When she was nine, Penn State freshman Neha Gupta held a garage sale to raise money for orphans she’d met while visiting family in India. Since then, her idea has rippled out and touched the lives of many children all over the world.
Neha spent her childhood taking trips with her parents to their native India. After seeing children her own age who didn’t have basic access to education or healthcare, she felt that she had to do something about it. At 9-years-old, Neha sold all of her toys in a garage sale and raised about $800 to seed what would become Empower Orphans. That first ripple and her belief of youth helping other youth has grown into the successful organization she runs today, which has contributed over millions of dollars to help children around the world.
Neha’s organization, Empower Orphans, has established multiple libraries, computer labs, and a robust sewing center. They have conducted regular annual medical clinics, eye and dental camps, installed a water well, and given toys and technology to hospitalized children. They have donated clothing, blankets, shoes, and school supplies to children in need. And they are continuing to work on new initiatives that continue to improve the lives of children across the globe.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu presents the 2014 International Children’s Peace Prize to Neha Gupta. In 2013, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai won the same honor.