Our Own Ted Mekianov Wins Audi's 'What's Your Summit?' Grant!


Ted Mekianov Wins Audi $10,000 "What's Your Summit?" Grant

Every year, Audi of America selects four Audi employees from across the nation to win the "What's Your Summit?" grant. This grant consists of four categories: Education, Environment, Community, and Innovation. In order to win the contest, contestants must write an essay that describes a personal goal for 2016 that fits into one of the four categories and can be reasonably started, or accomplished with the $10,000 grant. This year, O'Daniel's very own Ted Mekianov won one of the $10,000 "What's Your Summit?" grants for the Education category.

Ted has always had a passion for educating underprivileged children because of Ted's own personal history. Ted was once one of those underprivileged children- he was an immigrant and came from a poverty level household, so it makes sense why he is so passionate about education. In 2012, Ted became a volunteer for Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana and set a personal goal to reach 1,000 children in the Fort Wayne community and educate them on global affairs. Junior Achievement focuses on three educational needs: financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship. According to Ted, those three needs are often the ones that are overlooked by the traditional education system, which is why Junior Achievement is so important. Most of Ted's students come from poverty level households who rarely have access to people who know and understand the global economy or come from an entrepreneurial background. Ted's plan focuses on imports and exports, immigration, and innovation which, as Ted says, fits him perfectly due to the fact that he is an immigrant who sells innovative, imported automobiles.

So far, Ted has reached 495 students and taught 85 hours; and although he feels like he has made a lasting impact, he still hasn't reached his personal goal. With the money that Audi graciously donated, he plans on donating it all to Junior Achievement and establishing a scholarship fund for select students. "Five and half years ago," Ted told us, "the local Audi dealership invested in me, an immigrant who grew up in poverty. Since then, their investment has paid off as I have accomplished sales leader of the year for four consecutive years. I cannot think of a better way for our corporate partner to invest in the local community of underprivileged children than to follow the example of my employer." O'Daniel's couldn't be more proud of Ted and all of his accomplishments- Way to go!


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