Mahika Halepete

AYANA International

Mahika Halepete is a 16-year-old social entrepreneur from San Jose, California. She is the founder and Executive Director of AYANA International (, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that she created to magnify the power of youth innovation in addressing global problems. Mahika is passionate about creating sustainable, localized solutions for global issues. It was her interest in these issues that inspired her to design the foundation of the AYANA Youth Innovation Lab: a program for young people in developing countries to discover their potential as changemakers while tackling local problems through the lens of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. AYANA’s youth empowerment programming has reached hundreds of young people across eight cities in Africa and over 3,000 community members as a result of youth-led projects funded by AYANA microgrants.

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