Photo © Courtesy of NEST4US
By Raye Mocioiu
Today’s generation of young adults is passionate about creating a better tomorrow for the future generation. They advocate for inclusion, accessibility, sustainability, and kindness and use their passion to drive their dreams forward. Siblings Shreyaa and Esha Venkat exemplify these ideals, but this team of sisters has been committed to going the extra mile since they were solutions-focused teenagers.
They started NEST4US, a non-profit organization working with communities to create volunteer and leadership opportunities for young people. NEST, which stands for Newer Environment Starts Today, aims to empower the younger generation to integrate kindness, generosity, and social good into their daily lives.
What began as a simple goal to help those in need has transformed into a global movement of over 7,000 volunteers from diverse backgrounds. Together, they have contributed over $4 million in volunteer hours, impacting tens of thousands in over 30 countries across six continents.
“We started off our initial volunteering helping at schools, libraries, and community events, as well as at senior homes and by tutoring kids,” shared co-founder and COO Esha. “We’re also board members of several organizations, providing various volunteer opportunities. But serving solo wasn’t our plan. We really wanted our friends and community to get involved, so we formed NEST4US as a platform for giving back to the community in many ways. Our goal is to empower the next generation of compassionate youth to integrate kindness, generosity, and social good into their routine.”
The non-profit works to address societal issues, focusing on over 14 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including global hunger, climate change, quality education, poverty, sustainability, women’s empowerment, equity, and more.
“Our organization focuses on three key issues in the community: food insecurity, lack of motivation to volunteer with a passion, and diversity and inclusion,” Shreyaa continued. “Through social media platforms, we serve as advocates for positive change in the community and promote diversity and inclusion by welcoming people of all backgrounds to our volunteer family.”
The sister duo empowers people worldwide to shape their future through engagement in global service movements—and it shows. In 2023 alone, NEST4US has strengthened its growing volunteer family and made an incredible impact on its community.
The duo kicked off the year with the Ultimate Success Summit, featuring inspirational words from Uma Panch from Sydney, Australia, engaging activities about mindfulness and well-being, and reflective discussions about goals for the bright new year ahead.
In February 2023, NEST4US volunteers joined hands for the Valentine’s Special Blessing Bag Project, spreading gratitude to community heroes and giving hope to neighbors in need. That same month, Dominion Trail Elementary School recognized NEST4US with the Venkat House, one of five houses named after major social trailblazers.
In the spring, Shreyaa attended CSW67, the largest UN gathering on gender equality, connecting with influential leaders and participating in the Youth Forum. Esha was selected as a Class of 2023 Cameron Impact Scholar in April, receiving a prestigious merit-based scholarship, and Shreyaa was appointed as an FAO World Food Forum Youth Policy Board Member, contributing to policy recommendations for agrifood systems transformation.
Starting the season of giving strong, Shreyaa launched World Mental Health Day With Rare Impact Ambassadors in October, promoting youth-led initiatives for student mental health. The sisters also attended the 2023 FAO World Food Forum Flagship Event, advocating for inclusive food and climate policy recommendations.
At the close of the year, NEST4US hosted its annual Service Extravaganza, recognizing exemplary volunteers and providing the community with opportunities to engage in philanthropy.
In celebration of Thanksgiving, NEST4Us also participated in the Safeway Feast of Sharing Annual Thanksgiving event, distributing meals and gift bags to the homeless community across DC, and hosted its Annual Thanksgiving Feast for homeless friends in DC.
As NEST4US continues to make waves globally, the Venkat sisters show no signs of slowing down in their mission to create a more compassionate and giving world.
Executive team at concert © Courtesy of Music for Every Child By Allie Murray For 15-year-old Samantha Fung, the disruptions to education from the pandemic
© Photo Courtesy of NEST4US Like most modern teenagers, siblings Shreyaa and Esha Venkat are passionate about creating a better tomorrow for the future generation.