1. Yusra Mardini

Age: 24
Occupation: Founder and President of Yusra Mardini Foundation
Nationality: Syrian
Residence: Germany
Category: Social Impact

In 2015, as the conflict in Syria intensified, Mardini and her sister, Sara, fled their war-torn homeland. When the boat's engine failed, the two sisters and another passenger jumped into the water and pushed the boat for hours until they reached the shore, saving the lives of those aboard. After seeking refuge in Germany, her story captured the world's attention during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games when she competed as a member of the first-ever Refugee Olympic Team. She has recently established the Yusra Mardini Foundation, which creates innovative sports and education projects for refugees to help them better integrate into their communities. She was appointed the youngest ever UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, aged 19. Her and Sara’s story is depicted in the 2022 Netflix film “The Swimmers.”