Naperville resident Trisha Prabhu has been recognized by Forbes for her creation of ReThink: a patented technology that detects and stops cyber bullying before it happens.
30 Under 30
The Harvard student has been named to Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Impact list.
“It feels absolutely incredible; when I heard the news, I was ecstatic, thrilled, and so honored,” said Prabhu in an email. “It’s a very special recognition, both because it validates ReThink and our mission to better the Internet, and because it highlights the power of young people to change the world.”
Prabhu joins another Naperville resident, Wilbur You, who was also recognized on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for 2021.
ReThink operates as a keyboard on mobile devices. It detects harmful language and gives users a chance to “ReThink” before sending offensive messages. Before a message is sent, a box will appear asking if the person is sure they want to send the message.
“When I was 13, I read a news story about a Florida girl that had died by suicide after being cyberbullied. I was horrified. Curious to understand why teens were so willing to post offensive messages online, I started to investigate the potential connections between adolescent brain development and cyberbullying,” Prabhu told us in November. “My research revealed an interesting link. Because the prefrontal cortex, which oversees impulse control, isn’t developed until the age of 25, many teens struggle with in-the-moment decision making (such as: posting an offensive message). That’s when I began to wonder, if I gave teens a chance to think through the decision to post an offensive message, would they still do it? I knew I’d stumbled onto a world-changing idea — and ReThink was born.”
Being recognized by Forbes is just the latest accomplishment for the 20-year-old. Prabhu was recently one of 10 chosen from nearly 1,300 candidates for the first annual Elevate Prize. And according to the 20-year-old, she’s the youngest winner.
The Elevate Prize Foundation aims to amplify the impact of people working for social change and drive progress.
“Looking ahead, I’m so excited to join this amazing community of changemakers, and build relationships that, I hope, will take ReThink to new heights. More broadly, I hope that this recognition is a reminder to all young people that it only takes one idea, passion, and a drive for better to make change,” said Prabhu.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ and Christian Canizal reports.
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