Robert F. Smith – 2017 Ronald H. Brown American Journey Award Recipient

The idea for Jason Young’s new app crystallized the day he returned home from Harvard for Christmas break and was surprised to see his mother packing up her belongings. The single mom who had worked steadily and struggled to get him scholarships to good schools near their South Central Los Angeles neighborhood was being evicted. When payments on her variable-rate home loan ballooned, she wasn’t able to keep up. “For me, that moment, that experience taught me the importance of making wise financial decisions,” Young said, sitting in the Uptown Oakland office of his startup, MindBlown Labs, maker of the financial learning game Thrive ’n’ Shine.