A 10-year-old applied to a prestigious tech fellowship. This is the letter she got back.

When Five by Five, an "innovation agency," launched their summer fellowship program, a lot of qualified people applied.

The program, running from July 18-29 in Paris, promises 20 of the best and brightest minds "2 weeks of funding, tools, space and mentorship to start prototyping the change they want to see," in the city of Paris.


Photo via iStock.

As expected, a huge pool of applications came in from brilliant Ph.D.s, accomplished urban developers, data scientists, and specialists.

What they didn't expect was an application from a 10-year-old girl named Eva.

Eva's application to the prestigious program involved her pitch to build a robot that would make the streets of Paris "happy again" because, right now, she wrote, "the streets of Paris are sad."

A Thymio robot, which Eva based her design around. Image via thymio.org.

In her application, Eva wrote that, despite learning how to code, she had trouble making her robot work and wanted to join the fellowship to get help.

In the competitive world of science and tech — and the even more competitive world of applying for a prestigious fellowship in the field of science and tech — asking for help can be a rare thing.

Asking for help is something we all need to do, and Eva's application is notable for that reason in particular.

“There is a tendency to act as if [asking for help] is a deficiency,” Garret Keizer, author of "Help: The Original Human Dilemma" told The New York Times. “That is exacerbated if a business environment is highly competitive within as well as without. There is an understandable fear that if you let your guard down, you’ll get hurt, or that this information you don’t know how to do will be used against you.”

Image via iStock.

Whatever your goals are — writing a book, building a robot, or even just building some Ikea furniture — it's both brave and beneficial to ask for the help you need.

Kat Borlongan, a founding partner at Five by Five, was so inspired by Eva's application that she not only accepted her into the program, she published her acceptance letter publicly on Facebook.

(All emphasis mine.)

"Dear Eva, The answer is yes. You have been selected as one of Paris’ first-ever Summer Innovation Fellows among an impressive pool of candidates from all across the world: accomplished urban designers, data scientists and hardware specialists. I love your project and agree that more should be done — through robotics or otherwise — to improve Paris’ streets and make them smile again."

Borlongan goes on to describe what she thought was the most inspiring part of Eva's application — the simple ask for help:

"You’ve openly told us that you had trouble making the robot work on your own and needed help. That was a brave thing to admit, and ultimately what convinced us to take on your project. Humility and the willingness to learn in order to go beyond our current limitations are at the heart and soul of innovation.

It is my hope that your work on robotics will encourage more young girls all over the world — not just to code, but to be as brave as you, in asking for help and actively looking for different ways to learn and grow."

It's true, asking for help can be difficult, and at 10 years old, Eva is already truly inspiring.

Not just because she knows how to program robots (and wants to get even better at it) and not just because she wants to use that knowledge to make people smile ... but because she knows that no one succeeds on their own and asking for help isn't a sign of weakness.

Maybe one day you'll even get help from a robot! Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images.

So, congratulations, Eva. You're already making us smile, and you didn't even need a robot to do it.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
True

Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

Keep Reading Show less
True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.