THE KRUTHIK RAVIKANTI STORY

Kruthik believes that education is a right and it shouldn’t be compromised because of an obstacle like COVID-19, hence he still continues to make shipments to these places!

Friend

THE TEDxAlpharettaWomen
TEAM
STORY

tedxalpharettawomen

THE FIONA LALL STORY

Fiona Lall Picture

I’m so grateful for her because our agency did not provide PPE and without even asking, Fiona took it upon herself to get us and her community the necessary PPE since we were the epicenter of the pandemic

Coworker

THE MITESH & TEJAS SHAH STORY

I am really proud of my sons – Mitesh and Tejas Shah. In a time when lots of children are at home trying to pass the time and build skills, their first impulse was to utilize their skills to help people. Mitesh began with his learning and trying out new editing tools in his building his own YouTube channel for kids. Because he learned so much, he helped a struggling family friend with a small business by putting together “We are Still Open for business” video. From there, he and my older son decided to launch TechBrothers4Good providing pro-bono technical services to small businesses or non profits around the US and Canada. They have been super busy and I as a mother am super grateful that they are giving back in the way they can to help small businesses when they need it most.

Mitesh & Tejas Shah

They have been super busy and I as a mother am super grateful that they are giving back in the way they can to help small businesses when they need it most

Mother

THE CATRINA COOK STORY

Everyone thinks their mom is great, until they have met mine. My mom, Catrina Cook, is the Director of the Environmental Services Department for the City of Auburn in Auburn, AL. She is smart, loyal, compassionate, forward thinking, people-centered, and a dynamic leader. She understands how to provide exceptional public service and how to do her part in keeping our community safe, healthy, and beautiful.

Environmental Services is one of the most overlooked departments in a city’s local government. However it is arguably one of the most essential. Residents expect for garbage, bulky waste (trash), and recycling to be collected. And, even in the midst of a global pandemic, those expectations were continuously met and often exceeded. As essential workers, my mom and her team, have worked and continue to work around the clock to ensure all routes were maintained and all residents felt safe. COVID-19 did not stop my mom from leading from the front, building a stronger community, and being an impactful public servant. Many residents do not fully understand the risk one can encounter doing a job such as this, but my mom does it with so much grace as she knows the services they provide are an integral part of the quality of life our community has come to expect.

Therefore, it is without question that I nominate my mom for her noble life of sacrifice and service. With over 20 years of service at the City of Auburn and her pervasive impact on thousands of lives, she is quite deserving of this honor. I continue to remain proud to be connected to her and call her my mom, my very own heroine. Her selfless service inspires me to always leave things better than the way that I found them.

Catrina Cook Image

Her selfless service inspires me to always leave things better than the way that I found them.

Child
Mackenzie Mccloud

THE MACKENZIE MCCLOUD STORY

When I became a HOBY fellow, unfortunately it was during a time when the organization was actively working to be anti-racist. I loved my experience despite my isolation and a unique treatment because of my race (I am a Black woman), I came back the following year to help facilitate. Fast forward 5+ years, I currently am an Urban Teacher. I work in Dallas Independent School District and I am studying to earn my Masters in Education from Johns Hopkins University School of Education.

Covid has changed the way I educate drastically. My school district serves low SES students. Distance learning has presented many challenges. My students have not had internet and are forced to remain in unfavorable situations. We are preparing to begin our upcoming school year and plan to have students meeting in person. My school district only provides us $200 to prepare our classrooms. I know I need more than that in order to create a safe and calming environment for my students and myself. This donation will ensure I have the means to do so.

“Covid has changed the way I educate drastically. My school district serves low SES students. Distance learning has presented many challenges.”

Mackenzie McCloud

THE KIRTAN PARTEKH STORY

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a small Instagram competition that Kirtan was taking part in a competition to design a logo for the Olympics as if they were being held in your own city in 2020 and he created a logo to submit for it. Once he shared his design with his followers on Instagram, he noticed that people were really buying into the idea of helping create a design. As he shared his final design, someone told him they would buy a shirt with the design on it. This led him to create a shirt with the design on it and he decided that during the trying times amidst the pandemic, that he would donate 100% of the profits to Open Hand Atlanta (an organization that gives balanced meals to food insecure senior citizens — two very vulnerable groups during this pandemic).

