Shreyaa Venkat has done more in her 17 years on earth than most people who have been here three to four times longer. NEST4US is the non-profit started by Venkat and the organization has come to the aid of thousands of United States residents. One organization initiative, NEST nurtures, has provided support to more than 12,000 homeless people in the Washington D.C. area with food and other supplies.
Children from low-income families attending 19 schools in the D.C. area have benefitted from the efforts of NEST tutors. NEST cares has provided school-aged children with supplies, homeless people with care baskets, and showed up for needy individuals through disaster relief efforts.
Venkat runs four charities at the age of 17. But more amazingly, this tremendous young lady began her efforts eight years ago when she was only nine.
A fifth-grader’s mission
Venkat showed a passion for helping to secure the welfare of others almost as soon as she could walk. Her parents were active advocates of the welfare of others and introduced their daughter to their way of life at a young age.
By the time she had reached the fifth grade, Venkat began to develop her own programs and initiatives to benefit her local community. Venkat says the only thing that makes her more proud than helping other people is accomplishing the feat along with friends and loved ones.
Not only has Venkat demonstrated the ability to get friends and family to help with her non-profit initiatives, but she has also been able to encourage members of her community to get involved.
An epiphany from Venkat regarding the amount of food waste in America and how many hungry people could use this wasted food was the catalyst for NEST4US. Venkat says she remembers seeing a homeless man holding a sign requesting food. The young girl gave him her lunch. She explains the situation by saying it was ‘only’ a granola bar, banana, and water. But Venkat saw the look on the man’s face in response to her gesture of goodwill. She says she will also never remember the man explaining to her it was his first food in a week.
Ask and it shall be given
A lot of teenagers her age would not be very comfortable in conversations with strangers. However, Venkat spends much time each day talking to people she does not know through emails, phone calls, and face to face meetings. She does it all to solicit aid on behalf of the others. Venkat says she is as impressed with the support she has received from fellow citizens as people say they are with her efforts. The teenager says all she has to do is ask for support and it pours in.
The success of NEST Nurtures led to three additional initiatives from NEST. And by the time Venkat was 13 years old, her advocacy efforts were such a way of life for her she spent her 13th birthday volunteering at a homeless shelter. Shreyaa Venkat truly is a blessing to the people of D.C., as well as, a tremendous example for us all to follow.