[caption id="attachment_2574" align="alignright" width="300"] Rostam Zafari[/caption]
Rostam Zafari is a 20-year-old Iranian-American from Atlanta, Georgia. He is currently a student at Emory University where he has enrolled to study social entrepreneurship and creative writing. He has a particular interest in designing solutions for the healthcare and education sectors.
At eighteen-years-of-age, his interest led him to create a rapid test strip for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). He received the 2015 Cyrus Prize for his efforts in healthcare.
Zafari is also the President & Co-Founder of Mystro, which is a platform to connect excelling college students with local high school students so that they may offer them tutoring in standardized testing.
Zafari's father is a professor at Emory University who had an influence on his keen interest in Science. As a child, he would intern in genetic labs and even at their local fire department with his brother, Zaal. So, from an early age, he got a head start in the Science lab.
Zafari began his Rapid Ebola Detection Strips (REDS) project with two of his mates in 2014, the aim of which was to create a more effective way of testing for EVD. His Biology Professor, Rachelle Spell, offered the project as an additional credit. Zafari took up the challenge and began working on his theory.
[caption id="attachment_2575" align="alignleft" width="300"] Zafari with one of his mates who worked with him on the REDS project[/caption]
He realizes that the issues facing the world today include "hunger, energy, water, education, healthcare, and others" which he says could simply be solved by the "compassion, creativity, sustainability, and scalability that social entrepreneurship embodies." He goes on to say that these problems need not exist and that if we design a better world, it is possible to attain it.
The current "empires and monopolies" will not be responsible for any redesigning as they are in a comfortable spot. He feels that start-ups are great as they have something which must be proven and is empowered by technology.
Fazari and his team hope to have an impact on education but says that this will only be determined in future. He considers increasing access to education to be vital and that even helping one person in this manner is a success for them.
At such an early stage in his life, he has made great accomplishments and says that for him, his future goals stem from his belief that the world's sufferings are not inherent, but a product of poor design. In future, he aims to build up an NGO to deal with some of the world's most pressing issues by designing the solutions along with his team.