He thought that the project would be a one time project to donate a couple hundred dollars, but the project took off and he sold over 700 shirts and raised just under $10,000 total to donate to Open Hand Atlanta. Because of the success, he has now created an actual company called theteeshirt.co that creates community inspired and based designs to raise money for various charities. Instead of the products coming first for him and the charities coming second, his company starts by deciding on a charity to benefit and then designing around the cause and creating apparel that the Atlanta based community can rally around. He is utilizing his talents and social circle to not only benefit the community, but finding creative outlets to do so. Finding ways to help his community has always been at the forefront of his actions and especially this project.

kirtan partekh

He thought that the project would be a one time project to donate a couple hundred dollars, but the project took off and he sold over 700 shirts and raised just under $10,000 total to donate to Open Hand Atlanta.

Charity Recipient
Aditya Agrawal

THE ADITYA AGRAWAL STORY

As COVID-19 spread, I feared for my parent’s health. Buying groceries – the most basic human need – was something we had to think twice about. I wanted to do something to fix that. My friends and I came up with the idea of launching SpeeDelivery, a free grocery delivery service for the elderly in the Houston area. Grocery stores were offering deliveries 10 days upon receipt of order and surcharging. We knew our idea had a lot of potential and we wanted to start helping our community as quickly as possible to maximize this impact.

My team and I worked continuously for over 30 hours after conceiving the idea. I led our team to profile our intended customers. As we targeted the elderly, we needed something that was easy to use. I laid the framework for a minimally viable product. After all, we just needed a way for people to enter their orders and match the orders to volunteers who would shop and deliver. Next, I had to capitalize on each teammate’s strengths and pair them with the right set of tasks as time was of the essence. It was my well-laid-out strategy and technical framework that got us across the finish line. Since the launch of the service, we have been able to deliver $400 worth of groceries to over 20 households. Being interviewed on TV by CW39 Houston has just been one of the many sources of gratifications we have had as a team.

“Buying groceries – the most basic human need – was something we had to think twice about. I wanted to do something to fix that.”

Aditya Agrawal

THE TERENCE LESTER STORY

Terence Lester is both serving on the frontline of Covid-19 and making a difference towards social injustice. He and his wife started Love Beyond Walls, an organization that brings food, shelter, and other services to the homeless, including their latest program, Love Sinks In. Portable hand washing stations originating in Atlanta and expanding across the US for the homeless during Covid-19. He is also an activist, author, and speaker on economic inequalities and creator of the Dignity Museum in Atlanta.

Terence Lester

He and his wife started Love Beyond Walls, an organization that brings food, shelter, and other services to the homeless

Friend
Food 4 Lives

THE FOOD4LIVES STORY

“…we’ve been able to give individual care to over a dozen individuals to meet their most important needs…”

Food4Lives

THE FRIENDS OF REFUGEES STORY

Friends of Refugees Logo

I can’t express all of the good this organization does for the community, even without a pandemic

Friends of Refugees
Deesha Panchal

THE DEESHA PANCHAL STORY

She has been working diligently to create cohorts of teen lead projects to help inspire the next generation of change makers.

Friend

THE USPAACC-SE STORY

USPAACC SOUTHEAST

Board Members wanted to show their deep appreciation to those who are putting their lives on the lines to keep the people of Atlanta safe.

USPAACC-SE

THE LINDSAY WILLIAMS STORY

Lindsay is a counselor at the Powers ferry Elementary in Marietta. This is a title 1 school with lots of kids who need emotional and financial support.

Lindsay has been reaching out to families who have recently lost jobs, who don’t have transportation to pick up school provided lunches. She has been delivering groceries, Walmart gift cards, Cobb link – Uber/Lyft gift cards to these families. She has also been collecting laptops/tablets for kids who have no device at home to complete school work. She’s been motivating the children to do their class work by offering pizza parties on Friday.

It’s truly amazing what she does for her community! It’s a treat to see the smile on the kids faces when we go to drop off the groceries!

