Join Divya in support of Pratham USA Readathon 2015 (St. Louis)

Divya

$12,232 from 25 donors 2 updates $12,500 goal
What is the Readathon?
Pratham USA Readathon 2015 is a fundraising initiative that encourages kids in the U.S. to read more books and raise money to help less fortunate kids in India learn to read.
How does it work?
Kids ask their friends and family to donate money to Pratham for every book they read. The more books they read, the more money they raise. Learn more here.
Where does my money go?
All donations to the Readathon go to support Pratham’s work for child education in India. With the help of trained professionals and dedicated volunteers, Pratham runs pre-schools and after-school programs in many cities and villages of India so that underprivileged children can read, write and count at their appropriate grade level. Pratham needs only $25 to educate one child for one whole year.Pratham receives 97% of the money you donate here. 2.9% + 30 cents is charged by the credit card processing company. We thank SeeYourImpact for providing Pratham with its Storytelling Donation platform free of cost.
Who can participate?
Kids of any age can participate (adults too!). Children too young to read can have a parent or older siblings read to them.
Why participate?
Reading is good for everyone. Reading to help others learn to read is Great!Participating in this Readathon is an amazing way to do community service, and enjoy the benefits of reading at the same time – increased vocabulary, improved communication skills and the joy of helping others.
Are there prizes?
Yes! Trophies will be given to readers who raise $250 or more. A Young Reader Award for the reader who raises the most money and a Young Leader Award for the Readathon Coordinator who demonstrates strong leadership skills and whose team raises a significant amount of money. Certificates of Appreciation for all readers. More information is available here.
What is a Readathon Coordinator?
A Readathon Coordinator (RC) is a high school student who will lead a team of younger readers and guide, support, and cheer them on in meeting their reading and fundraising goals for the Readathon. A RC will learn good management and leadership skills, and can also enjoy all the benefits of being a reader. For more information, click here.
How do I know if my donation makes a difference?
With every $1,000 raised, Pratham is able to educate 40 children for one whole year. Readers and donors can read some stories of children who attend Pratham schools by clicking here

Thanks to...

Apr 1
Asawari and Samir view profile
Asawari and Samir made a $501 contribution
Asawari and Samir view profile
Asawari and Samir made a $500 contribution
Jan 12
Claude view profile
Claude made a $50 contribution
Jan 4
Yasmin view profile
Yasmin made a $500 contribution
Jan 1
Divya view profile
Divya made a $501 contribution
Vineeta view profile
Vineeta made a $251 contribution
Dec 31
Divya view profile
Divya made a $501 contribution
Trisha and Veer view profile
Trisha and Veer made a $50 contribution
Sanjit and Kimaya view profile
Sanjit and Kimaya made a $50 contribution
Prabha view profile
Prabha made a $251 contribution
Satish and Roop view profile
Satish and Roop made a $125 contribution
Monika view profile
Monika made a $100 contribution
Dec 30
Sujata and Raja view profile
Sujata and Raja made a $251 contribution
Saurav and Souvik view profile
Saurav and Souvik made a $125 contribution
Dec 25
Ashish view profile
Ashish made a $100 contribution
Dec 24
Monika view profile
Monika made a $150 contribution
Dec 20
Durrain and Navaz view profile
Durrain and Navaz made a $100 contribution
Dec 19
Jasleen & Sandeep view profile
Jasleen & Sandeep made a $251 contribution
Dec 14
Rajendra view profile
Rajendra made a $501 contribution
Dec 10
Prabha view profile
Prabha made a $251 contribution
Dec 7
Niti view profile
Niti made a $200 contribution
Dec 2
Geeta view profile
Geeta made a $100 contribution
Indu view profile
Indu made a $250 contribution
Dec 1
Dp view profile
Dp made a $500 contribution
Nov 28
Rujuta and Suneet view profile
Rujuta and Suneet made a $251 contribution
Asawari & Samir view profile
Asawari & Samir made a $501 contribution
Nov 26
Amit view profile
Amit made a $501 contribution
$4,820 from 1 offline donor

Every book I read helps educate a child in India

Dear Friends and Family,

As we get together with our loved ones this week to celebrate another Thanksgiving, I wanted to wish you all healthy, fun and happy holidays and to share with you some of the things I am most grateful for this year.

