Thanksgiving may have ended, but our gratitude towards the smart, creative, and compassionate people who are working to have a positive impact on the world has not.
In particular, we are thankful for our group of December Changemakers, who are working on passion projects that range from helping enable handicapped children in Ghana attain education to inventing easy-to-install grey water systems for your bathroom. Read on and get inspired!
Cesar Romero: Under30Experiences
Bio: Cesar Romero is a bilingual writer, social media strategist, speaker, adventure traveler, running enthusiast, cookie monster, startup lover, and lifelong learner. His life motto is “Live Life in Permanent Beta,” always working towards your next big accomplishment. His writings have been featured in Under30CEO, Gulf Elite Magazine, and other outlets. As a community manager for Under30Experiences, Cesar is currently working on making traveling more accessible and creating the biggest most engaged community of young travelers who want to see the world, understand it, and get inspired to create projects that change the world for the better. Cesar was also involved in the first ever Startup Weekend Managua 2013, where he led a group of high school kids to be included among the top 3 projects presented.
Project: We believe that in order to make a worldwide impact, we must understand the world and its people first. The best way to understand the world and your surroundings is by traveling. Under30Experiences was born from one simple idea: to make traveling accessible to young people creating a win-win loop between our attendees and the local communities. Our programs include interacting with local villages and Alaskan culture, exploring jungles and sustainability in Costa Rica, learning to surf while learning about the impact of microfinance in Nicaragua, exploring glaciers and volcanoes while learning about Iceland, etc. Our travel experiences are mindful; more than just an expensive travel abroad. The trips are all about what attendees put into it. It’s the perfect mix of rest, relaxation, adventure, and cultural experience.
Favorite Designed Good Project: Water is such a basic need in our lives, yet so many people find themselves without access to it. I really love the Dopper Steel Bottle because of what it represents, which is preventing plastic waste around the world and promoting clean drinkable water access in other nations.
Obiageli “Oby” Ukadike: WaWa Project
Bio: Obiageli “Oby” Ukadike is an Education Program Developer with Harvard Catalyst | The Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Boston College and her Masters in Business Administration with a double concentration in Non-profit management and Entrepreneurship from Simmons. She is also the Co-founder and Director of Program & Development for a small Boston-based non-profit, The WaWa Project, tasked with the mission of renovating elementary and middle schools in Ghana, West Africa to be handicap-accessible.
Project: The WaWa Project is a volunteer-based, Boston nonprofit working in Ghana, West Africa. Our mission is simple: provide children with disabilities an education and training to give them a sustainable future. Our first goal is assist in renovating schools to be handicap-accessible. In addition, we are working with Ghanaian educators to talk about adjustments to teaching the current curriculum and plans to help the graduates succeed.
Favorite Designed Good Product: One-for-One Designed Good water bottle! I love water personally; I am passionate about water reaching everyone in need; and you collaborated with another organization to make a greater impact for an immediate need. It is awesome!
Michael Jacobs: Pursue Your Dreams
Bio: My name is Michael Jacobs and I am an entrepreneur, coach, and speaker. I travel the world helping people expand their consciousness in order to live within love daily.
Project: Before I began focusing on coaching and speaking, I found success in the mobile application industry, where I learned true entrepreneurial skills and valuable internal lessons. Since then, I have been focused on guiding people through their own internal journeys to become closer to their purpose in life through coaching, speaking, and personal development products. Personally, I believe that each of us has massive power within ourselves and, through practices such as meditation and visualization, we can awaken and direct these powers. Check our my website and my internet show, Pursue Your Dreams, for more resources.
Favorite Designed Good Product: My favorite Designed Good product is the OAK backpack (green). I especially like this bag because of what it stands for: Ordinary Acts of Kindness. I travel a lot, so having a place to safely store my items is massively helpful.
Deven Griffin: Sink Positive
Bio: I’m a recent graduate of Wake Forest University(Go Deacs!) where I majored in Political Science and minored in Middle East and South Asian Studies, as well as Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise. I love to travel, and I am passionate about raising awareness and promoting the conservation of our most precious natural resource: water!
Project: The average American household uses 575 liters of water per day (with up to 27% of that just from using the toilet!), and many major organizations like the UNDP and the EPA think that is a big problem. That’s where SinkPositive, an easy-to-install grey-water recycling system, comes in. SinkPositive is a sink basin that fits on top of your toilet tank to deliver a clean, green, and touch-free hand wash with every flush. When you flush your toilet, clean water from the supply line that would normally refill your tank is instead routed through the SinkPositive faucet. You use this water to wash your hands, and then the soapy water drains into the toilet bowl. We like to think of it as saving the world’s water supply, one flush at a time.
Favorite Designed Good Product: My favorite product is definitely the Affirmats Yoga Mat (I just ordered another for a Christmas gift!). My favorite yoga instructor, Andrea, always tells me to take my problems to the mat. Having a positive message beaming up at me during the whole practice helps me make it to savasana in one piece.
That’s all for our December set of inspiring Changemakers. If you like what you read, stay in touch with Designed Good by signing up here for a weekly email filled with our latest content and products!
Also if you know someone who should be featured as a Changemaker in next month’s issue, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with that person’s name, their contact info, and a brief description of their project. We’ll be in touch!