2022 JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World Voting

The JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World (JCI TOYP) program honors ten outstanding young people under the age of 40 each year. These individuals exemplify the spirit of the JCI Mission, and they serve as stellar examples of entrepreneurial spirit and ethical leadership. Whether through a business, scientific endeavors or their impact on society, these enterprising young leaders turn challenges into opportunities on a local and global level. The final ten TOYP nominees will be honored during the 2022 JCI World Congress.

Narrowing the 2022 JCI TOYP top twenty finalists to the final ten honorees will be done not only by the final judging panel, comprised of JCI stakeholders, representatives of select partner organizations and the JCI President, but also by a public popular online vote.

Voting is now closed. When the results are tallied, the winners will be displayed here! Be sure to watch our social media or the JCI Virtual Community – we will make an announcement there as well when the results are in!

JCI Tunisia

Amir Fehri

JCI Zimbabwe

Ben Jammaine Ncube

JCI Turkey

Cihan Buğdaycı

JCI Syria

Dania Humaidan

JCI Australia

David McKenna

JCI Malaysia

NG Yee Heng (Eddie)

JCI South Africa

Elma Akob

JCI Turkey

Firat Güder

JCI India

Jerryl Banait

JCI India

Kamakshi Maheshwari

JCI Turkey

Kerem Deveci

JCI Finland

Laura Koivusalo

JCI Malaysia

Lim Sai Seong

JCI Malaysia

Lim Yeat Fong

JCI Hong Kong

Ricky Chiu

JCI Malaysia

Teo Gee Lian

JCI Mongolia

Undram Chinbat

JCI Malaysia

Wei Lun Sin

JCI South Africa

Zakithi Mkhize

JCI Taiwan

Po Cheng Tsai

JCI Tunisia

Amir Fehri

Academic Leadership and/or Accomplishment

At age 18, Amir Fehri is one of the youngest medical school students in France. He is also one of the youngest ambassadors ever having presented his credentials at the age of 15 years old to the President of the Republic of Tunisia. 

He has already published six books, one of which, Harcèlement, is a worldwide bestseller autobiography about school bullying. Amir wrote his first book when he was seven years old and he received more than 28 international prizes in literature such as the Arts And Letters of France Prize. 

Having given the royalties of his books to build schools in Tunisia, Amir is also currently working hard to open the first international school in the refugee camps in Mosul, Iraq, with the United Nations. This school will give children access to the official educational programs of different countries of the European Union and the MENA region. 

Through his work, Amir has achieved a reputation and is renowned worldwide, making many international television appearances to talk about his unique experiences with the youths he has met including refugee children, bullied students, people with autism, orphans, youths with disabilities and children in prisons and correctional centers.

Amir also fluently speaks eight languages which has allowed him to communicate with the most important leaders of the planet. For example, French President Emmanuel Macron asked him to fly with him on board the Presidential aircraft as a member of the Official Delegation of the Presidency of the Republic of France to the International Summit of Francophonie in Armenia when he was twelve. 

Amir wants to do his best, as a young Tunisian, Arab, African and youth of the world, to allow his voice to be a symbol of tolerance in a tense world. For Amir, education is the key!

JCI Zimbabwe

Ben Jammaine Ncube

Medical Innovation

Ben Jammaine Ncube is passionate about healthcare and access thereto, with his long term goal being the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing) in Africa. His mission is to transform social attitudes on healthcare for men by creating dialogue and safe spaces for them to get help.This is informed by the reality that making advances in male healthcare leads to better health outcomes for women and children as well.

Over the past five years, Ben has encouraged the participation of men in community health initiatives through ongoing projects such as outreach programs, academic research and the first ever digital health magazine for men in Zimbabwe, which reaches over 5000 readers. Since founding the first Men’s Health Clinic in Zimbabwe, he has further reached over 18,000 men and 500-plus stakeholders with healthcare services, whilst another 4500-plus have been impacted through digital information databases.He is currently pursuing his PhD, with research focus on organizational agility for healthcare facilities. His findings will further contribute towards the creation of male-inclusive and adaptive healthcare centers in the world. 

