Being a college student is tough. But besides balancing a course load, extracurriculars, and the everyday stresses of college life, there are those who inspire their peers to think beyond their campuses and change the world.
The CollegeFashionista College All Star awards recognizes the incredible efforts and talents of millennial and Gen Z generations. Despite their age, these young adults prove that with passion, intellect and strength, nothing is impossible.
From inventing lifesaving technologies to saving our planet to devoting time to human rights, meet the inaugural class of “College All Stars.”
Kate Avino, 21, New York University
Why we think she’s an all star: Kate started “Her Culture”—an online platform dedicated to sharing women’s languages, traditions, customs, and cultures through short stories, poems, art, and articles. It’s a way for women around the world to share and talk about their similarities and differences.
Kate’s advice to other young people: “Don’t be afraid. It took me a very long time in my life to understanding that jumping into a new opportunity could be scary in the beginning, but is so, so beneficial in the long run. Young people should not fear ‘what’s on the other side,’ and should instead fear the outcome if they don’t step out of their comfort zones and take the reigns of the opportunities that pass in front of them. I also think that, at our age and time in particular, it is especially important to not be afraid to stand up for what is right for others and what is morally clear. So [no matter what], don’t be afraid.”
Avery Winthrop McCall, 18, Stanford University (Starting fall 2017; currently taking a gap year)
Why we think she’s an all star: Starting at age 12, Avery has served as a teen advisor for the UN’s Girl Up campaign and an active advocate for refugees. She has dedicated herself to raising awareness and aid to global issues. As a Ford model, Avery hopes to use fashion as a way to continue to raise awareness and serve those impacted in wartorn nations.
Avery on who inspires her: “Refugees truly embody all major human rights issues and abuses, from access to clean water, to education, to gender based violence, and so many more. Despite the fact that they are human beings just like us, with dreams, careers, and families, simply asking for the chance to survive, they continue to be scapegoated and stripped of their humanity in politics and in the media. Less than one percent are permanently resettled in new countries. Even when they are, tremendous challenges still face them, from acclimating to a foreign culture and language, to repaying their travel debts to the nations that granted them citizenship. Yet despite the traumas and horrors they have survived, they remain the most optimistic and determined group of individuals I have ever encountered. It is their daily perseverance that inspires me to ensure that our shared humanity is recognized and to galvanize support for the individuals who need it most.”
Rebecca Dharmapalan, 20, University of California, Berkeley
Why we think she’s an all star: This artist, activist, and scholar focused on raising awareness on the issue of commercially sexually exploited children. Rebecca first exposed this issue in her award winning documentary on the reality of domestic child sex trafficking in her hometown of Oakland, California. On campus, she works as the co-coordinator for the Women’s Leadership Intensive and founded “ONX Magazine,” a collective run by women of color.
Rebecca’s favorite thing about her generation: “I appreciate my generation’s commitment to creating change and demanding justice through protest and self healing.”
Daniela Fernandez, 23, Georgetown University
Why we think she’s an all star: Daniela organized the first annual “Sustainable Oceans Summit,” which brought together millennials, NGOs, business executives, and policy leaders to address the challenges and brainstorm solutions surrounding ocean sustainability. Her leadership has lead to annual summits that have engaged 30 universities, U.S. embassies and over 3,000 participants to help preserve the health and sustainability of our oceans.
Daniela’s hopes for the future: “My dream is to launch an impact investment fund that will provide capital to social entrepreneurs working to address some of the most pressing environmental threats. I believe in the power of the private sector as a force for change that can benefit society as long as the right market incentives are in place. I want to help develop space within the market that lowers the barriers of entry for those with great ideas to positively affect our world.”
Keiana Ashli Cavé, 18, University of Michigan
Why we think she’s an all star: Keiana is a web design recruit for Microsoft, Environmental Field Scientist for the Smithsonian Tropical Reseaach Institute, CEO of her startup Meter, multiple patent holder, a recent Forbes “30 Under 30” award recipient, and has been dubbed my some as “The Next Mark Zuckerberg.”
Keiana’s advice to other young people: “Don’t ever give up on your dreams! Let failure motivate you, and always jump at the opportunity to try something new. I started high school as an aspiring ballerina and graduated as a published research scientist. So much can change in a small amount of time.”
Ann Makosinski, 19, University of British Columbia
Why we think she’s an all star: This inventor and entrepreneur created the “Hollow Flashlight,” which utilizes the thermoelectic effect of body health and converts it to electricity to power an LED lightbulb without the need for batteries or kinetic energy. Her inventions and intellect have earned her many awards, including winning the Google Science Fair and Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Ann also helped start The AAT Project—a platform to help other young researchers and scientists bring their ideas to life.
Ann’s hopes for the future: “My hopes for the future personally are for my company Makotronics Enterprises to keep growing, to have a show where I can feature other young inventors and entrepreneurs, and to live in California with five cats.”