CERTIFYING YOUTH WITH HIGH ASPIRATIONS AND EXCEPTIONAL TALENTS AS MEMBERS TO BE SUPPORTED FOR A MAXIMUM OF 5YEARS PROVIDING FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO SELECTED APPLICANTS
The Masason Foundation (“the Foundation,” President: Masayoshi Son) has chosen 31 people aged between 12 and 21 as members of the Foundation (Generation 5). They will be given support as associate members*.
Members chosen include a middle school student who is studying the evolution of organisms based on the ecology of living organisms, a high school student who developed a social-distancing device using ultrasonic technology and AI to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and a high school student who established a social enterprise to correct food inequality in India at the age of 15. In addition, for the first time, more than half of the newly certified members possess nationality outside of Japan. Associate members certified last year (Generation 4) who passed the screening process were also certified as authorized members.
■About Members (As of July 1, 2021)
1. The number of members (from Generation 1 to Generation 5): 240
2. Age Distribution
Youngest: 10 years old / Oldest: 28 years old
10 – 14 years old: 34 (14%), 15 – 19 years old: 61 (25%), 20 – 24 years old: 79 (33%), 25 – 29 years old: 66 (28%)
*The Foundation will certify talented persons as associate members for the initial year, and a decision will be made as to whether they will be confirmed as authorized members based on their activities and achievements during that year. Associate members will also receive support from the Foundation such as financial support, the free use of facilities for members, and be able to participate in events organized by the Foundation. Members will be certified up to five years from the date of certification as an associate member. However, if an authorized member reaches 29 years of age, the period of validity will end on the last day of the first fiscal year after that point. In addition, if an authorized foundation member is 23 years old or younger at the end of the validity period and wishes to extend, the validity period may be extended for another five years after re-screening.
The Foundation asked five of the members for their thoughts. Their self-introductions will also be posted on the Foundation’s website (https://masason-foundation.org/en/scholars/).
・Ren Otsuka, 12 years old
Otsuka, who studies the evolution of organisms based on the ecology of living organisms and has received various awards comments, “I would like to broaden my interests by studying not only biology, but also physics, engineering, and programming. I look forward to hearing about other Foundation members’ research and exchanging ideas with them. In the future, I would like to become someone who can be a part of the Mars migration plan and Moon migration plan so that organisms can adapt to new environments such as space.”
・Leo Ueda, 13 years old
Ueda, who has received several awards at programming contests, comments, “I want to push forward on the path I believe in. I would like to learn new things and expand my possibilities through lectures and networking events with specialists and experts in various fields organized by the Foundation, as well as through interaction with other Foundation members. I would also like to apply what I have learned and try to create games and conduct research in creating new algorithms.”
・Neha Shukla, 16 years old
Shukla, who is ambitious to solve problems and excited to leverage emerging technologies to create solutions to global problems, such as COVID-19 and climate change, has developed a social-distancing device using the latest developments in ultrasonic technology and AI to slow the spread of the COVID-19, and is currently working on creating a tool that diagnoses neurodegenerative diseases at an early stage comments, “I am on a mission to solve problems, create positive change, and continue innovating and sharing my knowledge in STEM and Innovation to inspire students globally. With the support of the Masason Foundation, I know that my goal of “impacting one billion people with my innovations and outreach” is possible and something I will strive towards!”
・Sriya Chintalapalli, 17 years old
Chintalapalli, who is working on a project for mental health patients using augmented reality and brain computer interface technology, comments, “My vision is to build the next ubiquitous interface, creating a future where we can have access to all that a digital device provides us but in thin air without the hardware. Technology would work for us by identifying our needs and providing that instantaneously. This future will enable both fully abled and differently abled individuals to interact with technology in the same way. I think to ultimately reach exceptional places and have exceptional impact, one requires three fundamental things: unique knowledge, unique experiences, and relationships with unique people. By being a member of the Masason Foundation, I’d be surrounded by people moving at strong paces which will motivate me to do similarly but also to learn from them – whichever field they are in. “
・Brendon Matusch, 17 years old
Matusch, who developed a self-driving car based on an electric go-kart at the age of 14, developed a machine learning model for dark matter identification at age 15, and has received awards at several contests comments, “ I am excited and honored to be part of the Masason Foundation and look forward to meeting and sharing ideas with other members. I plan on continuing to pursue my interests in robotics and machine learning. I believe there is great potential to use these technologies to make people safer through automation in a wide range of industries, many of which are still unexplored. Additionally, I hope to continue studying artificial curiosity, which can enable robots to learn in a self-motivated way, and may open doors to applying AI in creative fields like music and art.
<About the Masason Foundation>
The Foundation was established in December 2016 by SoftBank Group Representative Masayoshi Son to provide an environment that enables youth with high aspirations and exceptional talents to develop their skills, and to contribute to the future of humankind. The Foundation provides support to youth with high aspirations and exceptional talents for expanding their potential and for their growth to be people who will create the future through exposure to new values and the latest technologies, and interaction with members.
For more details, please visit the Foundation’s website