She’s EmPOWERed: Community Service is a Family Affair for Virginia Sisters and NEST4US Founders

Service to the community is a strong value in the Venkat family household. So it’s no surprise that sisters Shreyaa and Esha are championing causes and inspiring others to do the same.

“Our mom would bring us along to volunteer at school and community events even back in elementary school,” said eldest sister, Shreyaa, 18. “That was when we were first introduced to the world of community service. The giving spirit has always been in our family for generations.”

The award-winning sisters believe it’s our responsibility as humans to give back to the people who need it the most. There are millions of people in the world that don’t have access to basic necessities like food and some don’t even have families or loved ones.

PURPOSE & PASSION

“This is proof that the world needs people to spark change and build a better future. So, we thought, why couldn’t that be us?” said younger sister, Esha, 15. That’s the inspiration behind why they formed NEST4US, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to providing volunteer solutions to the community to make the world better through kindness.

The sisters have made such an impact in their community and across the country that they have been honored with dozens of awards, including the George H.W. Bush Points of Light Award. This year, Shreyaa was selected for the Clinton Global Initiative University 2021 Cohort by the Clinton Foundation. Additionally, the girls were among the L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth honorees and selected for the Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey.

It’s hard to imagine Shreyaa and Esha having time for anything else with all their NEST4US initiatives. But they do! These fierce founders are both travel soccer players, Kathak dancers, 3rd degree black belts, certified soccer referees and assistant martial arts instructors.

“Many people wonder, how do we manage to balance academics, extracurriculars and still keep time open in our schedules to give back consistently? Well, for us, we believe that you don’t need to have time, you should make the time to help others,” the sisters agreed.

ASPIRATIONS

Currently, Shreyaa is balancing her time as a freshman at Georgetown University majoring in Global Health studies. She aspires to enter the medical field and delve into healthcare management, through which she’ll continue providing aid to marginalized populations who lack equitable access to vital healthcare resources and treatments.

Esha, who is a high school student, is interested in studying neuroscience and/or computer science/animation when she goes to college. “Personally, I want to work in the neuroscience and technology field when I grow up, because I am interested in the brain and all things STEM,” she said.

You can keep up to date with all of the NEST4US initiatives and activities at www.nest4us.org.

Follow them at:

Facebook- @nest4us
Instagram- @joinnest
Twitter- @joinnest4

Girls Who Transform the World

You’re probably already aware that Empowered Flower Girl is an advocate and ally for youth. We work to help young people of all backgrounds live above life’s drama to make a difference in their lives and in the lives of others. 

But we also know how vitally important it is to serve and support girls and young women as they transition from adolescence to adulthood. 

Girls across the globe face challenges – from equal access to education and capital to greater risks of digital harassment and domestic abuse. 

But despite those challenges, girls are poised to change the world. They are creators. They are innovators and they are POWERful.

On October 1, 2020, Empowered Flower Girl will dedicate our social media to “Girls Who Transform the World.” We will host a live discussion via Facebook as well as highlight girls who are making an impact in their communities. We’re doing this in honor of International Day of the Girl, which is observed every year on October 11. 

The International Day of the Girl campaign encourages girls to amplify their voices and stand up for their rights. This year, under the theme “My voice, our equal future,” organizations and individuals are encouraged to seize the opportunity to re-imagine a better world inspired by adolescent girls – energized and recognized, counted and invested in.

Do you know a girl transforming her community or the world through entrepreneurship, volunteerism or the arts? Let us know at info@empoweredflowergirl.com and we just may feature her in our She’s EmPOWERed column. 

Do you want to help transform your world?

If you are a teacher, counselor or nonprofit/after-school professional who is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of young people, let’s connect. Seriously. Schedule your FREE 20-minute discovery call to discuss how we can help you. 

BTW, Girl World Peace Academy enrollment returns September 25th. Learn more at  www.rashedakamaria.com/girlworldpeace

She’s EmPOWERed: Washington girl on a mission to stop bullying

At 11 years old, Autumn Smith is resilient. Like Empowered Flower Girl’s Rasheda Kamaria Williams, she is a survivor of bullying, which she’s endured since kindergarten.

Despite being alienated and feeling lonely at times, deep down Autumn knew she wasn’t alone.

“I didn’t want people who were being bullied like me to feel alone. I wanted them to understand that if we stood together then maybe we could get others to listen and things change,” Autumn said.

And change things is what she did.

Autumn used her experience and creative abilities to develop a line of empowering t-shirts. With assistance from her mom, she designed the shirts which come in several colors with messages like “Bullying Stops Here” and “Kindness is My Rebellion.”

“When I (made my first shirt), it made me feel stronger. Like I was being heard for the first time in a long time,” she said. “I wanted to share that feeling with my friends. Then I wanted to share it with the whole school.”

Autumn spent the summer raising funds to pay for 600 shirts, which she sold and gifted to students and families in her community and beyond.

“She is a very determined kid and has had some amazing supporters along the way,” according to her mother Cynthia.

“She has done some pretty scary things for a kid her age but she fights through it because she wants to make the change. She feels that strongly about ending bullying.”

Learn more about Autumn and her Stopping Bullying One Shirt at a Time initiative on Facebook.

Know a girl or young woman 5-25 years old who deserves recognition? Email rkamaria@empoweredflowergirl.com. Parental consent required for anyone under 18 years of age.

She’s EmPOWERed: Empowered Flower Girl salutes girls making an impact

There are kids in our communities and around the world tackling issues and championing causes – from climate change and racism to access to education and homelessness. Although it’s our job as adults to pave the way and solve these problems, I am still inspired by the courage, dedication and commitment of children and teens globally. 

Empowered Flower Girl is committed to showcasing youth making a positive difference and those who are using their gifts to bring joy to others.

Do you know a young social entrepreneur or change maker (who identifies as female) from 5 to 25, let us know. We’ll highlight her in the next issue of Be EmPOWERed. Email rkamaria@empoweredflowergirl.com.

Parental consent will be required for those under 18.

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