WASHINGTON, D.C. — Three Indian Americans are among the 50 biggest philanthropists of 2015 that include top business honchos like Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
The list compiled by American lifestyle 'Town and Country Magazine' includes New York-based Adarsh Alphons, Reshma Saujani and Shaila Ittycheria, all under 40 years of age.
"These are the men and women whose serious dollars, bold ideas and old-fashioned hard work have made them the year's most noteworthy and inspiring givers," said the magazine of people on its “T&C 50: The Biggest Philanthropists of 2015” list.
Saujani, 39, is the founder of “Girls Who Code,” a three- year-old nonprofit that teaches computer skills to girls from low-income communities to close technology's gender-gap.
"This is more than just a program. It's a movement," said Saujani, who was also among four Indian American entrepreneurs on a recent list of the 40 most talented and dynamic professionals under the age of 40 in New York City.
Meanwhile, 30-year-old Alphons founded “ProjectArt” to unleash the creative power in each child and change the way the world views arts education, because for him, art saves lives.
His “Grand Plan” is to help troubled New York City students via ProjectArt, which provides free art classes at public libraries in all five boroughs.
It does this by public awareness and programs. Using its unique library-partnerships model, it helps youth express their artistic visions, set goals and display their art in celebrated art galleries in New York City, all at no cost to the students.
Expelled from school when he was just seven-years-old for drawing in every class, Alphons — son of former Indian bureaucrat K. J. Alphons – was painting portraits for Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela and the Pope by the time he was 15, all because one art teacher perceived his passion for art and believed in him, according to information on his Web site.
Ittycheria, 31, co-founded “Enstitute” that bypasses college by placing its students in paid tech apprenticeships.
Her “Grand Plan” is to educate the digitally inclined and debt-averse.
The list also includes Zuckerberg's wife Priscilla Chan, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, and actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Emma Watson.