After a long and brave fight with vascular disease, Nani Ma left this world peacefully on December 31st, 2018. In memory of her remarkable life, we are helping to support a cause that she not only believed in, but embodied herself - empowering young women through access to education.
Nani Ma was brilliant, resourceful, and ambitious until her very last day. Born in 1930’s India, at a time when women were married at a very young age, she defied gender norms and went on to graduate from high school, attend college, and earn two Masters degrees. She became an English professor in India, and after emigrating to America, had a long career as the Treasurer of White Plains School District, where she invested millions of dollars on behalf of the Board of Education.
At a time when the term “feminist” wasn’t yet a concept, she unapologetically defied expectations and became a living example of hope for a world where gender equality is possible. She understood the value of knowledge, and believed that an education was the key to freedom and opportunity, especially for girls. At a time when young women had little to no choices, she paved a different way for herself - and for generations of women to follow.
Because of Nani Ma, her daughters and granddaughters had access to a world of opportunities. However, 63 million young girls all over the world are still deprived of their right to an education, mostly due to lack of resources. In honor of her incredible story, we are raising money for She’s The First - a scholarship program for girls, particularly in India and Nepal, who are the first in their family to graduate from high school.
She’s The First helps to create a new world of possibilities for students through education, mentorship, and leadership training programs, with over 1,100 scholars to date. STF has been spotlighted in many publications, including Time, Forbes, and Oprah Magazine, and has been dedicated to the fight against gender inequality since 2009. Learn more about their story here:
“Because a girl with an education truly is unstoppable.”