Shreyaa and Esha Venkatt in a photo collage with a Point of Light logo
News Story

Global Health Major Named George H.W. Bush Points of Light Awardee

September 4, 2020 – A first-year global health major at the School of Nursing & Health Studies and her sister are being honored with George H.W. Bush Points of Light Awards for the work they have done through a community-focused organization they started.

Esha and Shreyaa Venkatt in a photo collage with a Point of Light logo
Shreyaa Venkat (NHS’24), pictured at right, is a global health major who, along with her sister Esha, is being recognized with George H.W. Bush Points of Light Awards.

Shreyaa Venkat (NHS’24) and Esha Venkat, a high school student, cofounded the nonprofit organization NEST4US, which seeks “to work with communities to provide volunteer and leadership opportunities to make the world better through kindness.” (Learn more about NEST4US.)

“We want to empower the next generation of compassionate youth to integrate kindness, generosity, and social good into their routine,” according to the organization. “Our goal is to create a ripple of kindness that spreads across the nation and eventually throughout the globe.”

‘Everyday Heroes’

The sisters will be recognized virtually during a livestream event at 8 PM ET on Saturday, September 26. (Register for the event.)

“Shreyaa and Esha Venkat are best known for inspiring and mobilizing members of their community to give back, like providing food and shelter services and community building,” Points of Light said in the awards announcement. “At a time when the world is grappling with the combined effects of a global pandemic, economic recession, and a renewed call for social justice, the Venkat sisters are an example of how everyday heroes serve their communities.” (Learn more about Points of Light.

Barbara Bush, Jenna Bush Hager, and Wendy Stapleton will cohost the event, and Presidents George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama are serving as honorary co-chairs. (Read the Points of Light press release.)

Service and Gratitude

Shreyaa and Esha said the work of NEST4US complements the legacy of President George H.W. Bush.

“Our vision of empowering individuals worldwide to implement service into their communities aligns with that of President George H.W. Bush, which was to encourage others to be a light for their neighbors,” they noted in the announcement.

“My sister and I are so humbled and honored to receive the George H.W. Bush Award on behalf of our NEST4US volunteer family, who have been such a great pillar of support,” Shreyaa added. “We’re so proud to honor President George H.W. Bush’s legacy through selfless service. The key to building a better future is believing in the power of youth, and we’re so grateful to Points of Light for believing in us.” 

She continued: “When we first formed NEST4US, it was just us, two kids with a simple goal: to help those in need in our community. Now, four years later, our team consists of over 1,000 volunteers who altogether have contributed over 450,000 dollars in value of volunteer hours. It’s a privilege to receive this recognition from Points of Light amongst such distinguished honorees.”

By Bill Cessato