Shreyas Kar, 16, of Louisville, Kentucky, a junior at duPont Manual High School, has developed software applications designed to benefit charitable organizations, reduce school violence and conserve water, and has used his experience to create a nonprofit organization that helps students around the world take on similar community-minded technology projects. As an active volunteer in his community, Shreyas was inspired to see the philanthropic response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana in 2017. But he saw firsthand how “oftentimes the donations given by benevolent donors didn’t match the actual needs of those affected by the hurricane,” he said. To address this problem, Shreyas developed a platform that connects donors and charitable organizations with people affected by disasters, so that the most-needed kinds of aid can be delivered to the right people at the right time.
The response was so positive that Shreyas set out to create artificial intelligence (AI) software with the goal of solving other societal problems. One employs facial recognition technology to help identify missing children and reunite them with their families. Another anticipates potential violence at schools and then notifies teachers and security personnel. His intelligent water conservation system can alert homeowners and utilities to potential leaks or misuse. Realizing that other students could benefit from his experience, Shreyas set up a 501(c)3 organization, built a website and designed a course to help high school and middle level students develop AI projects to serve their own communities. His organization currently has hundreds of members in 16 states and four other countries.