Ben has blazed a trail of impact which solidifies his mission as a Pan-African healthcare innovator. His work has received multiple accolades, including recognition as the first ever Zimbabwean to win the Gian Marco Moratti Award, for the most innovative response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa. Ben is a Mandela Washington Fellow, E4Impact Champion, & Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneur.

JCI Turkey

Cihan Buğdaycı

Humanitarian and/or Voluntary Leadership

Cihan Buğdaycı has always been passionate about inspiring and providing opportunities to children and youth, uniting humanity in a climate of trust and raising minds and hearts for sustainable peace and prosperity. He demonstrates his passion with the projects he carries out, especially those that help disadvantaged children reach a qualified education. His mission is to move people to a higher level of well-being and happiness through education.

Cihan is a psychology graduate. By combining the discipline of psychology with the fields of education and entrepreneurship, he develops sustainable education models that are beneficial to humanity.

Cihan has succeeded in inspiring thousands of young people with his own story by developing solutions to the problems he has noticed based on his own life. During the past seven years, he has conducted education projects for the children and youth of developing countries by expanding the action of equal opportunity in education, which he started by aiming at village children and youth in Turkey. Cihan wants to prepare humanity for the most beneficial future, so he systematized 21st century skills with the help of a psychologist and led the adoption of these skills by children, youth and adults and delivered a quality education able to change the lives of tens of thousands of people. His work is inspired by local and international communities, helping to raise awareness about developing human-centered education and business ecosystems.

JCI Syria

Dania Humaidan

Academic Leadership and/or Accomplishment

Dania Humaidan has always been passionate about the use of artificial intelligence to enhance human life. Coming from the small city of Swaida, Syria, Dania has made it her mission to work at the cutting edge of artificial intelligence applications in health. She focuses on making medical services more advanced while at the same time accessible to countries with limited medical personnel.

Dania studied medicine and computer science simultaneously and was the first Syrian to join the Max Planck International Research School for Intelligent Systems in Germany.

Working in a field where women are still underrepresented, Dania has worked on encouraging the participation of women in the technological field. She has been an active member of the Women in Machine Learning and Women Techmakers communities, which hold workshops and events to support women in this field and increase their participation in international conferences. Meanwhile, given her interdisciplinary work on machine learning applications in health, especially neurological diseases, she has given many local and international talks and has been acting as a mentor to many students, physicians and scientists who would like to follow the same path. Dania believes in the power of science, and that the future will be driven by interdisciplinary research promoting artificial intelligence-based healthcare, in which everyone should have an opportunity and be encouraged to participate. She is determined to expand her mentorship circle and continue her efforts to positively affect the world.

JCI Australia

David McKenna

Personal Improvement and/or Accomplishment

David McKenna is an experienced entrepreneur, non-executive director and public sector leader. He brings fresh-thinking and a passion for human-centered design to his roles in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. He believes economic development and education are fundamental to lasting social impact and is driven by a determination to serve.

Growing up in some of Sydney’s most impoverished suburbs, David’s upbringing was filled with disadvantage and pessimism. However, his mother and later his grandparents strived to ensure he did not feel the strains of poverty, and instilled in him a sense of charity and a desire to improve the world around him.

David’s career has involved working for the Australian Government, specializing in innovation, social policy, indigenous affairs and corporate governance. He took time out of his mainstream employment to co-found Energy Panda Solutions, a platform that helped low-income households understand energy consumption. He also co-founded All Care Health Services Group, a disability and aged care service provider, where he is a Non-Executive Director.

David is a Non-Executive Director of YMCA NSW where he advocates for youth participation and development opportunities for young people. He also supports youth programs in his local community through Lions Clubs International.  

In 2021 David was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a neurodevelopmental disability that he has had his whole life. David constantly fears that with his ASD and co-occurring disorders that everything he does is fragile and at risk of falling away – but he still works to improve the world around him.

