Class of 2021 President’s Engagement and Innovation Prize winners announced

Seven Penn seniors were named recipients of the 2021 President’s Engagement Prize. They are Elizabeth Carson Eckhard, Natalia Rommen, and Sarah Simon for Project HOPE; Martin Leet and Leah Voytovich for Maji; and Christina Miranda and Amanda Moreno for Be Body Positive Philly.


Composite photo of the 2021 PEP and PIP winners

2020 Projects

Aarogya founders Aditya Siroya, Artemis Panagopoulou, and Shivansh Inamdar.


Aarogya, a social-enterprise nonprofit created by three President’s Engagement Prize winners and graduating seniors, will bring affordable medicines to low-income people living in India.

Unscripted Project founders Philip Chen and Meera Menon

The Unscripted Project

Using the President’s Engagement Prize, seniors Philip Chen and Meera Menon will create a nonprofit to bring improv training to Philadelphia public schools.

Collective Climb founders Mckayla Warwick , Kwaku Owusu, Hyungtae Kim

Collective Climb

With the President’s Engagement Prize, seniors Hyungtae Kim, Kwaku Owusu, and Mckayla Warwick will work to combat poverty in West Philadelphia through education, shared resources, and community collaboration.

2019 Projects

Rebound Liberia founders Princess Aghayere, Summer Kollie, Oladunni Alomaja

Rebound Liberia

Princess Aghayere (C'19), Summer Kollie (C'19), Oladunni Alomaja (EAS'19)

Aghayere, Kollie, and Alomaja are using basketball as a tool to bridge the literacy gap between men and women and as a mechanism for youth to cope with the trauma and stress of daily life in post-conflict Liberia.

Host Homes founder Brendan Taliaferro

Host Homes for LGBTQ Youth in Philadelphia

Brendan Taliaferro (C'19)

Taliaferro’s project is addressing a dire need for safe and stable emergency housing for LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia by creating a host homes program.

Cultivando Juntos José Á. Maciel, Antonio E. Renteria

Cultivando Juntos (Cultivating Together)

José Á. Maciel (Nu'19) and Antonio E. Renteria (Nu'19)

Maciel and Renteria are pioneering a community-based curriculum in the agricultural workplaces of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.

2018 Projects

Chicago Furniture Bank founders, Griffin Amdur (W'18), James McPhail (C'18, W'18), and Andrew Witherspoon (W'18)

Chicago Furniture Bank

Griffin Amdur (W'18), James McPhail (C'18, W'18), and Andrew Witherspoon (W'18)

Amdur, McPhail, and Witherspoon are collecting gently used furniture from the elderly and giving those donations to vulnerable populations in the Chicago metropolitan area, including women and children facing domestic violence, recovering addicts and the formerly homeless.

Healthy Pequeños founder, Alaina Hall (Nu'18)

Healthy Pequeños

Alaina Hall (Nu'18)

Hall’s nonprofit project is a nurse-led multi-interventional health-promotion effort that aims to address the global health problem of infectious disease in children. Working in partnership with the Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos orphanage in Miacatlán, Mexico, Hall will work to improve health education for children and their caregivers.

rePurpose founders, Peter Wang Hjemdahl and Svanika Balasubramanian


Peter Wang Hjemdahl (W'18) and Svanika Balasubramanian (W'18)

With the President’s Engagement Prize, Wharton graduates Peter Wang Hjemdahl and Svanika Balasubramanian will boost wages for low-income workers while simultaneously diverting thousands of tons of waste from landfills.

2017 Projects

Homeless Health and Nursing founders, Marcus Henderson (Nu'17) and Ian McCurry (Nu'17)

Homeless Health and Nursing

Marcus Henderson (Nu'17) and Ian McCurry (Nu'17)

Henderson and McCurry are integrating innovative healthcare case management into the current program of homeless services offered by the Bethesda Project, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that provides proactive case management and housing services to the homeless population.

Lanzando Líderes founders - Yaneli Arizmendi (Nu'17), Alexa Salas (C'17) and Camilo Toro (C'17)

Lanzando Líderes (Launching Leaders)

Yaneli Arizmendi (Nu'17), Alexa Salas (C'17) and Camilo Toro (C'17)

Lanzando Líderes (Launching Leaders) is an afterschool youth leadership development program for Latino high school students. The program equips students with the knowledge and skills to become leaders in their own lives and in their communities.

2016 Projects

Coming Home to Continued Care founder, Kriya Patel (C'16)

Coming Home to Continued Care

Kriya Patel (C'16)

Patel is helping women about to be released from Riverside Correctional Facility, an all-female facility in Philadelphia, apply for and secure health insurance and identification prior to release.

Reaching HEALthy founder  Melanie Mariano

Reaching HEALthy

Melanie Mariano (Nu'16)

Mariano is partnering with the Free Library of Philadelphia to assist library patrons in obtaining health information, medical counseling, and preventive health services. 

 NESARA Agriculture Extension founder, Vaishak Kumar (C'16)

NESARA Agriculture Extension

Vaishak Kumar (C'16)

Kumar is utilizing cost-efficient technology and novel research to help farmers in India boost their productivity. He is using mobile technology to improve farmer education in India.

2015 Projects

Tarkwa Breman School founder, Shadrack Frimpong (C’15)

Tarkwa Breman School

Shadrack Frimpong (C’15)

Frimpong is establishing the Tarkwa Breman Model School for Girls and Community Clinic in his poverty-stricken home village of Tarkwa Breman, Ghana. The school and clinic will also serve citizens in the surrounding seven villages.


Home, Heart, Health

Jodi Feinberg (Nu’15)

Feinberg is designing, implementing, and evaluating a comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation model for home care, with the support of the New York University Langone Medical Center and the Visiting Nurse Service of New York.

Everwaters' founders, Adrian Lievano (EAS’15) and Matthew Lisle (EAS’15)


Adrian Lievano (EAS’15) and Matthew Lisle (EAS’15)

Lievano and Lisle are developing and implementing Everwaters, a rainwater catchment and purification system and Kimana, Kenya. Once they install the system, Lievano and Lisle will engage the Kimana community through ongoing support and education.

GenHERation Founder, Katlyn Grasso


Katlyn Grasso (W'15)

Grasso is using the President’s Engagement Prize to further her work with GenHERation, a national female empowerment network for high-school girls. GenHERation works to positively impact girls’ confidence and personal development.