[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/09/art_sejal_hathi.jpg
caption=”Sejal Hathi, 17, founded Girls Helping Girls.”]
I see it less these days than when I started this series, but the idolization of careless young people continues. When I started featuring the young people who really speak for our generation, I thought of girls like Sejal Hathi, the girls and guys whose names we should know, the stories young people should look up to.
Sejal started Girls Helping Girls when she was 15. The organization aims to empower all girls to transform the world in substantive ways. One of her big initiatives is a program appropriately called Empower-a-Girl, which partners girls in the U.S. with those in developing countries. Another push is the Sisters 4 Peace Network, which provides one-on-one mentoring for aspiring changemakers and those who are actively changing their part of the world.
Girls Helping Girls has engaged 5,000 girls in more than 15 countries in North America, Africa and Asia and has raised more that $30,000 for educational programs. Now 17, Sejal’s ultimate goal is to unite young women behind the same universal vision of self-respect and service, rather than the frivolity and superficiality that has for too long been the only thing some girls see.
Update: Watch the CNN.com Live interview