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CSIS Alumni Named Forbes 30 Under 30 Honorees

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Congratulations to two CSIS alumni honored on Forbes’ 2019 30 Under 30 list in the Social Entrepreneurship category! Forbes chose Jeanny Yao and co-founder Miranda Wang for their pioneering work on sustainable methods of recycling plastic, and Shadrack Frimpong for founding a girls school in Tarkwa Breman, Ghana.

Jeanny Yao at the 2016 Social Impact House.

Jeanny Yao, a participant in the 2016 Penn Social Impact House, and her co-founder Miranda Wang, started their company BioCellection in 2015. BioCellection uses unique technology to turn plastic waste into chemicals that can be used to create new materials.

Wang and Yao learned that about 92% of plastic waste is too contaminated to recycle, and instead ends up in landfills or polluting oceans. To combat this problem, BioCellection uses a unique recycling technology to turn plastic waste into valuable chemicals that can then be used to create new textiles and materials. The chemical process that Wang and Yao developed breaks down 300 grams of plastic each day–and it works on plastics that would be considered too contaminated for traditional recycling. The duo is perfecting the technique for the most common plastics, and has plans to expand to other types of plastics as well.

Shadrack Frimpong (far left) at the 2015 Social Impact House.

On the other side of the world, Cocoa360, the school that Shadrack Frimpong started in 2015, is promoting sustainability in a different way. Cocoa360 is a school for girls, a cocoa farm, and a community health facility. It builds on the assets of the community, providing education for girls whose parents work on the farm.

Frimpong grew up in the rural village of Tarkwa Breman, where he observed that for girls, education often had to take a backseat to working or starting a family. He also understood the importance of cocoa farming, the village’s main source of revenue. With this in mind, he began Cocoa360, a school for girls that is also a cocoa farm and a community health facility. The school builds on the assets of the community, providing a free education for girls whose parents work on the farm. Frimpong has been passionate about healthcare and education since he was in school in Tarkwa Breman himself, but the Penn Social Impact House helped him develop strategic plans for moving forward with his ideas.

We extend a hearty congratulations to Yao, Wang, and Frimpong, and can’t wait to see what they do next!