Align Technology, Inc., a leading global medical device company that designs, manufactures, and sells the Invisalign system of clear aligners, iTero intraoral scanners, and exocad CAD/CAM software for digital orthodontics and restorative dentistry, has announced the recipients of its Invisalign® ChangeMakers programme, launched in partnership with National 4-H Council, United States (US). The goal of Invisalign ChangeMakers is to celebrate and highlight teens making a positive impact in their communities.
Applications and stories from across the US were accepted between January and March 2021, with 100 youths aged 13-19 selected to receive a one-time US$5,000 cash award to continue to bring positive change to their hometowns. Of the 100 winners selected for exceptional public service, 30 are active 4-H members.
On 10 July, the winners were celebrated during a virtual awards ceremony on YouTube emceed by executive producer and actor, Marsai Martin, who is also an Invisalign patient.
The inaugural group of Invisalign ChangeMakers shared a wide variety of volunteer projects with judges, including delivery of handmade face masks and food to those in need during the height of the pandemic, to making weighted blankets for children with autism. Some of the winners include:
- Sidney Keys III, 15, Atlanta, Georgia – established “Books N Bros” to donate books to kids and help other boys get excited about reading books. He also stepped-up additional volunteer efforts during the pandemic by collecting and donating more than 100 boxes of food and masks to the needy.
- Benjamin Kagan, 15, Chicago, Illinois – created Chicago Vaccine Angels, a service to help senior citizens schedule their COVID-19 vaccines and vetted each location to ensure it was legitimate and accessible.
- Sruthi Sudarsan, 16, San Ramon, California – as president of her local 4-H club, she recruited volunteers to create face masks for healthcare and frontline workers from the onset of the pandemic. To date, more than 34,000 masks have been donated.
“At Align, we know the power of a smile, and are inspired by the positive energy and commitment shared by all of the Invisalign ChangeMaker applicants who are leading the way to bring positive change and more smiles close to home,” said Raj Pudipeddi, chief innovation, product and marketing officer and senior vice-president of Align Technology. “We congratulate the Invisalign ChangeMakers award recipients and look forward to celebrating these young leaders to recognise their community-focused accomplishments.”
“We are thrilled to partner with the Invisalign brand and empower 100 young leaders who are building a better and brighter future for us all,” said Ivan Heredia, senior vice-president and chief marketing officer of National 4-H Council. “Through the ChangeMakers programme, 4-H will continue to create opportunities for young people across the country as they discover their passions, build leadership skills, and develop confidence and compassion.”
“As an actress, bringing a smile to people’s faces is my greatest joy,” said Marsai Martin. “The power of a smile is limitless, as is the potential of these teens who are Invisalign ChangeMakers. They’re proof that even when you’re young, you can make a big impact.”