Who says you have to wait to drop out of college to make a difference?

Last week, three Bay Area teenagers were named recipients of the highly esteemed 2016 Davidson Fellows Scholarship. The award is presented to 20 youth under the age of 18 who create a project “that is recognized as an outstanding accomplishment by experts in the field and has the potential to benefit society.”

The award offers scholarships of $10,000, $25,000 and $50,000 based on the complexity and impressiveness of the project. Cupertino’s Maya Varma, 18, received $25,000 for inventing a low-cost smartphone-based pulmonary function analyzer that can diagnose and treat multiple forms of respiratory illness. She plans to attend Stanford in the fall and study bioengineering and computer science.

Also awarded $25,000 was San Jose’s Raghav Ganesh, who is just 14 years old. He is the youngest Davidson Fellow to be honored this year after creating a wearable device to help predict and manage meltdowns for people with Autism. The device can alert a caregiver and provide therapeutic stress relievers to help calm the user.

Nicolas Poux, 17, from Palo Alto, was awarded $50,000 for his work studying cells. His project, titled “Development of a High-Resolution Multi-color Fluorescent Reporter for Clonal Analysis,” is also referred to as Skittles. Skittles is a genetic construct that labels and tracks cells by using colors, which helps to observe how cells divide and multiply, furthering possible research into stem cells. This fall Nick, who chose to study the topic of cells after surviving cancer, will attend Stanford, where he will study biology.

These three students along with the other 17 Davidson Fellows Scholars will be honored in Washington D.C., on Sept. 21.