JCI Malaysia

NG Yee Heng (Eddie)

Scientific and/or Technological Development

Although the beginning of Eddie Heng’s life was difficult with two criminal convictions, he took these dark moments as a time to change. Despite his troubled past, Eddie took full control of his future and has innovated with flying colors.

With Malaysia being in the top ten in the world for car ownership per capita – and one of the most important automotive markets in Southeast Asia, Eddie created the company Vanzo and set out to make the driving experience more pleasant for such a significant user base. After scouring Asia for raw materials and much market research, Vanzo partnered with companies based in Japan (Ogawa Flavors & Fragrances and Taiyo Corporation) and was able to source high quality, non-toxic air fresheners for drivers in the region.

In four years’ time, Eddie led Vanzo market penetration with over 8,000 point-of-sales accumulating over $10.5 million USD. Ultimately, Eddie was able to bring fresh air to over 2 million cars and homes in Malaysia and enabled medical masks to be available in over 800 pharmacies nationwide. Within those four years, Vanzo gained an impressive 15% market share in the Malaysian air refresher industry. He exports to eight international markets and collaborates with influential local players in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, Vietnam and China.

Since 2014, Eddie has been serving at the Gambler Rehab Center of Malaysia and has actively inspired more than 5,000 students in the past seven years. Eddie has these youth craft their future plan by providing them skill training in fields such as  hair dressing, photography, handcrafts and language communication to help prepare them to return to the society.

Eddie’s life transformation and accomplishment have indeed created positive change in millions of lives. He is a true ambassador to demonstrate self-motivation, encouragement and perseverance in making a big difference and bringing positive change to himself and the world.

JCI South Africa

Elma Akob

Personal Improvement and/or Accomplishment

Elma Akob is a young and vibrant lady who strives for excellence in all spheres of life. At 23 years old, she is a three-time graduate with a Bachelor of Commerce with Law degree, a Communication Management Honors degree and a Masters degree in Strategic Business Management. As an award-winning global speaker and TEDx speaker, Elma has made it her mission to equip the youth of Africa with the voices they need to amplify their ideas.

She believes that while being the first is impressive, real impact is made when you ensure you are not the last by empowering others to rise with you. This is why she mentors young girls all around the continent through the Amazon Leadership Initiative, using the power of representation to motivate, empower and inspire. With her passion for communication, Elma founded her company, Elevate Africa, which is rooted in the motto of “Passing on the gift” of public speaking. 

Through this, Elma equips dreamers and visionaries with the necessary communication and socialization skills to reach their full potential to speak, and speak with confidence. Her company recently won the Top Youth Owned Education Brand in South Africa. As a voice over artist who records for the likes of Disney and Netflix, Elma wants young girls like herself to  believe that anything is possible if you “Dare to Dream.” This was the title of her speech at the United Nations Headquarters in 2016 where she received a standing ovation, and it is still her mantra today.

JCI Turkey

Firat Güder

Academic Leadership and/or Accomplishment


Firat Güder is a scientist, innovator and educator with a limitless imagination, passion and ambition to tackle difficult global problems. He has made it his mission to train young scientists and develop technologies that address challenges related to animal and human health, food systems and the environment. 

Firat studied computer and microsystems engineering, and has worked with some of the most prominent scientists and innovators of our time at institutions such as the University of Freiburg and Harvard University before joining the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London as a professor. 

In addition to his scholarly activities, Firat is deeply interested in translation of his research to further accelerate delivery of societal impact; he has launched multiple award-winning startups and also works closely with industry partners to translate his research. As a pioneering expert and thought leader, Firat is routinely invited to give lectures at international meetings and conferences with more than 60 scientific seminars given worldwide including plenary and keynote lectures. Firat has received many awards, recognitions and fellowships: ACS Sensors named Firat a “Rising Star in Sensing.” Firat has also received the Imperial College President’s Award for Excellence in Research, Imperial College President’s Award in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, University of New Brunswick Young Alumni Achievement Award, Tom West Analytical Fellowship and German Research Foundation International Fellowship. Firat has also raised over 15 million USD for new research and training programs to create positive change and empower the next generation. 

