First “Luce 24 Under 24” Awards Winners Announced for Soirée

New York, N.Y. The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation is pleased to announce the first winners of the 2019 “Luce 24 Under 24” AwardsThe awards will be presented on the evening of Wednesday, July 24, 2019 at The China Institute, 40 Rector Street, New York City.


Mirroring the Forbes 30 Under 30, the “Luce 24 Under 24” Awards recognize young game-changers under twenty-four who are making innovative contributions to humanity. They were chosen for demonstrating their potential to alter the trajectory of the world.


After reviewing nominations and applications, the J. Luce Foundation executive members are delighted to announce 16 winners of the “Luce 24 Under 24” Awards. 


“Our foundation is proud to recognize their work and enable the winners to reach greater heights through their work,” said Jim Luce, founder and C.E.O. of the J. Luce Foundation.


The winners will be paired with mentors who will help to nurture their skills. In the fall, ten of the honorees will present their projects at a United Nations sponsored event. They will also deliver presentations at the foundation’s World Congress at Yale University’s Luce Hall in October.


Full List of the Winners & Bios

Isaac Bayoh (Sierra Leone) 58852893_2356409374416299_637891158437003264_o
Isaac, a Permanent Youth Representative at the United Nations, is a passionately articulate young leader. Isaac believes every girl has the right to go to school, stay safe from violence, access health services, and fully participate in her community. He also believes that every girl has the right to be in charge of her future and her fate. Isaac is not only committed to empowering women and girls but also committed to empowering others who are suppressed, including those whose sexual and gender orientation is not accepted by the cultural majority. See Isaac’s award-winning essay in The Stewardship Report on C0nnecting Goodness, At the U.N.: ‘As a Young Global Leader; I am Servant of My People.’

Ian Gibson (U.S.)ian gibson
Ian Gibson is a cinematographer, colorist and editor from Austin, TX, now based in Brooklyn, N.Y. At a very young age, he began crafting his own short films, until eventually starting the independent production company, Frosted Independent Films. Since then, he has attended The University of Texas at Austin to study film, with a focus in Cinematography, and continues to work in the camera department on a multitude of films and web content. Throughout his 12 years of experience, Ian has been working with various projects and nonprofit organizations focusing on philanthropic, and human rights efforts. See his award-winning essay Filmmaker On Why Young Global Leadership is Critical Today

Julian English (U.S.)
julian 3
Julian co-authored the book No Limits: No Boundaries! My Journey Through the ABC’s with his mother which reflects on his disability and inability to read and write easily. Julian’s determination and leadership led him to several triumphs over adversity.  Julian’s strength lies in his willingness to charter a course to find solutions for his disability, to advocate for himself and to inspire others to never give up. Julian was invited to the White House to meet President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden for the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disability Act. At 15, he was a Global Messenger for the Special Olympics, and was featured on a statewide poster for Chick-fil-A.  See his award-winning essay,Co-Author of book No Limits: No Boundaries! My Journey Through the ABC’s Says about Global Leadership

Kylie Gall (U.S.)
Kylie Gall

Kylie Gall is a rising senior in New Jersey. She is the editor-in-chief of her school’s newspaper and very involved in their literary review, theater productions, foreign language publication, etc. Last summer, she interned for the Solar Water Project and wrote content/did research for them about international nonprofit management. She is highly skilled at writing, editing, and content creation and is looking for an opportunity that involves global affairs.

Jeffrey Gu (U.S.)
Jeffrey believes in young global leadership is important for us to build always upward, and not to 
tear down. Young global leadership is critical in a modern context, because youth today is markedly measured by far-reaching, cross-continent and cross-ocean extending social networks. The terms “young” and “global” are amorphously intertwined, and the two, constantly buoying each other, are the life raft for the encumbrances of an aging world. Jeffrey is an ambitious, industrious, and passionate N.Y.U. student and published translator. As London Student Council President, he was in charge of event planning, communications, financial affairs, and mental well being advocacy for abroad students at NYU’s London campus, the fourth largest NYU site. See his award-winning essay in The Stewardship Report entitled Global Leadership Is Important For Us to Build Always Upward.

Onel Harrison (Jamaica)

Onel, graduated from Monroe College, New Rochelle, N.Y., is passionate about the digital technology and its role in uplifting the community. With a Bachelors of Science in Computer Information Systems, Onel has done much research on the connections between technology and social problems. He believes Young Global Leadership is of paramount importance, to challenge the status quo with fresh ideas, to positively change and create a better world. Onel serves as social media coordinator for The American Caribbean Maritime Foundation.  See his award-winning essay in The Stewardship Report entitled Leadership As Exemplified by Action-oriented and Impact-driven young people across the world who strive to better humanity

Ramin Herath (Sri Lanka)

Ramin, 13 at the time, was one of our 2016 Luce Leadership Awards youngest nominees. Now in his high school years, Ramin believes that young leadership is extremely crucial in fighting the many issues we still face as a global community. Today he is looking to set up a fund in his native country of Sri Lanka to help families that have been left behind from industrialization. His foundation which he started as a child, Coins for a Cause, have granted young adults from Sri Lanka with scholarships as Ramin believes strongly that education is essential to lifting the impoverished up through the societal ladder. See his award-winning essay in The Stewardship Report entitled On the Emergence of New, Young, Global and Ethnic Leadership.

