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Glamour’s 20 Amazing Young Women: Sejal Hathi, Founder of Girls Helping Girls

Sejal was honored as one of Glamour’s 20 Amazing Young Women at the 2010 Glamour Women of the Year Awards. Read about the other honorees here.

Name:
Sejal Hathi
 
Age:
19
 
Year in school and school:
sophomore, Yale University
 
Your email address:
sejal.hathi@yale.edu
 
Your website:
www.EmpoweraGirl.org
 

Your “claim to fame” – aka why you were part of Glamour’s 20 Amazing Young Women!:
I founded the international NGO Girls Helping Girls to empower all girls to create innovative social change.
 
What are you doing to change the world?
Training and mobilizing thousands of girls in several countries to incubate and sustain their own ventures.
 
What was your inspiration for this?
Learning about the millions of girls worldwide who share the same dreams and desires as I do, but lack the knowledge, resources, and support network to make their vision for the world a reality.
 
What is a quotation or message that drives you?
“By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.” –Franz Kafka
 
What has been your proudest accomplishment so far?
Mentoring other girls to pay it forward and slowly building the only global organization run completely by girls, for girls.
 
At what one point did you really feel like you’d made an impact?
When we launched our first site in India.
 
What would you say was the “coolest” moment in your life thus far?
Spending a week in 2008 at the We Are Family Foundation’s Three Dot Dash peace summit, with 29 other amazing, global young changemakers.
 
What is a challenge you’ve faced while trying to achieve your goals?
Juggling all my other responsibilities
 
If someone gave you a million dollars to benefit your cause (or your research, your company, etc.) what would you use it for?
To launch a global social venture incubator, funding, and mentorship model just for women.
 
In 10 years I hope…
All eight Millennium Development Goals are achieved.
 
What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this?
Writing a book about those who are doing this.
 
What 3 adjectives would people use to describe you?
intense, passionate, innovative
 
Who is your hero and why?
The girls around the world that we work with, who despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles stay smiling and continue to strive for a better world
 
Who is your biggest cheerleader, supporting you every step of the way?
My parents and my best friend
 
Describe your idea of a perfect day.
Focused productivity, intimate conversation with family, ample time for self-reflection and dreaming
 
What do you like to do outside of your work?
Read, listen to music, run, and spend time with family and friends
 
What was your favorite part of Glamour’s WOTY Awards?
Meeting the other incredible visionaries who were honored at the event
 
What did you wear to Glamour’s WOTY Awards?
a pink cocktail dress
 
Who did you bring as your guest to Glamour’s WOTY Awards?
my lovely cousin, Aarti
 
Who do you think should win a Glamour WOTY Award next year?
Jacqueline Novogratz of the Acumen Fund
 
What is your favorite thing about Glamour magazine?
the WOTY awards J
 
What does “glamour” mean to you?
The art of making the best of what you have
 
How does it feel to be honored as one of Glamour Magazine’s 20 young women who are already changing the world?
Profoundly humbling, inspiring, energizing
 
What advice would you give to our college women readers?
Never give up on your dreams—life is too short to stop believing in your boundless potential to achieve greatness.

Cara Sprunk has been the Managing Editor of Her Campus since fall 2009. She is a 2010 graduate of Cornell University where she majored in American Studies with a concentration in cultural studies. At Cornell Cara served as the Assistant Editor of Red Letter Daze, the weekend supplement to the Cornell Daily Sun where she also wrote for the news and arts section and blogged about pop culture. In her free time Cara enjoys reading, shopping, going to the movies, exploring and writing.  
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