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Thomas Ogi is a curious changemaker with passions for business, economics and psychology who believes that advancement in developing countries is critical to making the world a better place.

The Story

A native of the Bay Area, Thomas had always been surrounded by the stability and comfort of his hometown. During a visit to the Philippines in 2019 however, he was able to witness the impact of poverty first hand, inspiring his desire for progression and change in less-fortunate communities. This pursuit would evolve again in 2023, following a return to the Philippines where Thomas was able to lead and support basketball and arts programs in remote villages, developing an appreciation for cultural diversity.Besides the Philippines, this appreciation also takes form on a local level, where he is active in his Japanese-American community by tutoring students and teaching in summer schools. 


He is a member of his school’s volleyball team as well as the FBLA program. In terms of global issues, he is interested in the areas of poverty, technology, mental Health, global cooperation and cultural development. After visiting the Philippines, something he noticed was the people’s attraction towards activities like sports and arts/crafts, which is an important part of culture. Creating or funding programs that basically provide some enjoyment or stress relief can be very important, albeit not seemingly vital. Of course, many of the above issues should be a larger priority, but he still believes that this is one that should be considered. In his spare time, he likes to DJ. 


In the future, Thomas wishes to study one of the social sciences, with a particular focus on the realm of business, economics or political science. An idea that he has is to start a social enterprise which combines business and technology literacy to reduce gaps on education and employment, through a focus on cultural development.

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