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You have an opinion, but do you have what it takes to be heard?

Zeba Khan
Toledo, Ohio

Zeba Khan

Voted out Nov. 23. I am a social media consultant for nonprofits. I have researched women and minority issues in the Muslim World, Islam in America and counterterrorism finance with the U.S. Treasury Department. ALL POSTS

Social innovators

Editor's note: Our remaining contestants are blogging this week. Thursday's assignment: come up with something that could become a regular feature. 

The guidelines for President Obama's $50-million Social Innovation Fund are expected to be outlined by the end of the year, with the first grants to be awarded by next spring. In light of this renewed focus on innovation, this series aims to highlight inspirational social entrepreneurs who are creating a substantive impact on the world around them.

I first met 17-year-old Eden Full over a year ago while working at Ashoka's Youth Venture, a nonprofit that mentors and provides seed grants to young social entrepreneurs. (Full Disclosure: I worked for Youth Venture from July 2008 until July 2009.) Initially, I thought my work would involve helping kids to organize bake sales to raise money for Amnesty International, but it soon became apparent that the young people I was meeting were doing so much more than setting up the lemonade stands you and I used to run in our parents' driveways.

Eden became interested in solar panels at the age of nine. After several years of research (yes, while she was still in elementary school and junior high) she decided to find a way to make solar panels more accessible to people living in developing countries. Here's Eden explaining her work at the 2009 Youth Venture National Summit:

By Zeba Khan  |  November 10, 2009; 11:32 PM ET  | Category:  Recurring Feature , Round Two
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Posted by: manray132 | November 15, 2009 12:07 PM
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By using the power of this medium, this writer started a bit of a trend in this competition with this post. She brings the meaningful work of others into the spotlight by sharing it with this audience. Thanks for being a leader on this and taking us forward in a positive direction.

Posted by: manray132 | November 15, 2009 11:45 AM
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I guess my main reason for remaining aloof towards your articles is the writing itself. Yes, you have potential in my opinion. In a few years, if you keep tweaking your style, I for one may enjoy reading your articles. As it is, reading your articles feels like I am performing the kind of public service I want credit for taking the time to read.

Posted by: tspsls | November 14, 2009 9:19 AM
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Great idea for a regular series, a way to highlight the good work of young people trying to make a difference in this crazy crazy world. I could've used these role models growing up. Thanks for the idea and for caring enough to put them out there.

Posted by: ralphie4 | November 12, 2009 2:24 PM
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This is not a blogger piece.Her reliance on a video in a blog does not reflect writing on her part, but uses the voice of an other in what essentially becomes a short filler news piece. Even as a news piece, I found it dry and uninteresting. A rather poor performance for someone who is in the top 5 of 5000 entrants. In reading all of her submissions, I can't help but wonder how she was selected for the top 10.

Posted by: arnnyc | November 12, 2009 1:42 PM
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I don't like short blogs, like this one and Courtney's, that are introductions to soemone else's work. It's like getting a chain mail invite to watch a video. I don't have time to do that, so I don't watch or click on links like that. So these type of blogs make me think: Zero.

Posted by: Chicory | November 12, 2009 7:50 AM
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I like the topics you choose. They're fresh. Wanna know what you think, girl, tell me more.

Posted by: scscannen | November 11, 2009 12:41 PM
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Not much here. Better go deeper girl!

Posted by: chucky-el | November 11, 2009 11:39 AM
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Wonderful content. Terrible performance. Pundits should use the news to offer readers both opinion and a degree of entertainment. Should be language at its best: ironical, convincing, amusing. Present an idea based on current issues, and do so with pizzazz. I was informed, but detected no opinion, certainly no pizzazz.

Posted by: sarawaters | November 11, 2009 11:05 AM
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I like the format and the content of this blog. It is information oriented and has the potential to lead readers to investigate further.

If newspapers are to take me in a meaningful direction, they need to adapt the technology to my need to know more.

It's a very selfish way of looking at the work, but it is my way.

Posted by: goodgovernment | November 11, 2009 9:17 AM
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Agree with other commenters. Would have to read more of this feature. This is something I might read if I saw it, but not sure I would come here to read more of it as a feature.

Posted by: martymar123 | November 11, 2009 5:28 AM
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This is a nice idea for a column. I like the showcasing element of it. It brings attention to meaningful work of people trying to make a difference. I like to read words with a purpose - this has good purpose and you have vision. Thank you.

Posted by: citizenme | November 11, 2009 3:36 AM
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I like the fact that you are using the blog to give attention to someone else and shine a light on the project, organzation, and issue.

I would like to read a few more of your thoughts on the goals of the Social Innovation Fund, why this is important, and what are the prospects that this will have a beneficial social impact.

Posted by: j2hess | November 11, 2009 1:19 AM
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