Founders and executive directors Thea Louise Dai and Wendy Wen decided to create Project 17 after connecting on the importance of an accessible, youth-oriented global forum.
In the face of rising global tension and polarization, they noticed a growing need for international conversations aimed towards cooperation for sustainable development. In 2022, they started Project 17 to promote cross-cultural understanding and global citizenship in youth.
OUR ADVISORY BOARD
Midpeninsula Chapter President
Midpeninsula Chapter President
Stanford e-China Instructor
China Scholars Program Instructor
OUR EXECUTIVE TEAM
Thea Louise Dai is a student at Castilleja School in Palo Alto, California. She is the recipient of the Global Education Benchmark Group’s 2022 Global Expression and Thought Prize, and believes that the solution to the world’s greatest problems lies within international cooperation. Through writing, photography, and service, Thea is dedicated to bridging cultural divides and bringing global perspectives to her local community.
Thea Louise Dai
Co-founder and Executive Director
Palo Alto, USA
Wendy Wen is a high school student at Beijing National Day School and a youth researcher in the DC Think Tank of China. Inspired by her interest in international relations and sociology, Wendy recognizes the importance of global collaboration and youth perspectives in creating international change. She is committed to providing a platform for dedicated youth to share, strengthen, and collaborate on their unique perspectives.
Co-founder and Executive Director
From Palo Alto, California, Maddie Tsang is a junior at Castilleja High School. She is passionate about the intersection of art and technology in expressing her Asian American heritage. Maddie was lived in Hong Kong for eight years before moving back to California in middle school.
Director of Outreach
Palo Alto, USA
Sydney Chang is a student at Los Altos High School. With her passion in design and logistics, Sydney hopes to improve global tensions and share new perspectives. She is driven to make Project 17 a safe space for youth to express themselves.
Li Yuhan is 16, from Beijing, and currently enrolled in an AP curriculum international department. She's been debating for several years and exploring many topics related to the sustainable development goals. She looks forward to exchanging ideas in future discussions!
Audrey Wang is a junior from the Bay Area, California, who is passionate about creating a more interconnected global community. She enjoys language learning, meeting new friends, going to the beach, and creative activities such as dance or ceramics. Audrey hopes to help students build meaningful connections and continously expand their understanding of each others' cultures, languages, and perspectives.
Academic Director (US)
Academic Director (China)
Mountain View, USA
Santa Clara, USA
Raised in Sugar Land, Texas, Alifiya Saleem currently attends I.H. Kempner High School. She spends her time learning languages and cultures, placing a focus on international relations. Alifiya hopes to bridge the gap between China, The United States, and other countries around the world by connecting at a personal level.
Sugar Land, USA
Hanlei Wen is 17 years old, a rising senior studying at an international school in Beijing called Dulwich College Beijing. He became part of Project 17 as an alumnus to SeC (Stanford e-China). As a student in Beijing, He is often aware of the environmental impacts and ramifications prevalent there—air pollution, water pollution, etc—and aims to contribute to make a difference through Project 17.
Laura Wang is a high school student at Beijing World Youth Academy. She enjoys doing poster designs and feels delighted to be part of this team.
Araika Ramchandran is a high school student in Palo Alto, California. She was part of the inaugural LEARN Commission, dedicated to improving equity and diversity among bay area youth, and now serves as Castilleja’s first diversity officer. She believes that using the lessons from our history and applying innovation, creativity and connection is the means to making a better future for global youth.
Palo Alto, USA
Richard Xu is a student at United World College Changshu China and has a personal account on which he publishes articles about legal, economic, and other social affairs that he cares deeply about. With a great passion for law, politics, and economics, and an understanding of these fields, Richard has realized that a benign institutional framework is indispensable for social prosperity and individual happiness in both domestic and international contexts. Richard embraces different opinions and always thinks about bringing changes by modifying or advancing legal and political systems, wishing to make his own country and the world a better place.
Development Director (China)
Kailee Kuan is a student at Castilleja School in Palo Alto, California. Having lived in Shanghai, China for more than ten years, Kailee recognizes the importance of global communication and multiple perspectives. In her spare time, she plays volleyball and is interested in molecular biology. Kailee is dedicated to overcoming the cultural barriers that face our society today and hopes to connect people all around the world to work on one global vision.
Palo Alto, USA
Winnie Hui is a high school student at Castilleja School in Palo Alto, California. She has lived in China for 13 years and is dedicated to connecting China, the US, and other areas in the world by working towards a common goal. She believes that through communication and global collaboration, we can expand our knowledge on different cultures and perspectives as well as achieve change surrounding global issues.
Li Changbai is a fervent business enthusiast and equally fervent soccer lover who dreams about fusing his two passions into a career. He is a sole trader with experience in retailing, and he is excited to participate in Project 17's ongoing initiatives and campaigns, as well as brainstorm new and innovative ways to raise awareness of the UN's SDGs among peers and local community. He is confident that, together, we can make a lasting and meaningful impact on the world around us.
Palo Alto, USA
Sharika Thaploo is a sixteen-year old from Columbus, Ohio. She is a junior in high school and she loves to dance and play the violin.
