Making a Difference

Connecting with Kids Student Leadership winner Chetana Guthikonda.

As a junior, Chetana Guthikonda was awarded the 2014 Connecting with Kids Student Leadership award for her community service and passion for social entrepreneurialism. She was recognized for forming a tutoring club at the Southdale Library, volunteering at Children’s Hospital—Minneapolis and creating an affordable fluoride filter she designed using CAD (computer-aided design) for Edina High School’s Passion Project.

Along with the award, Guthikonda received $1,000, which took her to Yale University last summer to attend the social entrepreneurship program, Summerfuel. There, she worked with other students to develop a hypothetical social enterprise connecting global social enterprises to communities in need using nonprofits and non-government organizations (NGOs) as facilitators, which she hopes to make a reality someday.

“It was good motivation,” Guthikonda says about the award, which encouraged her to learn more about social entrepreneurism.

To nominate someone for the 2015 awards or register for the leadership breakfast, visit