Stories of Impact: Announcing the 2013 JCI TOYP Honorees

August 26, 2013

JCI TOYP WInnerThrough exceptional achievements and diverse innovative actions, the 2013 JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World (JCI TOYP) create sustainable impact in their communities and around the world. 

Each year, JCI honors ten outstanding young people under the age of 40. These young active citizens exemplify the spirit of the JCI Mission and provide extraordinary service to their communities. Through innovation, determination and revolutionary thinking, these individuals take action and develop lasting solutions on local and global levels.

Young people from around the world voted online to participate in selecting the 2013 JCI TOYP Honorees. Along with the traditional final judging panel, comprised of representatives of select partner organizations and 2013 JCI President Chiara Milani, the online votes helped determine the winning honorees. After more than 36,000 votes were cast and the judging panel reviewed the top 20 semi-finalists, ten young active citizens were selected for their exemplary service to their communities and the world. 

Get to know the 2013 JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World.

Vedant Dharam Seeam, Mauritius

Contribution to children, world peace, and/or human rights

After completing his postgraduate studies, Vedant Dharam Seeam returned to his home country of Mauritius and started an international nongovernmental organization called ELI Africa, serving local underprivileged children. ELI Africa invests in the wellbeing of its children, guiding them through primary education and beyond, while also cultivating a spirit of service. ELI Africa’s students participate in local community projects focused on environmental protection and conservation of local natural resources. Seeam’s organization also has several environmental initiatives related to deforestation and coral preservation. His hard work with education and the environment will benefit the Mauritian community for many years to come. 

Adeyemi Adesokan, Nigeria
Scientific and/or technological development

Born in Nigeria, Adeyemi Adesokan has always had a passion for science and sports. Combining his medical knowledge and entrepreneurial skills, he started a diagnostics venture called Pathogenia. This start-up uses next-generation genome sequencing to provide better diagnosis and detection of disease. His technology has helped save lives internationally with earlier and more accurate detection of infections to control the spread of disease. He has also created programs that expand access to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education for inner-city youth. Adesokan’s goal is to be a role model for the youth of our world showing them how medical innovation and knowledge can create a sustainable positive impact. 


Tülin Akın, Turkey
Business, economic, and/or entrepreneurial accomplishment
Raised in impoverished villages in Turkey, Tülin Akın was exposed to the needs and challenges of rural communities early in life. Throughout her studies and work in these communities, Akın realized that Turkey’s agriculture sector and local farmers were not present on the Internet. Forming a solution to these challenges, Akın established Turkey’s first e-learning and e-commerce media outlet to help farmers gain access to information regarding products, marketing and legislation. She created a free SMS text service sending them information about climate, crops and weather and software, Farmers Computer, allowing them to manage their farms and fields on their computer. Akın’s innovations provide resources aimed at the rural farmer, encouraging them to fully and actively participate in the economy and society of their country.

Mong Linh Do, Australia 

Moral and/or environmental leadership 

Mong Linh Do’s zest for hard work and dedication for helping others was founded at a young age. Focused on environmental issues, she started the Change A Million Light Bulbs campaign that ultimately led to legislature limiting the sale of light bulbs in Australia to only those that are environmentally friendly. Invested in improving civic journalism standards and increasing democratic engagement of youth, she also co-founded OurSay, an online civic engagement platform and she currently she serves as editor-in-chief and publisher of The Verb, a newswire service telling the stories that matter. Do has also led three international delegations from South Africa, Brazil and Qatar for various UN conferences where young professionals like herself communicate the importance of advocacy in promoting social justice. 

Hasibe Kızıltaş, Turkey

Humanitarian and/or voluntary leadership

Using her expertise in the field of human resources and career development, Hasibe Kızıltaş researched development activities and career paths available to the disabled within her community. She realized that false prejudices and negative attitudes existed in much of the corporate and public sectors concerning disabled persons employment.  Kızıltaş founded, Turkey’s first disabled human resources and career portal, developing the website into a trusted database with thousands of qualified disabled applicants ready to enter the workforce. As a part of her innovative venture, Kızıltaş also advocates for disabled people to receive equal wages, equal working opportunities and an accepting, encouraging environment when interacting with other workers. 

