Ryan Ruien Zhang
Founder and Director
Ryan Zhang is a youth advocate committed to fostering and developing awareness and the tools needed for systems change in a sustainable and equitable way through combining innovation with large-scale impact. He is studying at The Harker School in San Jose, California.
As a child, Ryan enjoyed exploring the old imperial gardens of Beijing with his grandparents, and he grew to be very fond of its local black and white swan populations and the beautiful scenes of lilypads and lotus flowers. Acutely aware of the vast juxtaposition of the modern city next to the emerald green gardens, he wondered if, in the midst of an increasingly industrial and metropolitan world, he could one day bring his progeny to see the same sights from his childhood and share with them his precious memories. Though he could never bring back the ruins of the palace to its former glory, Ryan hoped that in the future, he could be responsible for preserving human kind’s symbiotic relationship with the earth, preserving its beauty for every generation to come.
Currently at The Harker Upper School, Ryan is a budding scholar who has already taken many advanced courses including 11 AP courses, including AP Environmental Science, AP Physics C, and AP Calculus BC, as well as numerous post-AP courses as of his junior year of high school. In addition to his academic interests, Ryan is an accomplished athlete, competing in national level junior golf tournaments and placing second in one such tournament. As a young researcher and founder, Ryan devotes much of his energy and time to building and developing The PEDS-AI Project, which aims to revolutionize the relationship between humans and the land by fostering more sustainable agriculture and monitoring epidemic disease. In his free time, Ryan is an avid youth steward for his local environmental protection agency, and he also founded and leads conservation organizations within his local community, curating volunteer events and connecting his community to the science and research of humans and nature.
Visualizing his journey ahead as a scholar and leader at university, Ryan aims to meet people from diverse backgrounds who are passionate about the same things as him and will inspire and work with him throughout life. From a career perspective, he sets his ambitions to become a future founder of a greentech startup or a management consultant in environmental engineering. Ryan seeks to create a legacy of systems change which uproots and reevaluates long-accepted foundations and traditions regarding human relationships with each other, the environment, and technology, and which inspires and builds a platform for the next generation to perpetuate innovation, impact and change.