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62 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 11.16 ADDYSON JOHNSON 5, kindergarten, Breckinridge-Franklin Elementary Addyson's motto: "I just want people to be nice to each other." For her fifth birthday, she decided to perform five acts of kindness, including sharing quarters with another child for a candy machine and buying dinner for a homeless man. For your fifth birthday, you did five random acts of kindness. What did you do? "At school, some people forgot to push in their chairs, and they'd get in trouble, so I shoved in their chairs." What do you want to be when you grow up? "A vegetarian." Do you have any pets? "We have fish. Maybe five." What makes someone smart? "Listening to their teachers and being good." MUKUND VENKATAKRISHNAN 16, senior, duPont Manual High School After visiting his grandfather in India a few years ago, Mukund discovered that hearing aids were very expensive and hard to obtain. His response? Building an inexpensive hearing aid. Right now he's got a prototype, and he hopes to complete the project in college. How did you start working on the hearing aid? "My grandfather has hearing loss. It was really hard to get an audiologist, and then it was really expensive. I didn't come up with the idea right away, but I started looking into the problem more. That's where it came from originally. I had to make the hardware, like the circuit boards and stuff. Then I had to program it to do the hearing test, and then the hearing aid. I went to the doctor's office and medically validated it. It was a whole nine yards." What colleges are you considering? "Anywhere that will pay me to go there. I'm applying to MIT, Berkeley, Stanford, Georgia Tech, Purdue — mostly the engineering colleges, because that's what I want to end up doing. Electrical engineering or computer science or something along those lines. Hopefully making something that people will eventually use, not something that works in the back end all the time. But there's a lot of stuff I don't know about yet, so we'll see. Things change really quickly in college, from what I've heard. We'll see how that happens. People change a lot." Any other interests? "I'm really into music, a lot of hip-hop. I went to a concert when I was in Boston this summer. The artist's name was Vic Mensa. I'm a big fan of his. Chance the Rapper, I like him. Vince Staples. They have a lot of social messages, too, which I think is really important."