Headshot Photo of Eli Wachs
2016 Award Recipient


Project High School HeroesX

Location Bryn Mawr, PA

Issue Area Advocacy/Activism | Philanthropy

Shortly after starting high school, Eli read a book by Dr. Peter Diamandis, founder of Xprize, an organization that incentivizes the world to fix problems that governments, philanthropists, and the private sector haven’t solved. Eli was inspired by the central theme of the book, that many of the world’s greatest challenges are overcome by a combination of innovation and growing access to technology. Eli harnessed his passion to identify the issues affecting his city, Philadelphia, and created High School HeroesX; a youth movement created with the belief that youth can change the world. The program hosts incentivized competitions by providing high school students with a platform to tackle issues facing their communities.

High School HeroesX also provides an advisory board of experts to assist in these challenges and resources to increase engagement from government officials. Projects range from narrowing the education gap with inner-city schools to launching a Beijing Food Safety Challenge. Since High School HeroesX’s inception in 2013, Eli has become a trailblazer in social entrepreneurship and mending broken communities, both at home and internationally, by inspiring his peers to solve social issues.

My greatest source of inspiration comes from knowing about the people whose lives we are working to improve.

Eli Wachs
“It is never too late, too early, or too often TO GIVE BACK AND MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE”
Helen Diller