Karim Abouelnaga, Cornell University
Karim Abouelnaga, a junior at Cornell University, is an entrepreneurial student who founded the nonprofit organization Practice Makes Perfect (PMP) Inc. Aiming to narrow the achievement gap within inner-city communities, he launched a pilot program in Queens that paired 32 under-achieving 4th-graders with 16 high-achieving 9th-graders under the supervision of college interns. He raised over $13,000 to launch this pilot, and then increased reading and math scores on state exams by 4% and 6% respectively. Karim is co-chair of Ithakids and Black Students United, and is leading the resurrection of Students To Unite Cornell, which aims to unite students of all races. He mentors a first-generation college student through Scholars Working Ambitiously to Graduate. Karim even improved outreach at the LIFE Foundation, a nonprofit that educates people on the importance of life insurance. Abouelnaga has seen and experienced the effects of inequality, and as the first student from his family to graduate from high school and attend college, he is determined to narrow the achievement gap and increase opportunities for others.