In addition to all the things I am eternally and always grateful for, such as my family and friends, good health and good socio-economic status et al, the 5 most significant things I am most Grateful for This year are (in chronological order):

1) Sorority of my choice at Washington University in St.Louis

2) Summer internship in Doha with WISE at Qatar Foundation

3) Summer Internship in Dallas with the Container Store

4) Vacation in New York with my aunt, Niti bua

5) Wonderful experience and quality education at WashU

I shall provide additional details of all of the above and also let you know about the books I have read recently, over the course of the next few weeks via updates and emails.

I am so thankful to always be able to rely on your generosity to support a cause that is near and dear to my heart, Pratham and esp. its Second Chance for Education program, which helps girls (who have dropped out of school) to get their high school diploma.

In 2014-15, nearly 4,600 girls assisted by Pratham appeared for the exam (GED equivalent) and more than 75% of those passed, which is a rate higher than the national average. The same techniques and innovative approaches that have enabled Pratham to improve child literacy and education rates in India are also helping Pratham be more successful in helping girls earn their high school diploma. Pratham needs only $500 on average to tutor a girl for 2 years and prepare her to take the exam. My goal is to raise $10,000 and help at least 20 girls graduate from high school, thus increasing the likelihood of a better future for themselves, their families and their future generations. Please help me help Pratham give underprivileged girls in India a Second Chance for Education.

I hope that this Thanksgiving brings you and your families much to be grateful for, as it has done for me.

Love,
Divya

Essay #3

The opportunity to reconnect with my old passion, classical Indian dancing this past summer is yet another thing I am so grateful for this year. I started learning Bharatnatyam when I was five years old in 2001 and completed my Arangetram, the formal classical dance debut in 2012 – a journey of practice and persistence for 11 years. I love this dance form because of both the artistry and the athleticism involved, and so was thrilled to participate in a very special summer dance workshop in 2015 under the auspices of the Indian Cultural Heritage Foundation and the tutelage of my guru, Mrs. Revathi Satyu and a well-known choreographer from India, Mr. Shijith Nambiar that allowed me to enjoy both these aspects.

Rehearsing and dancing each night for two hours after a full day of work at the Container Store proved arduous, but rewarding. Dance has always been my favorite exercise! For me, the physical splendor of this dance style is enhanced by its spiritual underpinnings, as well as the dual challenge of achieving mastery while retaining humility.

Bharatnatyam also places great emphasis on the guru-shishya (or teacher-student) relationship, representing a broader belief in Indian culture, which continues to be reflected in my interactions with all teachers. Through the study of Bharatnatyam, a part of my cultural heritage has been distilled into my personal identity.

The end of my internship at the Container Store coincided with the finale of the dance workshop on August 8th. The sadness of one was somewhat offset by the exhilaration of the other. The very next day on August 9th, I boarded a plane to NY-NJ to enjoy the last few days of summer with a relaxing and highly enjoyable stay with my Aunt Niti.

I am always thoroughly pampered and spoiled when I visit her and this time was no exception–I was able to see the highly-acclaimed musical, Kinky Boots on Broadway, visit the cool fashion exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and eat a lifetime worth of amazing food both in wonderful restaurants across Manhattan and also at her home in Morristown, all the while enjoying the great company of my Niti-bua!

We sampled delicious tapas at Food Network Chef, Bobby Flay’s restaurant, Gato in Soho on the first evening in NYC, and then each night thereafter wandered further uptown, relishing an array of cuisines, ranging from burgers to sushi. The icing on the cake for me was the opportunity to attend a Container Store grand opening party in Yonkers, New York on August 13th. During my internship at the Container Store I had heard so much about these fabulous parties–the food, the music, the décor, the decorations, and was so excited to be able to see it all firsthand. It was lovely to see some coworkers again and to celebrate this wonderful milestone for the company with them!

I am so grateful to Niti-bua for giving me this amazing and awesome treat of travel, art, food and fun every year for the past so many years. Traveling home to Dallas after this particular trip, I reflected on all the wonderful and rewarding opportunities and experiences I had over the summer–how fortunate I was to have the perfect combination of travel, home, work, play, activity and relaxation all in a few short months!