She’s the rock that’s there for these children when their life is full of so many uncertainties.

lindsay

She’s the rock that’s there for these children when their life is full of so many uncertainties.

Friend

THE ELISA WASZCZENIUK STORY

I’d like to thank my sister that is a nurse who runs towards the line of danger as the rest of us retreat into the safety of our homes.

She signed up to take care of mothers and babies not the battle that’s going on now, but she is there and helping fighting this war regardless. Elisa has chosen selflessness over self preservation, not just today in the war against the invisible enemy that is Covid-19 but every time she steps into her scrubs. Elisa also has a 2 year old and a 6 month old baby at home that she risks bringing germs to. Not only is she a hero to her family but she is a hero in my eyes too! I wish I was as selfless and brave as she is.

Thank you Elisa for being the hero I look to, it is never easy work and only a few will understand why you do what you do but stay strong and ready to fight another day!

A nurse who runs towards the line of danger as the rest of us retreat into the safety of our homes.

Sister

THE ALYSSA LOGAN STORY

My girlfriend’s coworker told me a story of how she helped a patient connect with her family before they underwent surgery. Due to restrictions on absolutely no visitors in the hospital, this patient who was undergoing a hip surgery was unable to have their family there to be there before or after surgery.

Alyssa took some extra time in between tending to her numerous other patients on the floor to setup this elderly patient on the floor’s ipad and connected them so they could see each other before surgery! This experience was corroborated by a doctor on the floor and the family was very grateful and would not stop going on about how much they appreciated this.

Alyssa’s coworkers adore her and she was even mentioned in the San Diego Union-Tribune about how she is always caring and advocating for her patients. She is always putting others before herself and that’s the reason I believe she is deserving of this award and one of the many reasons why I love her.

She is always putting others before herself

Boyfriend

THE SUMEET BAHL STORY

The past few months have brought a new world order upon all of mankind, one that many have never witnessed. My son, Dr. Sumeet Bahl, MD an Interventional Radiologist from the COVID-19 epicenter in New York City has made multiple sacrifices, way beyond his call of duty as a compassionate & caring physician for his own patients.
He sacrificed his own well being by sending off for safety his wife (Gayatri), expecting their first child, to her parents. Needless to say this decision did not come easy but he ensured his wife and his unborn child were safe first. In pursuit of his passion, life’s calling and deep desire to help others, knowing that his wife and son are safe has helped him to stay focussed & work relentlessly to save many lives in the midst of the ongoing pandemic. At the frontline, he has witnessed many deaths and sufferings, spending days, weeks and now months away from his family so that more people will get to see theirs healthy and alive. Along with his team of nurses, PA’s & other health care workers, my son has not stopped doing all he can to save lives and is not giving up the battle in the fight against COVID-19.

While seemingly no end in site, he was given respite after almost 9 weeks to fly home to be with his beloved Gayatri & son. Their first glimpse of each other brought about an overwhelming and emotional feeling of happiness with my son saying to his son ‘Hi son, your daddy’s home’. Growing up he will be proud to learn a lot from his dad on his story of courage, conviction and sacrifice. I’m sure there are patients who are no longer here, who if they could, would love to appreciate my son ” Dr. Sumeet Bahl” for making a difference and doing all he could to keep them safe and alive.

That’s my son, aka Mr Sunshine-Brighten up anybody!!

Dr. Sumeet Bahl

He has witnessed many deaths and sufferings, spending days, weeks and now months away from his family so that more people will get to see theirs healthy and alive

Father

THE NICHOLE GRAY STORY

Ms. Nichole Gray is an elementary school teacher at Lake Forest Elementary, a Title 1 school. While on a routine basis, she buys books for her classroom kids, sources laptops, etc., during these unprecedented times she has taken upon herself to coordinate efforts to help parents who have lost their jobs. She has gone above and beyond of the role of a teacher to make a difference in her community. Below is a glimpse of some of the things she has done out of the goodness of her heart.

Family #1 – The student’s father had lost his job. With her grass root efforts, she financially supported this family with groceries and rent for May. Just recently found out that the dad has found construction work! A big Yayyyy!

Family #2 – Mom with 3 kids had her hours cut. She provided $100 worth of groceries and $50 cash for incidentals to help her during this time.

