Harish Kotecha

Harish Kotecha, Indian American founder of Hindu Charities for America, has won a national accolade for service to underserved students. (photo provided)

Harish Kotecha, the founder and president of Hindu Charities for America, has been awarded the Sandra Neese Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth at the 32nd annual conference.

The Sandra Neese Lifetime Achievement Award is presented annually to honor people who have tirelessly worked to ensure that all children may have what most take for granted: safety, shelter and a future, and that young people without shelter may find the promise of tomorrow, according to a news release.

The NAEHCY’s Board of Directors were impressed with Kotecha’s ability to transform a singular movement into a replicable program that now is established in four major cities, the release said.

In her award letter to the Indian American, Jimiyu Evans, president of NAEHCY, wrote, “We are glad to have an advocate like you in the field to meet the needs of children and youth experiencing homelessness – supporting and encouraging academic success – while implementing program coordination and community collaboration.”

Kotecha, while beaming at the live video presentation at the virtual conference, said, “This award recognizes the impact of HC4A, all the volunteers, donors, sponsors and well-wishers of HC4A.”

Added Rosie Coleman, coordinator and district homeless/foster care liaison at the Austin ISD said, “This is so great!! No one deserves this more than Harish and Hindu Charities!!! Thank you for everything you do for our Austin ISD students!”

Coming in an especially hard year, this award sent a wave of joy in the HC4A community, the release noted.

They are now preparing for their next big event: a virtual gala in November to raise funds for vocational scholarships for low-income youth and adults.

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