Sarah Cohen Kassin (U.S.)
Sarah Cohen Kassin

Sarah got her inspiration of uplifting our young generation from her participation in Witness Theater that has given her the knowledge to appreciate life and always keeps the hope to make the most of the life we were given. See Sarah’s award-winning first-person essay in The Stewardship Report on Connecting Goodness entitled My Experience: Why I Will Be The Torchbearer To Future Generations.

Dustin Liu (U.S.)
Dustin Liu
Dustin developed his passion for education equity from his root of his two immigrant parents who came to America in pursuit of their education. From his young age, he became aware of the opportunity gap in education globally which inspired by his second-grade teacher, this is what drove him to his journey to begin to unpack the importance of youth global citizenship. See his award-winning essay in The Stewardship Report entitled Son of Immigrants Pursues American Dream as well as Education Equity.

Sriram Mohanakanthan (Sri Lanka)
Sriram Mohanakanthan
Sriram is a Data Analyst and Modeling Intern with Gold Group Enterprises of Glassboro, New Jersey. He graduated this spring from Rowan University, earning a Bachelor of Science in the field of Management Information Systems. Prior to graduation, Sriram interned with the Glassboro Housing Authority. At Rowan, he belonged to the Accounting Society, the Financial Management Association, and the Rowan University Concert Band. He also enjoyed performing with the Jazz Ensemble, Marching Band, Pit Orchestra, Chamber Ensemble, Rowan Youth Orchestra, Fine & Performing Arts, as well as the All South Jersey Wind Ensemble and All State Band. He was a member of the National Honor Society and received the President’s Award for Educational Excellence, the American Legion Good Citizenship Citation, the United States Marine Corps “Semper Fidelis” Award for Musical Excellence, and the John Philip Sousa Band Award.

Kumar Nandanampati (India)Kumar.Nandanampati 600
Kumar is a rising senior at Cornell University studying South Asian Studies, Asian American Studies, and Data Science. As a son of Desi immigrants, he is deeply committed to fighting for equal opportunities for marginalized Desi communities around the world and mobilizing around the issues of social justice, coalition building, and Desi visibility. Kumar strives to accomplish his passions for social justice in both theory & praxis through his academic and extracurricular pursuits. Outside of these activities, you can find Kumar tending for his beehive, reading Sangam literature, debating about International politics, and/or sipping chai. See Kumar’s prize winning essay, From Cornell: Why Young Global Leadership Today is So Critical, in The Stewardship Report on Connecting Goodness.

Emma Rehac (China)
Emma rehac - 600
Emma currently lives in Central Harlem and will soon be starting her senior year at Eleanor Roosevelt High School. In her school community, she is a senior member of the School Leadership Team and a co-founder of the school’s Equity Club. From a young age, Emma has had a strong sense of civic engagement and has been active on several local campaigns. She has been a part of the Harlem Youth Court since 2017 and has been working with elementary school children teaching them photography composition and Photoshop after school for the past six years. She is the founder and lead organizer of The Campaign for Student Transportation Justice and recently passed legislation that replaces half fare student passes with full fare MetroCards. As an Asian girl from Harlem who has a white, immigrant, single mom, Emma uses her intersectional perspective to amplify the voices of those neglected by the status quo.

Adam Shlomi (Israel)
Adam Shlomi
Adam, originally from Israel, raised in Florida, is in a position to make a positive change for the environment. He started a company which was not only proven to be financially successful but also climate-positive by offsetting carbon emissions. Being a global youth leader, Adam is also passionate about connecting people across borders to solve global problems. Adam is a Global Business Major at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He speaks English, Hebrew and studies Mandarin Chinese. See his award winning essay in The Stewardship Report on Connecting Goodness, Young Global Leadership Needed to Combat Threat of Climate Change.

Aaron Sobel (U.S.)
A recent graduate of Princeton, Aaron is a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace James C. Gaither Junior Fellow. He is also a Rhodes Scholarship Finalist, J. Welles Henderson Senior Thesis Prize Honorable Mention, a recipient of the R. W. Van de Velde Award, and a Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative (SINSI) Marlene Hess and James D. Zirin ‘61 Intern Scholar in the Nation’s Service Award Recipient. Aaron is interested in diplomacy, the law, post-conflict institution building and development, and Southeast Asian domestic politics. He grew up in Fairfax, Virginia and speaks English, French and Mandarin Chinese.

