Skip to content

The Best and The Brightest of 2023



Age 16 | Junior
BASIS Peoria
Molly is a young entrepreneur who saw a huge need for connecting teens with community service opportunities in Phoenix. She founded “My Wish for my Community”, a nonprofit organization in 2020, after seeing many homeless people in downtown Phoenix during the pandemic. She told her mom she wanted to do something to help and organized a blanket drive with the help of her friends. They collected 24 large boxes of blankets and jackets and assembled 200 hygiene kits and delivered them to the homeless population. Her work was featured on Fox 10 Phoenix and suddenly middle school and high school students were reaching out to collaborate and help.

“I saw the need and then developed an app that would connect teens to local charities that needed volunteers for various projects,” said Budhiraja. “My app also logs volunteer hours and students really appreciated that. When you do multiple service projects it’s often hard to keep track of your hours, this keeps it all in one place and makes it really easy.”

In just two years, Molly has organized and held several events for the community, including making cheerful cards for patients in the hospital through a partnership with Hospice of the Valley, a water bottle drive during the summer of 2022, and a shoe and clothing drive in fall of 2022 to help people experiencing homelessness. Last year, volunteers served approximately 800 hours in their communities.

“I am really proud that everything I have done has been self-taught,” says Budhiraja. “I taught myself to code and create the web site. I learned leadership skills along the way and now I am mentoring young people who want to be involved in the organization.”

Molly’s app has been locally and nationally recognized. She won Congressional Recognition in 2021 from Arizona Congresswoman Debbie Lesko’s office for Congressional District 8, and the President’s Volunteer Service Award Certification in 2022.

She also serves as the Co-Chair of the Mental Health Sub-Committee at the Governor’s Youth Commission, is Vice President of the Class of 2024, involved in National Charity League and serves on the Youth Advisory Board of Punjabi Seva.

Her future plans include expanding “My Wish for my Community” to other cities and getting more young people involved in their neighborhoods. She’d like to pursue a career in activism, public policy or nonprofit work.
636 W Southern Ave | Tempe, AZ 85282
6339 E Speedway Blvd, Ste 109 | Tucson, AZ 85710