program bringing fashion and technology together through a custom-clothing software. She began with the idea that the right programming could bring customers, seamstresses and clothing firms from around the world together seamlessly. Her Clothes for Me project makes custom-fit clothing accessible to everyone. After competing against 300,000 projects from around the world, Juliana’s team took home first place at the Imagine Cup World Finals and the chance to grow this business worldwide with Microsoft’s support.
Juan Pablo Ortiz, App Developer, 2016 Imagine Cup Participant
Since the age of 13, Juan Pablo has been on a mission to learn how to program and make mobile solutions using Microsoft technology. With more than 246 million people suffering from visual impairment and blindness, Juan Pablo knew he wanted to use his love of coding to improve the lives of others. He is currently competing at the Microsoft Imagine Cup with an AVI app, a virtual assistant that recognizes text, scans documents and reads them aloud, speaks, listens and understands objects. The app empowers the visually impaired and gives them back more independence.
So I have to ask, how will you use technology to upgrade the world?