JCI India

Jerryl Banait

Moral and/or Environmental Leadership

Dr. Jerryl Banait is a dermatologist and cosmetologist by profession, whose passionate work in environment protection and wildlife conservation has won him many accolades. Jerryl believes in making a difference in the world we inhabit, and his efforts towards achieving that goal have been tireless. 

A multifaceted, dynamic person, Jerryl is a Guinness and Limca world record holder. His social service for the wild animals, tigers and healthcare workers has impacted millions of lives. Jerryl’s dedication towards seeking justice has resulted in bringing two national policy changes in India — one in environment and one in healthcare. His relentless pursuit of justice has included everything from filing public interest litigations to fodder distribution for cattle to avoiding man-animal conflict inside forest areas.

Banait christened “voice for the voiceless” in the wildlife fraternity. He has championed the cause of wildlife conservation by giving agency to local tribes, and during the recent global pandemic, Jerryl helped distribute PPE kits for local healthcare workers across India. He is also key resource person for HarperCollins publishers to spread awareness on sustainable developmental goals of United Nations.

Through his international affiliations, Jerryl has brought international focus to the subject Save Tiger Save Environment Save Us. His TED talks and international interviews with media giants like the BBC and Vanity Fair have inspired the younger generation to work towards saving the environment and becoming leaders themselves.  A Bollywood production house is even making a biopic on Jerryl’s social work. Starting at a young age, Jerryl has made a world of difference through the social work he has been involved in and continues to create more positive change to this day — across all levels of society.

JCI India

Kamakshi Maheshwari

Moral and/or Environmental Leadership

Dr. Kamakshi Maheshwari is a sustainability leader who works to bring changes to society via adoption of environmentally friendly living. An environmentalist, heritagologist and educator by profession, she strives to perpetuate and pass the lineage left behind to the future generations.  

She had been academically meritorious and accomplished the doctoral degree in Heritage Management, which increased her tenacity to work in conserving and preserving nature, environment and heritage.  

She had worked as a trailblazer in eradicating the use of plastic and  polythene in her region and beyond. Kamakshi has implanted the seed of responsible living and has encouraged the development of domestic waste composting in more than a million people including youth and society, as well as educating on the tenets of green energy. Her perseverance has earned her several esteemed national and international awards, bringing her closer to fulfilling her goals. She has led numerous delegations, talks and lectures to help mankind understand the impact of  polythene and plastic on the environment and society. 

In her battle to remove these materials from common use, she has won several victories by  initially getting a polythene ban in her state and later on a ban on single use plastic in her country as whole. She is a change maker, an envoy, an  opportunity creator, a vanguard and the lady leading the battle against the global overuse of plastics.

JCI Turkey

Kerem Deveci

Scientific and/or Technological Development

Kerem is the inventor and creator of the ENLIL project. He is a civil engineer, and has the ability to design new products thanks to his multidisciplinary background. Since Kerem is also interested in history, he named his project ENLIL, after the Sumerian god of lightning. He wants to build the cities of the future using the legacy of the past. 

Kerem not only wants to develop technology for today’s world, but also wants to shape the future with his own technology. While building this future, he aims to create a supportive structure that young people can take as an example, all while keeping environmental concerns and ethical values ​​above everything else. 

Kerem, whose dream since childhood was to develop technology, took his project one step further. The business idea may have been revolutionary, but it was not enough. That’s why Kerem invented a new method and created the world’s first mass produced wind turbine blades, making it possible to produce blades 10 times cheaper and 50 times faster than existing systems. Kerem, who won many awards in the global arena and entered the most prestigious Science and Business lists many times including the Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe 2020 list in the category Manufacturing & Industry Creating the products, methods, and materials of tomorrow. Karem feels that renewable energy is not a luxury, it is a responsibility. Setting off with his motto, Kerem created a revolution in the industry with a wind turbine that everyone can access easily and cheaply.

