Bellaire HS grad gets $100,000 grant to fund her ‘bright’ idea

After a devastating earthquake hit the island of Haiti, one Bellaire High School graduate was inspired to do something — and one of the nation’s largest banks is helping her in her quest to light up the world.

Andrea Sreshta (Bellaire HS Class of 2002) and one of her Columbia University graduate-school classmates invented a solar-powered light that is collapsible, lightweight, and affordable. They called it LuminAID, and made the first 50 prototypes by hand in 2010. It has since been used in more than 70 countries around the world, and during disaster relief after Hurricane Sandy, Typhoon Haiyan, and a recent earthquake in Nepal.

Sreshta applied for a $100,000 Mission Main Street Grant from Chase Bank, and LuminAID was selected as a recipient.

“The funding from the grant will go a long way towards supporting our projects dedicated to bringing light to areas of the world without electricity,” Sreshta said.

Sreshta is now pursuing a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.