Many of the 600 million adolescent girls in the world do not receive the health education and support they need as they navigate the transition to adulthood. Social pressures and gender inequality make adolescent girls particularly vulnerable to an unacceptable burden of health and educational consequences. In India, the country’s 120 million adolescent girls face many health-related risks, including inadequate nutrition/anemia, menstruation-related stigmas and unhygienic practices, mental illness, gender-based violence, and early pregnancy. Due to the lack of education on these topics, adolescent girls are often ill-prepared to cope with these challenges and struggle to achieve their full potential in this pivotal phase of their lives.
Launched in 2016, Girls Health Champions is a non-profit organization which seeks to address pervasive gender inequality and its impact on the health and educational outcomes of girls and women in India and globally. Girls Health Champions trains adolescents as peer-to-peer health educators, or Champions. These youth leaders go on to spread crucial health information and catalyze important conversations in their schools and communities about topics such as nutrition, mental health, gender-based violence, and sexual & reproductive health. Girls Health Champions has been the recipient of several awards and grants, including from MassChallenge, the WeWork Creator Awards, and the Harvard President’s Innovation Challenge.
Ricky earned his MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2018 and is the Co-Founder of Girls Health Champions. Prior to HKS, Ricky worked in the financial industry as a private equity investor with TA Associates and as an investment banker with Lazard. He completed his undergraduate studies in business and political science at the University of Pennsylvania.