Ashoka Youth Venturer Yusuf Munna, a young social entrepreneur from Bangladesh has been awarded the prestigious Diana Award.
This award is considered as the most prestigious accolade for a young person aged 9-25 for social action or humanitarian work since 1999, said a press release.
Yusuf founded Reflective Teens, a nonprofit teen-based creative platform that has been preparing teenagers for the present and future through fostering their creative abilities.
Reflective Teens has impacted the lives of more than 61,000 teenagers from different regions of the country including Chattogram, Dhaka, and Khulna, for the past eight years and aided their creative flourishing by inspiring them to take part in several innovative programs.
A few notable programs of Reflective Teens are Bridges Not Borders, RT Brainery, and RT Creator's Convergence.
Ashoka Innovators for the Public, which is the world's largest network of social entrepreneurs and changemakers has continually supported Yusuf on his journey.
Ashoka Young Changemakers Global Director Yashveer Singh said, "Yusuf's commitment to bringing change is exceptional. The impact that he has created through Reflective Teens demonstrates the power of a young person in changing lives and inspiring many other young people around him."
As a recipient of the Diana Award, Yusuf said, "The Diana award achievement is a huge inspiration for us all. It will help us increase the reach of our work and enable us to meet our goals through team effort. I believe that this award is not mine alone; rather, the entire Reflective Teens team is a part of this recognition. Without the guidance of the board and the effort of the brilliant team members, we couldn't have reached this far. This award is for all of them."
Yusuf Munna is currently studying Development Studies as his undergraduate major at Khulna University.
In addition to being invited as a TEDx speaker in 2015, he was included as an Ashoka Youth Venture, a global network recognising influential social entrepreneurs in 2017.
In the same year, he was invited as a speaker for the Glocal International Teen Conference in Nepal. Yusuf represented Bangladesh in the Global Partnership Summit, 2017 in India, and the Ashoka Changemaker Exchange, 2018 in the Philippines as the very first Bangladeshi youth.
At present, alongside Reflective Teens, he has also initiated a virtual movement, #countECA, to include the evaluation of extracurricular activities alongside the academic records during university admission procedures in Bangladesh.