Family #3 – Both parents lost their jobs and were out of employment for about a month. Had yard work job set up for Dad and his nephew and another lead with more work after that!

She continues to lead her grass root efforts to coordinate funds and products to channel them to the families who need assistance at this time.

During these unprecedented times she has taken upon herself to coordinate efforts to help parents who have lost their jobs

Nominator

THE LUKE JORGENSEN’S THEATRE FOR YOUTH STORY

Luke Jorgensen

If we could help kids feel a little more brave with our fairy tale home videos, especially during this uncertain point in history, that would be incredible

THE Dr. OLUSOLA OLUBOWALE STORY

I struggled with nominating him as it’s been about 3 weeks since I heard about the award cause he is so publicity shy. However if anyone truly deserves this award, it is my husband. He is a physician and current internal medicine resident in NYC which is the epicenter of the epidemic. From the beginning he has spent most of his rotations in covid units, taken extra shifts to make up for his colleagues who had contacted the virus and even though I have seen him afraid, worried, sad at the unprecedented and unimaginable losses, seeing patients die without any family present, having to treat his colleagues who had also contracted the virus, I have also seen him pour through research after a 12 hour shift, talk to physicians in other hospitals and states trying to find out what they could do differently that would help their patients recover. I’ve seen him buzzing with excitement when he gets home and patients have been successfully weaned off the ventilator, when a patient at death’s door has been kept alive throughout his shift.

He tells me Chi, I want to know that I did everything I could, he sees every patient as a real person with a life, family, goals and dreams and would fight to ensure that they have every chance to survive. He is not just a great physician but a phenomenal father and husband, since the pandemic he lovingly taught our eldest son that daddy can’t be ‘jump hugged’ when he comes home until he has showered…it was emotionally unsettling at first but like every other thing he handles it with such grace. Our baby is so excited to see him and spends his time before bed happily relaxed in daddy’s arms. It is amazing to me that he is still able to be an attentive father and husband with all the chaos and obvious exhaustion. He is truly phenomenal.

Dr. Olusola Olubowale

He sees every patient as a real person with a life, family, goals and dreams and would fight to ensure that they have every chance to survive

Spouse

THE ANU PURI STORY

I would like to nominate Anu Puri for her commitment to serve the homeless in our community. During these unprecedented times, Anu has taken the initiative to feed the homeless in the metro Atlanta area in working with Non-Profit Organizations. She has prepared meals for thousands of homeless over the past few weeks.

Anu is a single mother, and started a catering business to take care of her family. Even though her business has been impacted during these times, she has selflessly channeled her skill and energy to cook and pack meals for delivery to non-profit organizations, who then distribute the packed food to the homeless.

As her good work came to be known, it has inspired many in the community to step forward and fund additional meals. Many in the community, including her friends have joined her to prepare meals for distribution. This has helped her to increase her capacity to further serve the homeless.

Anu’s story is inspirational for she has put the interests of others who she does not even know ahead of her own in selflessly serving the community.

Anu Puri

She has put the interests of others who she does not even know ahead of her own in selflessly serving the community

Friend

THE OLUFUNKE OBALASE STORY

She is passionate about her care for the residents. She choose to attend to her clients at this critical time rather than neglecting them in-spite of possible consequences.

Cousin

A true hero is never fully defined until called upon to put everything on the line in the service of humanity. Olufunke Obalase who works as a Caregiver and Direct Support Professional in an Assisted living homes is my hero. She is a selfless worker. On one of her days she gave shower to 11 residents in spite of being near “close of her duty for the day”. On resumption the following day 4 of the residents tested positive to COVID-19. She had to isolate for 14 days with no pay to be sure she is Asymptomatic.

Instead of being discouraged from resuming to the job she elected to reinforce her PPE and resumed on the 15th day haven tested negative. She is passionate about her care for the residents. She choose to attend to her clients at this critical time rather than neglecting them in-spite of possible consequences.

Olufunke Obalase

THE ANNA DECKER STINSON STORY

Since being a little girl, Anna Decker Stinson has always had a strong heart for justice, with matching courage. She has always been a level-headed “quiet watcher,” with a pure heart. She listens more than she speaks, and when she speaks her words are worth hearing. In middle school, Anna decided to work in criminal justice when she grew up, and she never wavered from her vision.