JCI Finland

Laura Koivusalo

Medical Innovation

Laura Koivusalo is a scientist and a startup entrepreneur who aims to cure corneal blindness using human stem cells with her company StemSight. Laura always had a vision of making an impact, one she feared could not be made with scientific research alone.

Laura obtained her Doctor of Science in Technology from Professor Skottman’s Eye Group at Tampere University, Finland, where she developed and tested new biomaterials for cell therapy of the cornea. Her thesis work resulted in three invention disclosures and the award for the Best Doctor of Science Thesis of the year in the faculty of Medicine and Health Technology in Tampere University.

Towards the end of her doctoral thesis, Laura started to lead the commercialization efforts of the research groups’ technology for manufacturing cell therapy for blindness. She immediately fell in love with the challenge and started to test her abilities in business pitching. She has won several national and international pitching competitions and represented Finland in the global Falling Walls Lab pitching competition in 2019.

In 2021, while still on maternity leave with her firstborn, Laura and three of her research colleagues founded the company StemSight together and negotiated the company’s first seed investment. StemSight’s all-female founding team is still a rarity in biotech startups. As the CEO of StemSight, Laura has been able to inspire and mentor other aspiring startup entrepreneurs. She advocates for equal opportunities in the startup ecosystem, participating in the European Female Founders Forum working group at the EU Commissioner’s request.

JCI Malaysia

Lim Sai Seong

Scientific and/or Technological Development

Lim Sai Seong believes that science and technology is the way to move forward globally and increase national productivity, optimize energy efficiency, develop sustainable growth and save human lives all while boosting the country’s economy at the same time. 

Sai Seong is the Executive Director of QAV Group, a Testing Laboratory with ILAC-MRA whose results are recognized in over 80 countries worldwide. He certifies materials and products internationally with a laboratory spanning approximately 200,000 square feet and has hundreds of professionals under his employment. He performed niche and governed testing such as environmental, mechanical, electrical safety, electromagnetic compliance, energy efficiency and chemical testing. He also provides failure analysis, military testing and more for approvals of automotives, robotics, household appliances, military defense systems, solar systems, electric vehicles and aerospace products.

He is an active national expert in standardization of TIC and consumer rights. Internationally he is the expert for numerous testing standards in various commissions such as IEC, CIE , ISO and others. He was awarded the IEC Young Professional in 2018 and recognized as a Professional Technologist in 2020.  

He is in several industry NGOs as an EXCO member, actively working on developing National Policies, UN Sustainable Development Goals, CSRs and also working on world harmonization of testing standards with the aim of saving human lives and protecting the planet.

Sai Seong believes that his insights and his ethical character and ingenuity will create positive developments for the world economy, human quality of life and product reliability while at the same time empowering the next generation and technology development globally.

JCI Malaysia

Lim Yeat Fong

Cultural Achievement

Lim Yeat Fong has loved playing chess since he was a kid, and into adulthood became a record holder at the 2011 National Chess Championship. Due to his deep passion and enthusiasm for chess, Lim has created academic chess programs for kids to help better their lives. Lim understood that while academics are important, students’ hobbies also play a vital role in creating balance in their lives and strengthening their creativity during childhood brain development. 

Over the last 13 years, Lim has actively collaborated with 460 Primary Schools and impacted 85,092 students nationwide. Through this program, Lim developed an interesting learning approach with a focus on interactive environments. This program proved that when teachers participate actively, their students’ attention, focus and academic results greatly improve. Lim realized he could unlock hidden talents and potentials; students could develop problem solving skills and increase cognitive abilities. Lim helped them harness their talent in respective studies, to rise up above their performance and beyond their comfort zone to realize their dreams and capability. 

Lim’s passion and enthusiasm in delivering chess programs brings positive outcomes for young people and transforms their educational experiences into creative ones. Lim believes in his work and hopes to continue to empower students and create positive change through his contributions globally.