Soon Loo, Canada

Business, economic, and/or entrepreneurial accomplishment
Soon Loo is an avid entrepreneur who uses his business skills and corporate knowledge to start successful ventures that give back to the community.  His innovative journey started at the age of 21 developing successful optical software used in eye-care training colleges and optical stores across Canada and the United States. Currently Loo is helping his native country of Brunei move away from oil dependency and find alternative sources of profit locally and internationally. He also mentors other aspiring young entrepreneurs by offering advice, encouragement and motivation to pursue their dreams through university-level teaching and Passion Unleashed, a talk series featuring experts sharing personal stories and challenges. 

John Loughton, United Kingdom

Political, legal, and/or governmental affairs
Avoiding drugs and crime in his neighborhood at an early age, John Loughton turned toward youth volunteerism at his local school. He served as the youngest ever Chairman of the Scottish Youth Parliament and rallied more than 25,000 youth to take positive actions in their community. He also accompanied delegations of young people to both the G8 and G20 Youth summits as the UK Prime Minister of Youth Diplomatic Service. Loughton founded Dare2Lead, a leadership training company, training 6,000 people in his first operating year while developing large contracts with corporate, government and nonprofit organizations. Loughton is personally and professionally driven to build a new generation of entrepreneurs, social activists and active citizens invested in the wellbeing of their communities. 

Nicolas Noguier, France

Contribution to children, world peace, and/or human rights
Experiencing discrimination and bullying firsthand at a young age ignited Nicolas Noguier’s passion to ensure that no one lives in a negative environment because of their sexual orientation. He founded a nonprofit organization, Le Refuge, to assist youth and their families who struggle with discrimination surrounding sexual orientation. This growing charity provides temporary accommodation, social and psychological support, listening and family mediation and preventive interventions. Nogiuer also works with local secondary schools to organize and teach homosexuality education sessions for students, spreading awareness and acceptance on an important issue of our world today. 

Dr. Ola Orekunrin, Nigeria

Medical innovation

Dr. Ola Orekunrin uses her extensive medical background, studies and training to address Nigeria’s challenge of providing adequate medical care to rural communities. To close this gap of service, Dr. Orekunrin founded Flying Doctors Nigeria, a completely physician-led organization that provides air ambulance services, training and consultancy to state governments and private organizations across Africa. The company is known for its quick response time of 20 to 30 minutes and 100% safety record. While delivering a necessary service, her organization also supports the economy by providing jobs for many medical and transport professionals. 

Kian Hoe Seah, Malaysia

Moral and/or environmental Leadership

Helping his parents manage their own recycling initiative while going to school gave Kian Hoe Seah his first exposure to how a business idea can also help protect the environment. Seah began to focus on the engineering and recyclability of plastics, studying the supply chain and finding inefficiencies that could be easily fixed. He invented a new system reducing the labor force by 40% and logistics by more than 60%. He also created a new material that passed all necessary environmental and product tests and eventually turned into an entire line of smart plastics. Seah’s socially responsible business practices and method of production is praised and acclaimed by many business and social leaders around the world.


Meet these 10 inspirational individuals face-to-face at the 2013 JCI Awards Ceremony featuring the 2013 JCI TOYP Honorees at the JCI World Congress in Rio di Janeiro, Brazil on Friday, November 8. 

Be sure to also attend the JCI TOYP Honoree Workshop: Collaborating for Impact on Friday, November 8. Just like all JCI members, the JCI TOYP Honorees take action in their communities, creating sustainable solutions for a better world. In this premier workshop, Congress delegates have the opportunity to meet, work and share ideas with these ten inspirational individuals. To solve the greatest challenges of our time, collaboration amongst young active citizens is key. Don’t miss this exciting new program and return home to your fellow members with fresh ideas and solutions for taking impactful action, just like these Honorees. 

Discover more about each JCI TOYP Honoree in their official press releases.