Congratulations to Shreyaa Venkat of Ashburn – winner of the 2019 Governor’s Volunteerism and Community Service Award for Outstanding Youth Volunteer! Shreyaa, a junior at Broad Run High School in Ashburn, was determined to make a difference when she saw the number of homeless people who didn’t have access to food. To combat this issue, she started an organization called “NEST4US” (New Environment Starts Today) to increase awareness and action around food waste reduction, as well as rescue and redistribute edible foods to those in need. Through the NEST4U Sandwich Assembly Projects, more than 250 volunteers have fed more than 2,000 homeless individuals. Shreyaa also created a special initiative called “NEST Nurtures” designed to stop food waste. Utilizing an app called” Nestables,” individuals can locate nearby shelters at which to donate excess food, as well as find and post community service opportunities.
Shreyaa has also collected more than 1,000 books for the Books for Africa warehouse and recently partnered with the ALIA Foundation to send more than 1,000 care packages to Hurricane Florence victims. This year, she launched “NEST Tutors” which serves as a free tutoring program for kids in more than 14 local schools. Shreyaa is an active member of the Key Club and the Ted-Ed club, has been named a “Kindness Rock Star,” has graduated from the Congressional Young Women Leadership program, and is a 3rd degree black belt and assistant martial arts instructor.
At just 16-years-old, Shreyaa’s generous heart and passion for service drive her determination to make a difference in the lives of others. She is an amazing example of how a little kindness can go a long way –inspiring other teens to step up and make a difference in their own community.