Hastings-on-Hudson, NY | 19
2013 Award Recipient
One year during Shavuot, the Jewish holiday that celebrates the Torah and its study, Ben Hirschfeld learned that students in the developing world often study by the light of kerosene lamps, which puts them at risk for burns, asthma, pneumonia, and breathing in toxic carcinogens. This understanding inspired Ben to create Lit! Solar, a revolving micro-finance fund that helps families replace their dangerous kerosene lamps with safe, emission-free solar lanterns. Lit! Solar has worked directly with youth to produce a solution that works best for them, providing the benefits of solar lanterns to more than 10,000 people. This effort has prevented thousands of tons of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere. Growing his team and his program, Ben plans to expand Lit! Solar to reach more than 20,000 people and extend outreach to new schools throughout the world.