21 year old, Ananya “Jane” Jain is being honored with the Diana award- the highest accolade a young person can receive for international humanitarian work. Established in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, the Award is given out by the charity of the same name and has the support of both her sons, The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, and The Duke of Sussex.
This year, Jane is receiving the award for developing new technologies and tackling legislation related to the international student Mental Health crisis. She is currently a student researcher in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Jain founded FullCircle from her freshman dorm with the vision to tackle pressing global challenges faced by humanity by assembling a global team of inquisitive minds. FullCircle’s current endeavour is promoting empathy, self-reflection and the spirit of resilience in today’s youth- to help them bloom into transformative leaders of the future.
“The idea is a mental health game- one that doesn’t just confine you to your phone screen but encourages you to connect with other students in the real world: a health-based Pokemon-GO!” And ever since COVID-19 happened, the team accelerated development under Jane’s leadership. “We felt an internal sense of urgency at FullCircle because of COVID-19 when we saw how many students needed remote access to the counselling services at university.” With the accelerated pace of development, FullCircle is finishing development of the application and is working with a few major universities in the UK, USA, and Switzerland on implementation in compliance with healthcare regulations.
The application is modelled on ‘pop psychology’, keeping in mind their Gen-Z student audience. FullCircle’s technological innovation lies in the creative elements: a quirky virtual art canvas that visualizes a users’ emotions over time, with a community based ‘speed rating' feature. The wellness game even mimics the comfort of human touch, sent through tactile vibrations delivered through the phone. The team, she tells me, has been researching and developing the technology for almost a year now.
“We are now looking to collaborate with many other universities so they can better support their students.We encourage them to reach out to us as we plan to expand operations.
We were thrilled that there was such recognition of this pressing issue by the Royal family. To be given an award in memory of Princess Diana- someone who persevered through so much, is a phenomenal responsibility- and my team and I don’t take it lightly.” Asked about her advice to other young people looking to make an impact in their communities, Jain firmly maintains that she is “...just a small town girl from India with a great mum, who has been fortunate enough to get a fantastic education”. Through her TEDx talk and other public engagements, she encourages her peers to tackle what she likes to call “big, hairy problems”- problems that may seem impossible to solve at first glance.
Jain plans to take on the project full time when she graduates. Right now- she tells us- she is happy chasing squirrels while solidifying FullCircle’s technology, and her base in public policy in these countries.