Seattle Gala Celebrates Pratham's Impact
On Saturday, September 16, 2017, Pratham Seattle welcomed 200 guests to The Westin Bellevue for its annual gala. The event, which focused on the impact of Pratham’s vocational training and girls’ education program, raised over $300,000.
The evening began with chapter board member Rao Remala recounting his visit to Pratham’s Second Chance program in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, which helps female dropouts complete their secondary school education. According to Remala, “It was eye-opening to see so many women driven with enthusiasm to get back to their education irrespective of their age.”
CEO of King Philanthropies and Co-author of Engine of Impact: Essentials of Strategic Leadership in the Nonprofit Sector Kim Starkey Jonker gave the night’s keynote address. Jonker stressed the qualities that set Pratham apart from other organizations such as its clarity of mission, impact evaluation and ability to manage and organize talent. “I’ve had the chance to encounter one of the most impressive organizations in the world,” Jonker explained, “and most importantly been inspired, by the tireless dedication of Pratham leaders, staff, board members, and donors such as you.”
Former Director of Pratham’s Vocational Training program Azeez Gupta gave an overview of the challenges faced by rural youth in India. Although “these kids have been failed by the system,” Gupta stressed that they share “a desire to move up in life and are ready to make significant sacrifices, to be the first ones to move beyond, away from their families and villages.”
In a moving speech, recent Hospitality Program graduate Sanjana Das detailed her own difficult life experiences and the impact that Pratham has had on her and her family: “I have Pratham to thank for giving me that first opportunity, and constant advice and counsel to keep moving ahead. It has shown us that we too can stand on our own feet and write our own destiny.”
The evening also featured cocktail appetizers from Spice Route and music provided by DJ Kapil Arora. Event sponsors included Aditi Technologies, Rao and Satya Remala Foundation, C2S Technologies, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Nayamode.
View more photos from the event.