JCI Hong Kong

Ricky Chiu

Medical Innovation

Ricky Chiu is driven by his passion to serve humanity. Born in Hong Kong and trained in the United States, Ricky has developed proprietary technologies that significantly improve the speed and accuracy of diagnostic testing, thus enabling much earlier detection of cancers and infectious diseases. This was put to good use with COVID-19 rapid antigen tests, which Ricky’s company pioneered the use of in Hong Kong. This quickly became an important tool in combating the coronavirus early during the pandemic. 

Ricky is among the few entrepreneurs who has received recognition in both the East and West. He has received funding from world-renowned institutions such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and FDA approval for his diagnostic tools. His diagnostic technology has also been designated as “Key Technology” by the Chinese government. His achievements position him as a changemaker who uniquely straddles both worlds. His ability to stimulate East-West dialogue in the biotechnological field is a critical asset the future requires. 

Today, Ricky’s company is focused on commercializing the tools that help in the early detection of cancer. If successful, this will shift the paradigm in public health towards prevention and will reduce preventable deaths. Outside of work, Ricky is an adjunct associate professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s School of Biomedical Sciences, lending his time to cultivate a new generation of biotechnology and healthcare talent. His personal mission is to help people live healthier lives, and he believes that the benefits of scientific innovation should transcend geographic borders. 

JCI Malaysia

Teo Gee Lian

Moral and/or Environmental Leadership

Teo Gee Lian is a trailblazer who has dedicated 16 years of his life to develop comprehensive solutions for environmental facilities. Teo’s vast experiences and environmental competency have helped more than 600 industry players worldwide achieve environmental excellence and fight climate disaster.

Teo graduated from Liverpool John Moores University in 2006 as a mechanical engineer and is recognized as the ambassador of environmental facility providers. As an environmental leader, Teo has utilized his professional expertise to influence organizational and regulatory processes. He helps organizations find the balance between their economic performance and  social and environmental performance through transformational, holistic and ethical approaches. Teo’s solutions guide organizations towards environmental leadership, social responsibility and sustainability.

In 2022, Teo extended his Envirotech from the industrial level to the community level, focusing on fighting climate issues by educating the younger generation on food waste recycling. Collaborating with eight JCI Local Organizations nationwide, the local government and schools, Teo also leads a food waste recycling program “Low Carbon Lifestyle Towards Green Future.” Teo is fully committed to fight climate-related issues for the next 30 years!

JCI Mongolia

Undram Chinbat

Political, Legal and/or Governmental Affairs

Undram Chinbat has dedicated her life to improving the education sector of Mongolia and ensuring equal opportunity for every child no matter their race, ethnic background, religion, gender, health or social status. As the youngest female Parliament Member of Mongolia and the first Mongolian to be elected to the Gender Committee of the International Parliamentary Union, Undram is an active worker in the education, health, economic and social sectors of the country.

At the age of 26, Undram gained her doctoral degree in Economics from Nagoya University with the help of a full Japanese Government Scholarship. Soon after she joined the National University of Mongolia (NUM), the most comprehensive and oldest higher education institution in Mongolia. Her career at NUM has been an impressive upward progression. First starting as an assistant professor, in quick succession Undram became a tenured professor, Dean of the Management Faculty, Director of the Academic Affairs Department and Vice President. 

Given her experience working in academia in the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Japan, Undram now had the knowledge and authority to improve education and science policy and enhance educational environments and living standards. One example of her work is her leading the allocation of 100 billion tögrög in state funding to upgrade traditional toilets into modern facilities in 819 schools, kindergartens and dormitories all over Mongolia. Traditional toilets have been causing health and safety problems to school children for years, but now students can learn in healthier environments thanks to Undram’s hard work. 

Her leadership in the education sector has been widely recognized in the country. Undram has been awarded several state recognition awards. To this day, Undram continues to fight for a better education system in Mongolia that students deserve. 

JCI Malaysia

Wei Lun Sin

Medical Innovation

Dr. Wei Lun Sin is an inspirational figure adored by many in the field of medicine. Wei, inheriting his expertise in Traditional Chinese Medicine from his ancestors, has also obtained his Masters in Orthopedic and completed his PhD in Health Sciences. He has also been appointed as an adjunct professor to further share his knowledge and experience to educate and contribute to society. Wei is the representative of the Osteopathic Medical Field for Malaysia on various international platforms. 

