This blog post is part of an ongoing series to highlight our newest Honorees. Today, we are excited to introduce you to Meghan Pasricha, co-founder of Global Youth H.E.L.P. On April 19, Meghan will take the stage to receive our 2017 Alumni Award at the World of Children Hero Awards. The event will also honor the work of three other heroes. Stay tuned to meet each of them!
Meghan has always wanted to change the world. When she was five, she started volunteering for community service projects. Then, when she entered high school, she became passionate about tobacco control and health, knowing that there had to be better regulations around smoking. She started mobilizing other young people around this issue, which eventually helped pass Delaware’s Statewide Smoking Ban.
“Many young people, whether in middle school, high school or college, begin smoking to fit in with their peers,” Meghan said. “By teaching children at a young age to become leaders in their communities and form positive peer groups, we give them the tools to boost their self-confidence. It is this self-confidence and leadership training that will help them make positive choices throughout their lives and set a good example for others. ”
When Meghan started college at Harvard, she wanted to continue educating young people about the negative health effects of smoking. She co-founded Global Youth H.E.L.P. with her sister to bring anti-tobacco education to middle and high school students across the United States and around the world. In 2007, we honored Meghan with our Youth Award to recognize her amazing achievements and help scale her successful program.
“Receiving the 2007 World of Children Youth Award changed my life and helped me transform our organization from an anti-tobacco organization into a global youth leadership movement,” Meghan said.
Today, the organization conducts anti-tobacco education, leadership training, health camps for underprivileged children, computer literacy, school supply donation programs, and more.
“One of our greatest accomplishments has been proving that our youth empowerment model can have a ripple effect – that each generation of youth can learn leadership skills through community service and teach the next generation,” Meghan said.
In April, we will honor Meghan with our 2017 Alumni Award to recognize the extraordinary growth of Global Youth H.E.L.P. and her continued commitment to mobilizing young people to change the world.
“This award will give us the tools and resources to continue expanding our youth leadership and empowerment programs, and to provide more young people with the tools to become leaders today,” Meghan said. “This honor has inspired me to work even harder and has re-fueled my passion to train children to become change agents in their communities.”