OUR REGIONAL DIRECTORS
Tina Guan is a Chinese student currently studying in the UK. She's almost 16, and currently in year 11. She has many hobbies, including dancing (jazz, urban and hip hop), photography, and cooking. She's looking forward to working with everyone and making unforgettable memories together.
UK National Director
Mia Zhuo is a high school student studying at United World College South East Asia in Singapore. With her interest in quality education for kids worldwide, she participated in various activities and decided to join Project 17 to contribute more to society. She also believes Project 17 will be able to spread the importance of sustainability and encourage more students to participate in it.
Singapore National Director
Joseph Mshana is a virtual assistant and youth advocate. He is passionate about helping many people through design thinking, projects and research. He loves writing thoughtful poems, travelling and doing random acts of kindness.
Tanzania National Director
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Brenda Mghendi is a psychologist, mental health advocate, and researcher with an advanced understanding of mental health. She holds a degree in Psychology from Moi University, Kenya. She is a social change enthusiast who loves giving back to her society.
Kenya National Director
Hello, my name is Flora Fu, and I'm currently studying in high school in Gernmany. My biggest passion is dancing, but I also enjoy reading in my free time. I'm super excited to be a part of Project 17!
Germany National Director
Puneet Singh Singhal is a person with stammering and an undiagnosed learning disability. He is the founder of a nonprofit called ssstart, working towards normalizing speech and communication disabilities and promoting acceptance. He is a disability inclusion and accessibility advocate. His life is an intersection of poverty, domestic violence, and multiple invisible disabilities.
India National Director
New Delhi, India
Haruta Otaki is the founder of Find Your Career 2030, a global career guidance platform with 350 users. He is also a youth leader for KIDsforSDGs and a youth councilor for UNESCO x Learning Planet Youth Empowerment Circle. As a part of Project 17, he is looking to raise awareness for the Quality of Education, specifically, educational inequality for minorities.
Japan National Director
Emma Xu is a student studying in Shanghai, and she loves meeting people with similar interests and talking about the 17 SDGs. As a person who can’t stop overthinking, she has often noticed differences in living environments among different social classes, provinces, and countries. From education, healthcare, and renewable energies that connect her life closely to topics like hunger, peace and justice, she is excited to join a project helping high school students to realize their responsibilities and find their values.
Shanghai Regional Director
John Yu is a year 12 student at the King's School in Sydney, Australia. In his spare time, he loves snowboarding, fishing, playing basketball, and photography. He's passionate about mitigating climate change as he observes the ever frequent bushfires happening at Sydney in passing years, and also the stronger sand storms occuring in his hometown Hohhot.
Australia National Director
Evelyn is an adventurous and ambitious student located in Shenzhen, China. She's interested in geography, and also enjoys snowboarding and longboarding. She has always dreamed of being an entrepreneur!
Shenzhen Regional Director
Amber Yuan is a student at Keystone Academy in Beijing. She really enjoys participating in Model United Nations competitions and seeking different countries’ perspectives to tackle a common issue. She recently enrolled in and completed a UN Spotlight Training Program, in which she learnt about the progresses of the 17 SDGs, including various roles of international organizations in achieving each of the goals and targets. She looks forward to trying my best to fulfill the responsibility of a regional director, while utilizing this valuable opportunity to gain a more nuanced understanding of the 17 SDGs.
Sissy Zhang, the person in charge of the northwest region, is a junior high school student in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, is the senior academic director of the model UN, and is a member of the Shaanxi Youth Literature Association. Influenced by the interests of the model UN, Sissy deeply understands the importance of the young generation in global cooperation and in creating international changes. She is committed to providing a platform for innovative young people in Northwest China to share, strengthen and share their unique views.
Xi'an Regional Director
Beijing Regional Director
Maggie Zhang is a student at United World College of South East Asia in Singapore. Having studied in a diverse, multicultural environment, Maggie realises the importance of connecting with various cultures in spreading awareness and advocating for sustainable development.
A level student in high school, from Yunnan, a world-recognized kingdom of animals and plants. The location of the Global Biodiversity Conference 15, influenced by the conference and my love for the comfortable climate in Yunnan, made me pay more and more attention to the sustainable development of the world, and finally joined Project 17 to work for sustainable development.
Yunnan Regional Director
Serein Huang is eighteen years old and from the Jiangsu province. She likes trying new things and helping people, like DIY-ing and volunteering. On weekdays, she loves watching documentaries, which is when she first realized that our rapid development will bring pressure and harm to the earth, leading her to join Project 17.
Jiangsu Regional Director
Singapore Regional Director
Emma is currently studying and working in Boston. She totally agrees with the mission of Project 17 and has a passion for serving as a Boston advocate for cross-cultural collaboration.
Eddy recognizes the importance of communication in all its form to connect youth around the world, and looks forward to forming bonds and working together as a community with others through meetings and activities.
North Carolina Regional Director
Massachusetts Regional Director
Warren Zhang is studying Year 12 at Winchester College. He is very interested in research related to sustainability and energy saving. In previous research projects, he used computational fluid dynamics to investigate heat transfer and use machine learning algorithms to determine the optimal designs for houses and vessels. His papers were accepted by top international academic conferences already, and he is also an active member of his school's sustainability society.