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Georgia Youth Leadership Award winners

By Suzanne Sen Email By Suzanne Sen
June 2019
Georgia Youth Leadership Award winners


(Left) Gautam Satya Desai helps kids enjoy chess, rather than violent, mindless video games.

Gautam Satya Desai, a junior at the Gwinnett School of Math, Science, and Technology, and Anudeepa (Anu)  Ramachandiran, a junior at Duluth High School, are among 21 Georgia high school students named 2019 Georgia Youth Leadership Award winners for making an impact in their schools and communities.

Gautam started teaching chess to his peers when he realized many were playing violent, mindless video games. His nonprofit KidsForChess.org, helps kids of all ages develop strategic thinking skills and sportsmanship. He worked with elementary schools to set up week-long, low-cost chess camps; obtained funding; and recruited his friends as volunteers. He plans to expand the organization. He also raises funds for other social causes.

Nwsmkrs_Anu Ramachandiran_crop250.jpg


​Anu Ramachandiran (left) developed an app to funnel donations effectively to the desired nonprofit organization, and also developed a website to help Alzheimer patients improve memory.

Anu is the founder of Impact Atlanta, a mobile application that helps nonprofits provide disadvantaged families with the specific resources they need. It has more than 2,000 users, has raised nearly $6,500 in donations since being published on the iTunes Store, and has received state and national recognition for its impact. The app lets users select what products they want to donate and what nonprofits will receive the donations. Anu also created a corporation that focuses on larger donations from businesses. She also developed Memory Technology, a website that helps Alzheimer patients stimulate memory through questionnaires and individualized games. She was awarded the 1st place 2018 Women in Technology award for her initiative.

[The article above is a Website Bonus Feature, appearing only on the website for June 2019, not in the print/digital issues.]

UPDATE (3/10/20)
Anudeepa Ramachandiran, now a Duluth High School senior, and Zaria Walker, a 10th grader at Mountain View High School, have earned a free trip to Walt Disney World. They will attend the Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE Magazine. Now in its 12th year, the program inspires teens to dream big, while providing the tools to achieve those dreams. During the four-day event, the teens are challenged to “Be100,” an aspirational mindset that encourages the students to be 100 percent “all in,” to make the most of their opportunities, relentlessly pursue and realize their dreams, and positively make a difference in the lives of others.

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