New Jersey youth recognized by Prudential Emerging Visionaries program


Mahwah student is honored with $5,000 award and invitation to the 2023 summit for his work addressing the challenges of a changing world.

NEWARK, N.J., Feb. 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Mark Leschinsky, 16, of Mahwah, New Jersey, today was named a 2023 Prudential Emerging Visionary for his inspiring commitment to improving the lives of others.

Emerging Visionaries logo (PRNewsfoto/Prudential Financial, Inc.)

As one of 25 Prudential Emerging Visionary winners, Mark will receive a $5,000 award to help take his innovation to the next level. He is also invited to attend an all-expenses-paid trip with his parent or guardian to Prudential's Newark, New Jersey, headquarters for a three-day summit in April where he will receive coaching, skills development and networking opportunities with Prudential employees and other young leaders.

Prudential Emerging Visionaries recognizes young people ages 14-18 whose fresh perspectives and innovative solutions address pressing financial and societal challenges in their communities.

"The goals of our Emerging Visionaries program reflect Prudential's overarching purpose: to make lives better by solving the financial challenges of our changing world," said Chairman and CEO Charles Lowrey. "We applaud all of our honorees for their commitment to improving the lives of others and creating inclusive and thriving communities."

New Jersey's 2023 Prudential Emerging Visionary:

Mark Leschinsky is the founder of "Student World Impact Film Festival," a film competition that elevates the voices of young storytellers from underserved communities. Mark started this project to create a more equitable filmmaking community, tackling barriers young people often encounter when entering the film festival circuit, such as large submission fees and discrimination.

"A story can't exist without a storyteller. And, to pave the way for a more inclusive, culturally accepting and equitable society, we need to hear more of the perspectives and viewpoints of storytellers from historically marginalized communities, especially youth," he says. The initiative has grown to include more than 8,000 submissions.

Emerging Visionaries is a collaboration between Prudential Financial and Ashoka, a leading social impact organization, with support from the Financial Health Network, an authority on financial health and longtime partner of The Prudential Foundation.

During the summit, to be held April 22-25, 2023, five winners will also have the opportunity to present their solutions in a pitch-off, where a grand prize winner will be awarded an additional $10,000 in funding. What's more, Prudential employees will again vote to name an Employees' Choice Award winner, who will receive an additional $5,000.

The program is an evolution of Prudential's Spirit of Community Awards, which, over 26 years, honored more than 150,000 outstanding youth volunteers.

To read about all this year's Prudential Emerging Visionaries, visit

About Prudential Financial

Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a financial wellness leader and premier active global investment manager, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Prudential's diverse and talented employees help to make lives better by creating financial opportunity for more people. Prudential's iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century. For more information, please visit

About Ashoka

Ashoka is the largest global network of leading social entrepreneurs — individuals with new ideas to systemically address the world's biggest challenges and the entrepreneurial skill to transform those ideas into national, regional and global social impact. Over 40 years, Ashoka has supported more than 3,600 social entrepreneurs in 90 countries with solutions addressing society's most pressing issues. Ashoka's vision is a world in which Everyone Is a Changemaker — a society that responds quickly and effectively to challenges, and where each individual has the freedom, confidence and societal support to address any social problem. For more information, visit

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SOURCE Prudential Financial, Inc.

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