Wei exemplifies the true value of an osteopathic doctor, establishing a synchronized practice among his medical branches, namely Orthopedic, Chiropractic, Traditional Chinese Medicine (Osteopathy & Acupuncture) and Physiotherapy. He has enhanced patient’s recovery as a pioneer of synergizing Western, Traditional and Improved Techniques and blending the use of traditional medicine with modern technologies. During COVID-19, Wei continued to help the public despite lockdowns and published more than 20 episodes of “Talk Sin Webinar,” a webinar that provided simple and immediate solutions to musculoskeletal health.

His approach in the medical field has healed, relieved pain and promoted the health of  over 100,000 patients within the past five years. By collaborating with local NGOs and voluntary services, Wei has dedicated his skills effortlessly in providing the needy with complementary treatments. Additionally, more than 10,000 of in-house SPINEBO orthopedic pillows were donated to hospitals in China and charity homes in Malaysia.  Dr. Wei Lun Sin continues to create new innovations in medicine and gives hope to many sick patients around the world.

JCI South Africa

Zakithi Mkhize

Academic Leadership and/or Accomplishment

Zakithi has always held a deep passion for science and people, a passion that eventually led her to research for an HIV cure. After receiving her Master of Medical Science cum laude, she decided to pursue her doctoral studies and continued to contribute to important HIV research. Being a young black woman that has excelled in a field where black women are grossly underrepresented, she has made it her mission to change the face of science.

As a testament to her passion for bringing science to people, Zakithi has won several science communication competitions. Zakithi has also taken her research to the international stage and has presented her findings in Canada and Belgium and most recently virtually presented at the AIDS 2022 conference. In 2021 she was named by global initiative Inspiring Fifty as an inspiring woman in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Known as BlackGirlScientist on YouTube, Zakithi is making a mark not in fashion or pop culture, but instead in the vital field of science by sharing her journey and encouraging others to join her. She uses this platform to empower the next generation of young female scientists and to inspire them to pursue a career in STEM, further their studies and create a successful personal journey. Zakithi dedicates her time to being a mentor for other young scientists starting in the field and plans to establish an organization that will help young people on their journeys in various STEM fields. Instead of waiting for change, Zakithi has stepped forward as an active leader and continues to leave her mark as a driver of change in the STEM sector.

JCI Taiwan

Po Cheng Tsai

Cultural Achievement

Po Cheng Tsai is a professional dance artist from Kaohsiung, Taiwan and is also the founder, artistic director and choreographer of the dance group B.DANCE. He never limits himself to contemporary dance choreography, but instead has created a platform using dancing as a means for global communication and exchange. Starting with the idea of “Sharing is Caring,” Po Cheng takes his passion, faith and dream of dance as the fuel to educate the next generation with experience, knowledge and teamwork. 

From 2014 to 2019, he presented several original pieces to the international dance circles as touchstones and received high praises along with 4 gold medals and 1 silver medal from multiple choreography competitions around the world. In 2018, Tanz, a German magazine, included Po Cheng as one of the 2017/2018 most promising young choreographers around the world. Tsai was selected as the “best emerging choreographer of the year” by the France National Board of Performing Arts in 2020 and one of the “Ten Outstanding Young Persons” in Taiwan in 2021. Among B.DANCE’s most successful pieces are “Floating Flowers,” which was a sold-out phenomenon during its run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival; RAGE, a resounding success at the Festival d’Avignon; and the colorful and visually-stunning production “Before We Say Goodbye,” which premiered in Taipei in 2021.

Po Cheng believes that dance can become an inter-cultural and inter-industries exchange full of enormous commercial opportunities. Po Cheng, with his unique personality and charisma, has gathered many like-minded colleagues, partners and young followers, and with B.DANCE has helped Taiwan gain international recognition. This dance team is a sustainable contribution to all of society and Po Cheng continues to remind his audiences that creating positive change is the responsibility of all of mankind.