Arnav Tripathi sat on the stairs at home, working on some homework, when he received an email with the subject line, “Congratulations!”
The South Forsyth High School student had just been named a 2022 Prudential Emerging Visionary for his work creating the Georgia Homework Help Hotline, an online program that offers help to students working toward their GEDs.
“I was so excited [to see that email],” Tripathi said.
Tripathi was one of 25 participants from across the U.S. chosen for the Prudential Emerging Visionary’s inaugural class of award winners who each received $5,000 to further improve their submitted projects.
According to a press release, the program recognizes those aged 14-18 “whose fresh perspectives and innovative solutions address the pressing financial and societal challenges in their communities.”
“Emerging Visionaries is another way Prudential is demonstrating its commitment to our purpose: to make lives better by solving the financial challenges of our changing world,” Chairman and CEO Charles Lowrey said. “The students we’re honoring have a sense of possibility that drives them to look beyond themselves. Their vision and dedication are key to creating fully inclusive communities, and we are humbled and inspired by their work.”
Many of the projects submitted by students focused on combating economic inequality, advocating for inclusion or closing digital divides. Tripathi, however, focused on helping others through the pandemic.
He had started volunteering at The Place of Forsyth in 2019, helping students through the nonprofit and pantry’s GED program.
“Then, obviously, everything went virtual in 2020,” Tripathi said. “All of a sudden, these GED students, who usually have 9-5 jobs and have kids at home …. all of their time is taken up.”
That was when he began to work with The Place to create the Georgia Homework Help Hotline, an online platform where GED students could come for help at their own convenience.
Through this program, Tripathi and The Place were able to provide help to many students who may have otherwise struggled to obtain their GED on their own, a certification that allows some to better succeed in their careers and beyond.
“My mentor at The Place of Forsyth said that obtaining a GED is more important than getting a Ph.D., and that kind of stuck with me throughout all my years of volunteering,” Tripathi said.
The Place recently resumed its in-person GED courses for community members, but Tripathi said he plans to continue leading the Georgia Homework Help Hotline while volunteering in-person. Using the $5,000 prize, he hopes to expand the program to reach students in need throughout the U.S.
Aside from the initial prize, Tripathi and the other winners also have a chance to participate in an awards summit at the end of April where they can take part in skills development workshops, coaching sessions, networking opportunities and more.
Prudential employees will also vote on an Employee’s Choice Award winner who will receive an additiona $5,000 prize.
Tripathi said he is excited to attend the summit and even more excited to see what this funding can do to help others in the Forsyth community.
“I love volunteering,” Tripathi said. “It makes me happy to see them succeed.”