Of all of the good fortune I am blessed with, the foremost is the excellent education provided to me by a loving family. I want every girl in the world to have this important beginning. Please support the education of underprivileged girls in India by making a donation to my fundraiser for Pratham today. Any amount is most appreciated.

offline credit of $278 on Dec 12th 2015 from anonymous fread matching champion, $1002 from Nipa and Umang Vasa (including $501 Microsoft matching funds), and $3540 from its the season matching challenge funds.

Essay #2 - Mumbai Visit and The Container Store internship (sent December 9)

After Doha, I made a quick trip to Mumbai to see my maternal grandmother (Nani) and spend some time with my uncles, aunts and cousins. It was so much fun to see all of them again, and to eat incredibly delicious food at every meal, get lost amidst the rapid Marathi conversations swirling around me, listen to old and new Hindi film songs, watch a Bollywood movie, feel surprisingly comfortable and safe in the busy and bustling market place at Vile Parle, and just hang out with and enjoy the company of my cousins, Trisha and Veer. We have been friends and clowns for each other ever since we were kids.

My summer was not yet over, however, as I was able to return to Dallas for another exciting opportunity. I worked as a Marketing Intern at the Container Store headquarters in Coppell, TX from June 8th to July 31st 2015. What an amazing company The Container Store is! More than just a company that sells beautiful and functional organization tools, The Container Store (TCS) is also known as an organization that practices Conscious Capitalism in the true spirit of the term. The thoughtful and careful way in which they conduct their business and actively align the interests of all stakeholders is practically unheard of in corporate America.

The seven Foundation Principles of TCS guide and inspire all the employees all the time. http://standfor.containerstore.com/our-foundation-principles/. My top-2 personal favorites are:

1) “Fill the Other Guy’s Basket to the Brim..” because to me it seems to be an excellent interpretation of the Golden Rule: Do unto others. And

2) “Intuition does not come to an unprepared mind..” because to me, it says: Practice makes Perfect. Or as the famous quote says: the Harder I work, the Luckier I get.. or even, the More you sweat in training, the Less you bleed in battle!

My tasks at the Container Store during my internship were varied and interesting, and included the following super-exciting activities:

•helping with the company’s Leadership Conference in June

•signing up non-profit partners to participate in the new holiday campaign of TCS: Holiday Hugs (which is going on now–please stop by a Container Store location and drop off a toy if you can).

The Leadership Conference was held at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in June and featured amazing and inspiring speakers like Prof. Raj Sisodia, Co-founder of Conscious Capitalism, Prof. Ed Freeman “father” of Stakeholder Theory; Walter Robb, Co-CEO of Whole Foods Markets; Bob Jordan, EVP and Chief Commercial Officer of Southwest Airlines; and Caryl Stern, President and CEO of the US Fund for UNICEF. Each of these leaders spoke from their heart and shared their conscious ideas, beliefs and advice that touched the hearts of all in the audience, including myself. Kip Tindell, Sharon Tindell and Melissa Reiff are CEO, CMO and COO respectively of the Container Store. They were very considerate and generous hosts and made everyone attending the Leadership Conference feel very comfortable and special.

I really loved working at the Container Store. My colleagues in the Marketing department of TCS were some of the most incredible, interesting and fun people I have met! A long day at the office was a breeze – thanks to their company and guidance. They embodied the company’s first Foundation Principle: 1 great person =3 good people.

I wrote two posts for the company’s corporate culture blog What We Stand For while I was there, which say it all. Please read when possible. Here are the links:

(http://standfor.containerstore.com/interns-perspective-of-a-concious-company; and

http://standfor.containerstore.com/conversation_with_vp_of_cultural_programs_and_community_relations

My internship with the Container Store was an once-in-a-lifetime experience that made my summer totally enriching and rewarding! A big, heartfelt Thank You to everyone who made it possible.

read more updates »

Pratham USA - Every Child In School and Learning Well

Pratham is the largest not-for-profit organization providing quality education to underprivileged children in India. Pratham uses very low-cost and scalable methods and works in collaboration with the government, local communities, parents, teachers and volunteers across the country to educate millions of children every year. Pratham’s mission is “Every Child in School and Learning Well.”

Pratham USA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a four-star rating (the highest possible) from Charity Navigator accepts tax deductible contributions from U.S. donors to help Pratham continue and expand its work for child literacy and education. For more information, visit www.prathamusa.org.

Tell Divya why you this cause!