Priyanka Chopra, leading actor and producer, was bestowed with the RAD Impact Award and has chosen Avanti Fellows, a social education enterprise in India, as the charity of choice to benefit from the award. The RAD Impact Awards honour cultural icons, who inspire purpose and empower their advocacy by helping them create impact for their charities, while also inviting the public to get involved.
Each of the five inaugural RAD IMPACT recipients this year selected an honoree to share their award with and a charity to benefit from their award. Their charity will receive an impact donation to fund a project that furthers its mission through direct impact for others.
Priyanka Chopra and her honoree Devishi Jha, a youth climate justice activist, who advocates for girls’ education have chosen Avanti Fellows as a charity to help support 500 bright young women across rural India with tablets to access STEM learning programs and pursue careers in engineering and medicine. Avanti Fellows, a non-profit organization in India provides students across India with equitable access to high-quality colleges and professional growth that will create a stable career.
Avanti Fellows has helped talented students from low-income families from rural India qualify into India’s best undergraduate STEM programs over the last decade. They run online live classes for test prep and enable public school systems to create technology-enabled blended learning programs to improve achievement levels in Mathematics and Science from Grade 9 to 12. They work with over 20,000 girl students in government schools in grades 9-12 from low-income families in 21 States (out of 28) and 4 Union Territories (out of 8) in India.
Speaking at the award ceremony, Priyanka Chopra said, “It’s taken for granted in many parts of the world, what a girl can do with an education. It’s such an obscure thought. I think it has to do with equality. It’s a part of that to be able to fight for equality, to be able to fight for equal opportunity. I think that all of those things collectively over time will lend for girls being able to have more access to education.”
Speaking of the impact donation, Akshay Saxena, cofounder Avanti Fellows said, “It is wonderful to see interest and support for now a decade’s worth of work and this gives us energy in these uncertain times to work harder and help more. The grant will help us provide devices to our incredible girl students, who are aspiring to become doctors, engineers and leaders.”
Ways Avanti has used technology to elevate access to learning:
- 6,000+ girl students in grades 11 and 12 enrolled in an online test preparation program via digital learning platforms like Youtube, Zoom, and WhatsApp-based learning across 15 States and 4 Union Territories in India. This program aims to ensure that no girl student is left behind without access to high-quality education and to support the induction of more young women in STEM fields.
- Avanti supports over 20,000 girls in rural government schools in Haryana through a technology-aided blended learning program focused on improving STEM achievement levels. Teachers receive special tablets pre-loaded with video content and lesson plans that they use to guide collaborative learning in their classrooms. Girls also receive a fully online learning program that allows them to study independently at home.
- 19 young women from 8 States of the North East region of India are being supported with full tuition scholarship and a laptop during their undergraduate studies.
By partnering with state education systems across India during the COVID-19 pandemic, Avanti Fellows is continuing to deliver high-quality STEM content through basic, accessible tech platforms and striving to ensure a lower school dropout rate along with minimizing learning loss for the most at-risk students.
The other recipients of the RAD Impact Awards were Margot Robbie, Charlize Theron, Travis Scott and Laverne Cox. The first ever RAD ICON AWARD was given to Michele Obama.