While studying Criminal Justice in college, Anna worked night shifts in the Baldwin County Jail. In January of 2020, Anna entered the physically and mentally rigorous 11-week Mandate through GPSTC (the Police Academy). She graduated from the academy in March of 2020 and became a Sherriff’s Deputy. She now serves on the night shift of the Baldwin County Sherriff’s Office, patrolling from 6PM to 6AM, to keep the community safe.

On April 25, 2020, Baldwin County was reported as one of Georgia’s “COVID-19 hotspots,” per the Union-Recorder newspaper. Anna is working on the front lines, where she must handle “full contact” situations, including handcuffing people and transporting them to jail to be booked. Anna is aware of the risks and dangers. She boldly serves her community, putting the safety of those in Baldwin County first, with dedication, determination, strength and courage.

Anna is a principled woman of substance, purpose, determination, grit and conviction. She is well deserving of this recognition, because of the sacrifice she is making each night to protect the welfare and safety of the citizens in her community.

Anna Decker Stinson

She boldly serves her community, putting the safety of those in Baldwin County first, with dedication, determination, strength and courage.

Aunt

THE THERESA OGUNJIMI STORY

THE CHINMAYA STORY

Everyone needs something to ground them at times like these.

Employee

With the onset of COVID-19 pandemic, the world is going through a very challenging time. Apart from health concerns, there is significant emotional impact on people in the form of fear, depression and anxiety because of social distancing. Everyone needs something to ground them at times like these.

Chinmaya Mission Alpharetta (CMA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. CMA serves over 500 families and 700 kids in North Atlanta.

CMA was quick to realize and address the need of the community to deal with the pandemic. CMA instituted programs that help the kids and adults stay engaged with the broader community through over 30 creative online Sunday classes for kids, opportunities to grow spiritually for Adults through over 10 study group sessions and twice a day prayer circles for everyone. CMA organized a virtual town hall with prominent Doctors in the community to support senior citizens with any questions related to COVID. CMA is also conducting a donation drive to support the United Way of Forsyth County to better cope with the increased demand for help in the community during this crisis. CMA has been a hero in the life of kids and adults alike.

She gives me and many others hope to live our lives and also do our parts for humanity.

Spouse

THE LOLA AJALA STORY

She insisted on showing up to work to take care of her patients knowing fully well that she was at risk of being infected.

Daughter

Healthcare workers are at the front line of the COVID-19 outbreak response and as such are exposed to hazards that put them at risk of infection. They are truly our superheroes! My mother, Funmilola Ajala Allen, happens to be one of them. She is a very dedicated CNA working at 3 different senior assisted living facilities. I remember when an index case of COVID-19 was diagnosed at one of the homes she works at, she insisted on showing up to work to take care of her patients knowing fully well that she was at risk of being infected.

I am nominating my mother because she is a 56-year old who is very passionate about her job, and is willing to put her life on the line to take care of her patients. One of her patients’ families left her a note (see attached) recently to show their appreciation when they realized how much sacrifice she is making to take care of their mother.

Dr Jason Stamper Photo

THE JASON STAMPER STORY

Dr. Stamper has been working tirelessly to ensure that the students and staff at Banneker High School feel supported during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite having to stay self-quarantined at home while we shifted from in-person learning to digital learning, Dr. Stamper ensured that the transition was seamless for both students and teachers. Over the past few weeks, he has sacrificed his sleep, his time with his family, his own health and energy, and more to make sure that staff members are supported, that students have access to devices, meals, and learning materials, and that there is constant and clear communication to parents.

He has consistently advocated for our student needs and shown both compassion and responsibility in every step of his leadership during this crisis. It is no easy feat to balance the needs of so many different stakeholders (students, parents, staff, district officials, and more!), but he has done so selflessly and with no expectations in return. I’m so thankful to be working under his steady guidance during this uncertain time, and I am inspired by his service to our students and those that he works with.

He has sacrificed his sleep, his time with his family, his own health and energy.

colleague