Sejal Makheja, high school student at The Holton-Arms School, founded The Elevator Project in 2012. The Elevator Project is an organization committed to enabling individuals to rise out of poverty through apprenticeship opportunities, vocational training, soft skills training, and a mentorship program. Sejal was inspired to create The Elevator Project when she met a man named Juan in a soup kitchen in Washington, D.C. He shared his story about what it was like living in poverty his entire life. Juan shared that the specific reason he believed employers of living-waging work would not hire him was because he had minimal education and skill attainment. It was at this moment Sejal realized that education would be the way to lift people out of poverty. After much research she formalized this theory and found the most effective forms of education to lift the financially disadvantaged out of poverty are in-field experience, vocational training, soft-skills training, and a mentorship program. Sejal tested this concept on Juan, gave him the training and certification opportunity she believed he would need to come out of poverty, and soon enough Juan received a full-time well-waging job opportunity. It was with this life-changing experience that Sejal realized lifting the financially disadvantaged was her call to action and The Elevator Project was founded. She was inspired by the quote “If you’re lucky enough to do well, it is your responsibility to send the elevator back down.” Sejal hopes that through The Elevator Project, she can one day impact her community, then a nation, and someday the entire world. By inspiring other young people and even elected officials via conferences, summits etc., Sejal Makheja is dedicated not only to encouraging everyone to aid in lifting the financially disadvantaged out of poverty, but also to getting all people to send the elevator back down in their own way.