She's started 3 organizations. And each one made a huge difference in people's lives.
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"Self-starter" should be Adrianna Tan’s middle name.

In four years' time, 30-year-old powerhouse Adrianna Tan founded three different organizations — all of which empower people and improve lives across the world.

It seems like there's nothing the young entrepreneur hasn't done; she's traveled to 30 countries (and given a TEDx Talk on curing wanderlust); advocated for gender equality, LGBT rights, and using capitalism to empower people; and figured out a way to incorporate her penchant for travel, education, food, and collaboration into successful businesses that have made life better for hundreds of people.


Image via Adrianna Tan, used with permission.

Adrianna's always on the lookout for ways she can improve her surrounding communities via technology and social outreach.

"Being from a part of the world [Asia] with so many wonderful experiences but also so many dire ones definitely shaped the way I thought about life and business.I saw no point in building a company in Asia to solve only 'first world problems,'" Tan told Upworthy.

The first organization she started is the Gyanada Foundation, which aims to fully fund education for underprivileged girls from five cities in India.

The literacy rate in India, especially for women, historically has been low. By the time Adrianna, who was born in Singapore, had spent a decade living in and traveling to India, she had seen firsthand that the bar for education for women needed to be raised. She had already been volunteering for educational nonprofits that were working with girls in need, so she simply decided to start her own.

Image via Adrianna Tan/Gyanada Foundation, used with permission.

Thanks to her foundation, 150 Indian girls receive educational scholarships each year.The foundation has done so well that it won the Public Service Award from Asia Society’s Asia 21 Young Leaders Initiative, which included a $10,000 grant.

Next up, the foundation plans to expand: It's working on incorporating a sex-education-through-theater class and a coding class for their girls to get a leg up in the tech world.

Image via Gyanada Foundation/Facebook, used with permission.

In 2013, Adrianna moved on to a project that fueled her food-loving heart: Culture Kitchen.

Image via Culture Kitchen/YouTube.

Culture Kitchen provides pop-up, cross-cultural potlucks of sorts, where traditional dishes are served, and local Singaporeans and migrant workers can meet and interact.

The idea for it came out of the inordinate amount of xenophobia Adrianna was witnessing both in person and online.

"I decided I wanted to create moments for people across different ethnicities and cultures, and class, to meet and eat with each other," she explained.

Image via Adrianna Tan, used with permission.

Not surprisingly, the idea caught on, and in June of last year, Culture Kitchen was awarded $10,000 in cash and $10,000 in flights by Jetstar's Flying Start Program.

Then came Wobe, a program that aims to give Southeast Asian women the opportunity to provide for their families using only their phones.

Image via Wobe/Facebook, used with permission.

The idea for Wobe came out of an all too common problem: "How do we create income and employment to millions of women who need to provide for their families, but can't?"

To the tech-savvy Adrianna, the answer was simple: create an app. The app helps these women start their own micro-businesses, such as selling prepaid phone credit and other digital commodities that are in high demand in Southeast Asia. Right now, they are in pre-launch phase, but their projected impact looks promising — Adrianna says that if the program catches on, they expect Wobe will be able to increase the income of Indonesian women by 30% to 200%.

At the end of the day, it all comes back to collaboration.

Image via Adrianna Tan, used with permission.

Working with others across countries and cultural boundaries is behind everything Adrianna does. Her ability to collaborate with pretty much anyone anywhere is why she’s had so many successes in business — including being named a Top Female Entrepreneur of 2015 by True Global Ventures.

"I've had to learn several languages, more 'slang words' and inter-cultural ways of working with people from all backgrounds. Being able to communicate effectively helps a lot, but more than that it is the ability to 'read' situations and context. That is wonderful for business in more than one way," she said.

Social media makes creating these connections easier — Adrianna says that she's found most of her cofounders and collaborators through Facebook and other networks, and it's also how she stays in touch with the communities she's created.

"I've used social media for many years now, and I've found that it is especially effective for business in the emerging markets, where I work. ... It lets us talk directly to real people in real time, and for that Wobe is able to gain invaluable insights."

Adrianna knows you can’t always look ahead and calculate all the risks, especially when setting out as an entrepreneur — sometimes you just have to jump.

As she puts it, "Look into enhancing your risk appetite and more importantly calibrating it, and then take as much of it as you can," she said. "Nothing will move until risk is an element, and that was my most important lesson."

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon