Stoneham, MA – In 2014, Akshaya Patra USA launched the Youth Ambassador Program, an elite social justice engagement program for students in the US.  Today, Akshaya Patra USA has over 100 youth activists in the Ambassador Program. Akshaya Patra USA is the US branch of a charitable organization in India that provides nutritious school meals to more than 1.5 million children in India’s government schools daily. Akshaya Patra’s Youth Ambassador Program is actively recruiting compassionate and ambitious young people from across the US to act as representatives for the organization in their communities.

Admission to the Youth Ambassador Program is on an ongoing rolling basis.  The program has been expanded and admission is open to middle school, as well as high school students.

Rhea and Rohan Bansal, from Jacksonville, Florida, are two of these 100 young caring high achievers who exemplify the fiery and generous spirit of Akshaya Patra Youth Ambassadors.  According to Rhea and Rohan:  “two highlight events of this school year have been the Car Wash we hosted in partnership with the Hindu Society of Northeast Florida Ripples Youth Committee, and the Eat2Feed event held during the Hindu festival of Navratri. The Car wash was a thorough success, with over 35 youth and 7 adult volunteers. We danced, sang, and laughed for over 4 hours… Somewhere along the way we washed around 60 cars and raised over $1300!  For the Eat2Feed event, we worked with our father and his friends to make and sell Indian fast food at the Hindu Temple. Between the food cooked by volunteers and food donated by a local restaurant, we raised $450.

Read more youth ambassador profiles at: https://www.foodforeducation.org/ambassador-achievements

“Akshaya Patra is very fortunate to have so many enthusiastic young supporters who are passionate about spreading awareness of the school meal program and helping 1.5 million children in India realize their dreams through education”, Desh Deshpande, Chairman of Akshaya Patra’s Board of Directors remarked.

The Youth Ambassadors Program supports Akshaya Patra USA fundraising and awareness efforts and offers a unique opportunity for middle and high school students to build leadership, networking, and public presentation skills while improving the lives of children in India.  Youth Ambassadors are also given the opportunity to participate in an India Service Trip to volunteer with Akshaya Patra’s school meal program.

Akshaya Patra runs the world’s largest NGO-run school meal programs and serves children in 11,600 schools across India. Akshaya Patra’s meals have contributed to increased enrollment, lower attrition rates, and better student health and academic performance in the schools it serves. Cost-effective technology in food preparation and partnerships with the state and federal governments of India, allow Akshaya Patra to support one child with meals at school each day for a year for just $15. Akshaya Patra USA provides vital funding and helps to create greater awareness of the organization’s work in India.

To learn more about and sign up to become a learn more about the Youth Ambassadors Program, please visit http://www.foodforeducation.org/youth-ambassadors-program or contact Krista McCarthy, Krista@apusa.org or 781-438-3090 x 7.   For more information about Akshaya Patra USA, please visit http://www.foodforeducation.org.

The photos below are of Akshaya Patra USA Chairman, Desh Deshpande; Youth Ambassadors Rohan and Rhea Bansal; and of Youth Ambassadors Meghana and Rishika Prakash (far right) visiting beneficiaries of our school meal program with their mother Mamatha Prakash (far left).

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