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My Story

Around the age of fourteen I began researching the worst problems humanity faces. Night after night as I watched the beheadings, the interviews of parents losing their children, and saw an image of a three year old Syrian boy washed up dead on the shore of Turkey when his family tried to reach Greece, I felt furious and powerless. Then I found a number that changed my life. 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted during their lifetime.

At the time, I was living in a house with four sisters and my mother. I refused to accept a world in which one of my family members was likely to become a statistic. With that connection between global issues and individuals who I personally know and care about, the decision that shaped my life was made. I committed to dedicating my future to making sure that families will not see their loved ones ending up like that boy on the beach in Turkey. I did not know which projects or cause area I would focus on, but I knew I wanted to join the people working to make the world a better place.

But my motivation came from rage rather than hope. I sank into despair at being able to make any difference in these massive, far away issues. I decided that I needed to see what was happening in the world and meet the people I was doing this for.
I wondered if being directly in the thick of the problems I saw on the news would break me, especially considering how painful it is to simply see it on a screen. But to my surprise, as I shared in the laughter and jokes over a dinner of a single shared piece of bread while living on the streets of Chile, I found my hope returning.

I find inspiration in friends like my brother Francisco restarting the orphanage in Ecuador after the pandemic, in my friend Jehan building software to empower social goods projects, and in my brother Fernando who rebuilt a life for his family after fleeing from the economic crisis in Venezuela. I know no matter how bad the situation becomes they continue striving to make a better reality for their community.

I have found hope because what you see on the news is the worst of humanity, but when you talk with the people living through it, you find humans working, rebuilding, and caring for one another.

 


Now the intention remains unchanged:
1. Continue to travel in order to understand the issues society faces by connecting directly with the people who live with it.
2. Build successful businesses in order to have the resources to one day return to those communities.
3. Support projects that empower communities to maximize well-being.

The Decision

The Discovery

The Inspiration

The Research

2001-2011

I grow up homeschooled with four older sisters in Buffalo, NY

2011

I begin my career as a professional juggler working alongside my dad who also began performing at ten years old with my fire-eating grandma.

2016

I visit a variety of religious centers, begin attending university, and search for a reason to live

2018

I begin backpacking solo through two dozen countries

2021

Organized a nonprofit project delivering solar power banks to indigenous communities in the Amazon Jungle using funds from my juggling business

2021-2022

Trained with the NROTC Marine Corps

2022-2023

Built and managed a team of 70 people for an AI startup in San Francisco

2023

Began building the crowdfunded prize platform viaPrize.org full time

Contact

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IMG_2909_edited.jpg

Shoutout to my sister for

hand-drawing this

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