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Distinguished Finalist

Akash Gururaja

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Akash Gururaja, 17, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a senior at Linn-Mar High School, co-founded “Carnatic for a Cause,” an organization that has raised more than $24,000 for community causes since 2015 by organizing a series of performances featuring young artists. The initiative, which has featured 75 performers at events in five cities, has benefited causes ranging from a local women and children’s center to flood victims in Chennai, India.