Amy Tarar (Pakistan)Amy Tarar 600
Amy is an experienced student who interested in biology and healthcare field. Graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh with a Bachelors of Science in Biology, and minors in Chemistry and Biological Anthropology, she is working toward attending a Medical school in 2020. Amy has strong believes in the importance of education and helping young children and young adults stay in school. Together with her sister, Amy initiated a foundation connecting donors to individuals who were in need of educational funds. Amy comes from a family tradition of strong women. See her award-winning essay in The Stewardship Report entitled As World Continues to Divide, Young Global Leadership Critical.

Troy Washington (U.S.) Troy Washington 600
A graduate of the University of Bridgeport, Troy is an actor and model who is trying to make an impact on the world. After studying fashion merchandising, he aspires to help children through an affordable fashion brand with proceeds supporting inner-city youth. As a basketball trainer, Troy coached a team of 11-15 year olds on Roosevelt Island where he lives.

Andrew Witherspoon (U.S.)chicago_014_41306186182_o
A graduate from The Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, Andrew is the co-founder and co-executive director of the Chicago Furniture Bank that recycled and redistributed used furniture to individuals and families in need. Andrew realized that he was presented with the opportunity to give back and be an agent of change in his own community. He believes regardless how many years of experience one has, a person can create something as a young adult that will have a meaningful impact on the world we live in. Read his award-winning essay in The Stewardship Report on Connecting GoodnessChicago Furniture Bank Founder on Young Global Leadership

Joshua Wong (Hong Kong)
Joshus Wong - B - 600
Joshua is a Hong Kong student activist and politician who serves as secretary-general of the pro-democracy party Demosistō. He was previously convenor and founder of the Hong Kong student activist group Scholarism. Josh first rose to international prominence during the 2014 Hong Kong protests, and his pivotal role in the Umbrella Movement resulted in his inclusion in TIME magazine’s Most Influential Teens of 2014 and nomination for its 2014 Person of the Year; he was further called one of the “world’s greatest leaders” by Fortune magazine in 2015, and nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017.

Nick Xia (China)
Nick Xia 600

Originally from Gwangju, Gyeonggi, China, Nick today lives in Flushing, Queens where he is actively serving with the Lions Club International youth wing known as “Leos.” He recently addressed the Borough of Manhattan Council.


“It is important for us to acknowledge Young Global Leaders not only in our backyard, but across high schools and universities of the world. We are delighted to give Hong Kong high school student activist Joshua Wong for his pivotal role in the Umbrella Movement and subsequent imprisonment,” states J. Luce Foundation founder Jim Luce, “the way we presented an award posthumously to Peter Wang, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student in Parkland, Florida who was shot as he held the door open and helped his peers escape.”

In terms of diversity, this first cohort of Luce 24 Under 24 Awardees represent 53% Asian or Asian-American, 21% African or African-American, 79% male, and 22% LGBTQ. The group is diverse in terms of belief with an estimated 32% Buddhist, 22% Christian, 10% Jewish, 5% Hindu, 5% Muslim, and the remaining 26% “other.”


Ticket Reservations
Ticket(s) in advance are available at $48 each, tax-deductible and may be paid online via: (or TEXT “Luce24” to 91999). Checks payable to The J. Luce Foundation may be sent to 540 Main St. #418, New York, N.Y. 10044. If you are unable to attend, please consider donating a ticket to sponsor one of our Young Global Leaders.

About The J. Luce Foundation
The Mission of The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation, Inc. ( is to support young global leadership impacting positive social change, particularly in the fields of the Arts, Education and Orphan Care. Related charities include Orphans International Worldwide (OIW) and The New York Global Leaders Lions Club, both founded by Jim Luce, born July 24, 1959.

From Cornell: Why Young Global Leadership Today is So Critical (7/19)
Introducing J. Luce Foundation’s Young Global Leaders Summer 2019 (7/19)

July 24th, J. Luce Foundations 20th Annual Summer Soirée (7/19)
‘Luce 24 Under 24’ Summer Soirée Set for July 24 at the China Institute (6/19)
J. Luce Foundation Announces First ‘Luce 24 Under 24’ Awards (5/19)
Leading Across Differences: Young Global Leaders Travel to Ohio (4/19)
J. Luce Leadership Team Lauded by Forbes, Gates, Ford Foundation (9/18)
Young Global Leaders Introduced in New York State Capitol (6/18)


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Ally Nguyen
Ally Nguyen studies at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania and is a Young Global Leader of the J. Luce Foundation.

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