points of light

Teenaged sisters Shreyaa and Esha Venkat were announced as recipients of the George H.W. Bush Points of Light Award, honoring their selfless commitment to driving sustained change in their communities. (pointsoflight.org photo)

Global nonprofit Points of Light Aug. 27 announced sisters Shreyaa and Esha Venkat as recipients of The George H.W. Bush Points of Light Award to honor their selfless commitment to driving sustained change in their communities.

The organization also announced this year's celebration will be co-hosted by Barbara Bush, Jenna Bush Hager and Wendy Stapleton, who are also co-chairs for the celebration, a news release said.

The livestream event will take place on Sept. 26, at 5 p.m. PT. 

The honorees will be recognized in the hour-long livestream event, named in tribute to the co-hosts' grandfather and cousin, President George H.W. Bush, the organization said.

The celebration will also feature celebrity presenters, stories of people making an impact in their local community, musical performances and speeches by this year's honorees, it said.

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.

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 Indian American sisters are an example of how everyday heroes serve their communities, according to the news release.

Shreyaa and Esha Venkat are founders of NEST4US, a nonprofit organization dedicated to working with communities to provide volunteer and leadership opportunities to make the world better through kindness. Their mission is to empower the next generation of compassionate youth to integrate kindness, generosity and social good into their routine. 

Seventeen-year-old Shreyaa is a freshman at Georgetown University pursuing global health pre-medical studies. She already has more than seven years of volunteer service under her belt and has spent over 1,500 hours giving back to her community.

She is an active board member of various clubs and organizations, where she provides a wide range of volunteer opportunities for the community. Shreyaa is an academic honor roll student, travel soccer player, 3rd-degree black belt, certified soccer referee, kathak dancer and an assistant instructor at CJR Martial Arts, according to her bio.

Esha, 14, in addition to being a straight-A honor roll student, finds time to play piano, earn her 2nd-degree black belt, enjoy hip-hop and Kathak and serve as the captain of her travel soccer team.

She is also an active member of several clubs and organizations. She has spent over 850 volunteer hours on projects ranging from feeding the homeless and tutoring kids, to helping hurricane victims and creating care packages for low-income families.

"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," Shreyaa and Esha said. "Our work has been greatly influenced by his legacy of service, from our blessing bags and school supply kits to mentoring services and leadership initiatives, the common goal always being to join together with our community to create lasting change. We're incredibly grateful to receive this prestigious award, which will motivate us to continue inspiring the next generation to build a better, kinder future!"

Points of Light will continue to share updates on the program and details of the celebration as they become available.

The George H.W. Bush Points of Light Awards identify and uplift outstanding examples of individuals advancing solutions to societal problems around the globe while exemplifying the president's legacy of integrity, empathy, respect, optimism, conviction in the face of opposition and belief in the power of the human spirit, the organization said.

"As we continue to navigate through one of the world's biggest disasters, people across the globe are doing their part through acts of kindness to serve the most vulnerable communities impacted by the pandemic—honoring President Bush's legacy and evoking the true meaning of the humanitarian spirit," said Natalye Paquin, president and CEO at Points of Light.

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