LeadYoung Initiative Week 3: Ara Kusuma

Ara+Kusuma
Back to Article
Back to Article

LeadYoung Initiative Week 3: Ara Kusuma

Ara Kusuma

Ara Kusuma

Ara Kusuma

Ara Kusuma

Ashoka LeadYoung Initiative

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Welcome to week three of our five-week mini-series on changemakers. We’re partnering with Ashoka and its LeadYoung initiative to syndicate the stories of teenagers and young adults from around the world who have identified real, systemic problems and taken it upon themselves to put into place solutions.

Think you know a young changemaker who deserves to be featured not only on the Eagle, but on a nationwide platform? Reach out to Editor-in-Chief Sam Bisno at [email protected]

We hope that these stories inspire you to make a change of some sort, no matter on what scale. Thank you.

-The Eagle editorial team


What if everyone grew up following their passions to change things in their communities for the better? What if we all felt supported by their families, their schools, their neighbors? Our fast changing world today demands a new set of skills: to see a problem, understand it deeply, develop a solution and form a team to make it happen. This is what Ara did from the age of 10 in Central Java, Indonesia. Her story shows how an early start at changemaking set her on a changemaking pathway for life.

Obsessed with cows as a little girl, Ara Kusuma of Indonesia asked for a cow of her own when she was 10. She and her parents set off to Central Java to visit a few farms and learn the best way to raise and care for farm animals. The first farm they went to had 1,500 cows living in clean, healthy conditions. The farmers used integrated farming to repurpose waste for fertilizer – it was a dream! But at the next stop, they found a different reality: villages overrun with cow dung, flies everywhere, and unhappy animals and humans.

Ara wanted to know, “What if all animals could live on farms like that first one?” With support from her parents to lay out a plan, Ara started Project Moo: For the Welfare of All. The goal? To surface and share innovations among village farmers to increase dairy production in a more sustainable way. In the four years that followed, Project Moo under Ara’s leadership brought together 150 farmers, many of whom became leaders in the community, testing the new approaches and spreading what worked for the benefit of all. The community saw more income from new dairy products and sustainable fertilizer. It also became cleaner. New opportunities for ecotourism emerged. A spirit of collective problem-solving took hold.

In 2008, at age 11, Ara was recognized as an Ashoka Youth Venturer and got connected to other young people who were setting their ideas for change in motion, too. She went on to study marketing and management in Singapore. Now 21 and back in Indonesia, she has started a second venture, a travel-learning project URTravelearner to help others envision changemaker lives by seeing social entrepreneurs in action.

In Ara’s words “Once you have a changemaker mindset, when you see something is not correct, you’ll take this up and make the change happen”.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Navigate Left
  • LeadYoung Initiative Week 3: Ara Kusuma

    All Posts

    Peabody Class of 1974 Visits Obama for 45th Reunion

  • LeadYoung Initiative Week 3: Ara Kusuma

    All Posts

    The Problem with Dress Codes

  • LeadYoung Initiative Week 3: Ara Kusuma

    All Posts

    Obama Seniors on Their Last Year of High School

  • LeadYoung Initiative Week 3: Ara Kusuma

    Creative Writing

    Hear Me Out

  • LeadYoung Initiative Week 3: Ara Kusuma

    All Posts

    Youth Participatory Budget Council Presents Proposal on Gentrification to City Council

  • LeadYoung Initiative Week 3: Ara Kusuma

    All Posts

    Obama Baseball Wins Walk-Off Thriller

  • LeadYoung Initiative Week 3: Ara Kusuma

    All Posts

    UPMC-Highmark Consent Decree: Where We Stand

  • LeadYoung Initiative Week 3: Ara Kusuma

    All Posts

    Summer Lee Announces Police Reform Proposals in Response to Shootings, Protests

  • LeadYoung Initiative Week 3: Ara Kusuma

    All Posts

    Obama YAG Wins Big at Model Convention

  • LeadYoung Initiative Week 3: Ara Kusuma

    All Posts

    Senior of the week: Jason Thomas

  • LeadYoung Initiative Week 3: Ara Kusuma

    All Posts

    A Day After Protests, Students Share Why They Didn’t Go

  • LeadYoung Initiative Week 3: Ara Kusuma

    All Posts

    Who Will be the Democratic Presidential Candidate in 2020?

  • LeadYoung Initiative Week 3: Ara Kusuma

    All Posts

    Michael Rosfeld’s Acquittal is Just Another in a Long Line of Abuses of Power

  • LeadYoung Initiative Week 3: Ara Kusuma

    All Posts

    Michael Rosfeld Acquitted on All Charges for the Killing of Antwon Rose II

  • LeadYoung Initiative Week 3: Ara Kusuma

    All Posts

    Senior of the Week: Mya Young

  • LeadYoung Initiative Week 3: Ara Kusuma

    All Posts

    “Savior Samuel” Celebrates 15th Anniversary of Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater Company

  • LeadYoung Initiative Week 3: Ara Kusuma

    All Posts

    Dr. Knox and Mr. Mal

  • LeadYoung Initiative Week 3: Ara Kusuma

    All Posts

    Senior of the Week: Raven Haston

  • LeadYoung Initiative Week 3: Ara Kusuma

    All Posts

    Northside Chronicle Editor Ashlee Green on Hyper-Local Journalism

  • LeadYoung Initiative Week 3: Ara Kusuma

    All Posts

    The Green Book

  • LeadYoung Initiative Week 3: Ara Kusuma

    All Posts

    Why Going BPA-Free Might Not Be As Great As You Think

  • LeadYoung Initiative Week 3: Ara Kusuma

    All Posts

    Senior of the Week Talaya Caldwell

  • LeadYoung Initiative Week 3: Ara Kusuma

    All Posts

    Responses to The Hate U Give

  • LeadYoung Initiative Week 3: Ara Kusuma

    All Posts

    Black Life

  • LeadYoung Initiative Week 3: Ara Kusuma

    All Posts

    Senior of the Week: Ava Eckenrode

  • LeadYoung Initiative Week 3: Ara Kusuma

    All Posts

    Senior of the Week: Ta’Shown Taylor

  • LeadYoung Initiative Week 3: Ara Kusuma

    All Posts

    Students Frustrated by New Bus Pass Failures

  • LeadYoung Initiative Week 3: Ara Kusuma

    All Posts

    LeadYoung Initiative: Sophie Levitt

  • LeadYoung Initiative Week 3: Ara Kusuma

    All Posts

    Reflecting on the Life of Jonathan Freeman

  • LeadYoung Initiative Week 3: Ara Kusuma

    All Posts

    Author, Harvard Professor Jill Lepore on the Historical Record and the Direction of the Future

Navigate Right
Pittsburgh Barack Obama Academy of International Studies
LeadYoung Initiative Week 3: Ara Kusuma