Sriya Tallapragada
General Business

Prudential Financial Names First ‘Emerging Visionaries’

Newark-based Prudential Financial announced its inaugural class of Prudential Emerging Visionaries — 25 young people from across the country with an inspiring commitment to improving the lives of others.

The Emerging Visionaries recognizes young leaders ages 14-18 who have fresh, innovative solutions to pressing financial and societal challenges in their communities. The program is a collaboration between Prudential Financial and Ashoka, a leading social impact organization, with advisory support from the Financial Health Network.

The Emerging Visionary from New Jersey is Sriya Tallapragada. Selected in the societal category, Tallapragada created “Girls Who STEAM,” an organization that works to close the gender gap in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) fields, empowering young women to pursue these subjects through creative workshops and lifelong mentorship opportunities. Tallapragada wants to see a more inclusive and diverse field.

“From TV shows to Halloween costumes, I never understood why there were no women in STEM representation in the media,” she said. “I was equally as confused when boys laughed at me after sharing that I wanted to be an astronaut, or when one of my childhood best friends told me that as a girl, I could only be a nurse.” Sriya has worked with more than 4,000 girls worldwide to change these narratives.

According to Prudential Chairman and CEO Charles Lowrey, “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. 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.”

Each of the 25 winners will receive $5,000 in funding as well as an invitation to participate in an awards summit from April 23-26, 2022. The summit will include a lively agenda packed with skills development workshops, coaching sessions, networking opportunities and special recognition events.

Select winners will also have an opportunity to participate in a pitch-off where a grand prize winner will receive an additional $10,000 in funding. What’s more, Prudential employees will vote to name an Employees’ Choice Award winner, who will receive an additional $5,000.

The 2022 Prudential Emerging Visionaries in the Financial Solutions for a Changing World category are:

  • Ella Gupta, 17, of Raleigh, North Carolina, started the “Initiative for Financial Literacy Exploration.”
  • Isaac Hertenstein, 15, of Greencastle, Indiana, who founded “Students Teaching Finance.”
  • Rachel Holmes, 18, of San Jose, California, who started “Black Girls Mean Business.”
  • Sahana Mantha, 15, of Charlotte, North Carolina, who co-founded “Foundation for Girls.”
  • Faaris Zuberi, 17, of Rockville, Maryland, who is a leader of “Financial Literacy Introduction Program.”
  • The 2022 Prudential Emerging Visionaries in the Societal Solutions category are:
  • Jonah Basi, 17, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, who founded “MangroLife.”
  • Amelie Beck, 15, of Louisville, Kentucky, who co-founded “MedTechConnect.”
  • Jordyn Cambeiro, 16, of Henderson, Nevada, who is the creator of “Empowering Immigrants.”
  • Esther Chan, 15, of Honolulu, Hawaii, who founded “Cyber Safe Seniors.”
  • Kayli Joy Cooper, 17, of Studio City, California, who created “Girl Well.”
  • Sayers Grooms, 16, of Gainesville, Florida, created “Watch Me Run.”
  • Isabella Hanson, 16, of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, who started “I Matter.”
  • Aaron Li, 17, of Portland, Oregon, who is the co-founder of “Project Lotus.”
  • Chris Matthews, 14, of McDonough, Georgia, who is the creator of the “Blanket Box Project.”
  • Arun Moorthy, 16, of Scottsdale, Arizona, who created “HealthAI.”
  • Naomi Porter, 17, of Rancho Palos Verdes, California, who founded “EntrepreYOUership.”
  • Tavish Sharma, 18, of Libertyville, Illinois, who founded “Solve Hunger Corp.”
  • Anya Shukla, 18, of Bellevue, Washington, who co-created “The Colorization Collective.”
  • Sriya Tallapragada, 15, of New Providence, New Jersey, who created “Girls Who STEAM.”
  • Jonathan Tamen, 17, of Miami Beach, Florida, who started “Helping Hands MB.”
  • Khloe Thompson, 14, of Yorba Linda, California, who started “PeachTree Pads.”
  • Arnav Tripathi, 17, of Cumming, Georgia, who founded the “Georgia Homework Help Hotline.”
  • Stephanie Wang, 17, of Katy, Texas, who founded “Project Unmasked.”
  • Arthur Wang, 17, of Columbia, Maryland, who started the “COVID Teacher Care Kits Initiative.”
  • Elise Zeigler, 17, of St. Louis, Missouri, who established “Selah Textiles.”

For more information about Prudential Emerging Visionaries and to learn more about their stories, visit

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