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Junior Achievement of Arizona Announces 18 under 18 Winners
By Lindsay Hansen - Thursday Apr 21, 2022
Junior Achievement of Arizona is pleased to announce the 2022 18 under 18 winners. They’ve started businesses and nonprofits, broken glass ceilings and created products for the physical space and cyberspace. These Arizonan students distinguish themselves with their creativity, passion and drive.

“What unites the Class of 2022 is their almost singular ability to find inspiration and motivation from hardship,” said Katherine Cecala, CEO of Junior Achievement of Arizona. “Whether it was the pure isolation that came from COVID-19, the death of a pet or the recognition that they were unlike others around them, the Class of 2022 has used their creativity, generosity and entrepreneurial spirit to make a difference in Arizona and beyond.”

Jessica Burke
Age: 16
School: Hamilton High School
Year: Sophomore
City: Chandler

Brief: An aspiring food scientist, Hamilton High School sophomore Jessica Burke is discovering that some of our most valuable and most meaningful interactions come over our shared love of food.

Hurshneet Chadha
Age: 16
School: Mountain Ridge High School
Year: Junior
City: Peoria

Brief: With an army of volunteers helping to spread his message of positivity, Mountain Ridge junior Hurshneet Chadha is getting a firsthand lesson in the power of positivity.

Claira Chong
Age: 17
School: Xavier College Preparatory
Year: Junior
City: Phoenix

Brief: Realizing that there was a dearth of practical, life-skills education for girls, Claira Chong decided to create her own forum. EmpowHerX, the Xavier College Preparatory junior’s creation, holds monthly meetings on topics ranging from personal finance to safety.

Sonya Colattur
Age: 15
School: Xavier College Preparatory
Year: Sophomore
City: Glendale

Brief: Supporting a pet on a fixed income can be a challenge. Sonya Colattur, a sophomore at Xavier College Prep., founded GrandPaws Pantry to make sure seniors have a way to feed their beloved pets.

Karasi Colter
Age: 17
School: Betty H. Fairfax High School
Year: Senior
City: Phoenix

Brief: Where most citizens look away, Karasi Colter dives in. Her work to bring assistance to and raise awareness about homelessness in the Valley makes this Phoenix Senior one of the state’s rising youth leaders.

Charlotte Gould
Age: 14 years old
School: Kyrene Aprende Middle School
Year: 8th Grade
City: Tempe

Brief: With a simple needle and thread, children across the globe are getting an important boost of confidence. They have Tempe middle-schooler Charlotte Gould, and her creativity, to thank for it.

Mihira Karnik
Age: 16
School: Arizona College Prep High School
Year: Junior
City: Chandler

Brief: What happens when you combine a talented chef and a scientist? You get Mihira Karnik. This junior at Arizona College Prep High School doesn’t just want food to be delicious, she wants to know when it’s reached its peak nutritional state.

Jenna Lee
Age: 18
School: BASIS Chandler
Year: Senior
City: Chandler

Brief: Talk to Jenna Lee about leadership, and you’ll hear stories about listening, collaboration and sacrifice. This senior from BASIS Chandler looks back fondly on the opportunities her city and community provided.

Arun Moorthy
Age: 16
School: BASIS Scottsdale
Year: Junior
City: Scottsdale

Brief: With each medical appointment, we see how technology and healthcare are inextricably linked. BASIS Scottsdale junior Arun Moorthy isn’t just aware of the connection between tech and health, he’s helping make those innovations happen.

Ashley Nevison
Age: 15
School: ASU Prep Digital
Year: Freshman
City: Scottsdale

Brief: Ashley Nevison channeled her grief and turned it into inspiration. Thanks to her nonprofit, Sargeant’s Army, this high school freshman has raised more than $50,000 and helped more than two-dozen homeless organizations.

Theresa O’Connor
Age: 17
School: Tempe Preparatory Academy
Year: Junior
City: Tempe

Brief: Tempe Preparatory Academy junior Theresa O’Connor has learned an important lesson about leadership at a young age: The output from a group is exponentially more than that of an individual.

Eduardo Rangel
Age: 18
School: Phoenix Union Wilson College Prep
Year: Senior
City: Phoenix

Brief: The concept of “building blocks for success” is more than a metaphor for Eduardo Rangel, a senior at Phoenix Union Wilson College Prep. Thanks to a hands-on internship, he’s focused on a career in construction.


Eden Sapien
Age: 16
School: Sandra Day O’Connor High School
Year: Junior
City: Phoenix

Brief: As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Eden Sapien found a slightly different interpretation of the adage – this junior at Sandra Day O’Connor High School realized that the things we forget about in our junk closets could save someone’s life.

Prisha Shroff
Age: 15
School: Hamilton High School
Year: Freshman
City: Chandler

Brief: Prisha Shroff encountered a devastating wildfire during a trip to California that made her wonder: What could we do to better prevent them? Her ideas might give us hope.

Sripriya Srinivas
Age: 17
School: Horizon Honors Secondary
Year: Chandler
City: Junior

Brief: COVID couldn’t get in the way of Sripriya Srinivas and her volunteer work with memory care patients. When we started social distancing, Srinivas, a junior at Horizon Honors Secondary, came up with new ways to inspire creativity.

Mallika Sunder
Age: 17
School: Catalina Foothills High School
Year: Junior
City: Tucson

Brief: Mallika Sunder doesn’t need to wait until she’s eligible to vote to use her voice. This 17-year-old Tucson resident is inspiring her classmates and youth around the world through her activism.

Ivanna Viloria Enciso
Age: 14
School: Catalina Foothills High School
Year: Freshman
City: Tucson

Brief: That sound you hear is a glass ceiling shattering into a million pieces, thanks in part to Ivanna Viloria Enescu. A freshman at Catalina Foothills High School in Tucson, Viloria Enciso became an Eagle Scout in October 2021.

Radia Wong
Age: 16
School: Notre Dame Preparatory
Year: Senior
City: Scottsdale

Brief: Radia Wong’s passion for synchronized swimming caused a literal ripple effect: This 16-year-old Scottsdale senior now puts her energy toward coaching, recruiting and gender equity in the sport, and finds time to help the community, too.

About Junior Achievement of Arizona
Junior Achievement of Arizona (JA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that equips Arizona students to succeed in work and life by giving them the knowledge and skills they need to manage their money, plan for their future, and make smart academic, career and economic choices. Since 1957, JA has taught kids, kindergarten through high school, about financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. The organization’s hands-on, age-appropriate programs are delivered by more than 8,000 corporate and community volunteers. Despite educational obstacles during the pandemic, JA reached more than 65,000 students in the 2020-2021 school year. Follow @JAArizona on social media or visit http://www.jaaz.org/resources for more free online educational tools.