Jairang (Jai) Yarlagadda, a senior in the IB program at Strawberry Crest High School, has created a way to assist people who are facing a temporary financial crisis through an interest-free loan program. Jai believes strongly that the usual “pay day loans” that are available to most people only place them into greater financial jeopardy. According to Jai, “Payday loans are a problem not getting enough coverage. They are destroying many Americans' lives. There is a huge problem and a huge need.”
He and his father, who raised Jai with the belief that charity is something to aspire to, brainstormed ways that he could do just that. After hearing a broadcast on NPR that included the fact that 63% of Americans can’t afford an emergency of $1000 or more, together they came up with the idea for a temporary, interest-free loan program and created the FairPact Foundation.
Jai is a self-taught programmer who wrote the code and designed his website by himself. After a summer internship at the Systems Soft Technologies company, where he refined his coding and designing skills with several of the people who worked there, he launched his website. Right now, he and his father follow a very specific process for reviewing applications for a loan. Potential participants must access the website or call, complete an application, which is then reviewed. If a loan is approved, it must be co-signed to ensure there is assistance if needed to pay back the loan on time, but repayment terms are individualized to streamline the schedule that works best for the borrower.
Jai has a very full academic schedule that includes Calculus, Biology, Economics, History, English, Theory of Knowledge, Spanish, AP Statistics, and an online Chemistry class. He has three to four hours of homework each evening, and is contemplating attending University of Florida, University of Miami, Duke, or Georgia Tech, majoring in Computer Science or Physics, although many family members and friends have urged him to go into medicine. In spite of his grueling schedule, he is determined to make time for the FairPact Foundation, and is currently actively seeking people and companies to become matching donors in his efforts.
For Jai, regardless of where he goes to college or what he chooses to do as a career, he must have an element of giving back or of making the world a better place to live. That’s how he was raised, and that is how he intends to live his life.View Full Album