Sewa International Interns Complete 3,200 Hours of Community Service

Sewa International Houston Chapter hosted an Internship Gala for their “Get Inspired Houston” (GIH) and “Leadership Development through Community Engagement” (LEAD) interns on August 12 at the T.E. Harman Center in Sugar Land. The event was designed to celebrate the many accomplishments of over 50 interns this summer. The interns accumulated over 3,200 hours of service in nearly nine weeks and served at Sewa’s ASPIRE (Assuring Student Progress in Remedial Education) centers, the Houston food bank — Brighter Bites — participated in a 5K Walk, attended leadership sessions with prominent community members, and underwent FEMA’s CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training.

After initial introductions by the program coordinator Jay Torres, the evening’s emcee Pravdeep Banwait gave an introduction to the LEAD program and highlighted interns’ accomplishments through an eight-minute video depicting the service activities they participated in.

The Consul General of India in Houston, Aseem Mahajan, who was the chief guest at the event, highlighted the strong Indo-American ties, and urged the youth to keep pushing the community service aspects in their lives by helping the less fortunate. He also extended an invitation to all interns to explore service opportunities in India through various exchange programs sponsored by the Government of India.

Keynote speaker Amit Mishra, a renowned attorney, talked about serving society with “mind, body, and money”. He also spoke about India’s long independence struggle, and asked the interns to stay grounded, never lose touch with their roots, and keep serving the community selflessly.

Another guest of the evening, Liz Schuller, City of Houston “CERT” trainer, spoke to the interns about the long-term benefits of learning and knowing the importance of reacting in an emergency and being always prepared and to respond to emergencies without fear. The Deputy Consul General of India, Sandeep Chaudhary, also participated in the event as a guest.

Sewa Houston Chapter Executive Director, Kavita Tewary, described how many interns earned accolades while serving in Sewa’s ASPIRE program which provides academic help, tutoring, and mentoring children in low-income school districts of Houston. Each participant of the LEAD program received individual certificates.

Anshula Green, one of the parents said, “I had been looking for a service opportunity for my 15-year-old son for months before finding the Sewa internship.  I wanted him to experience true volunteering as it allows you to connect with the community.  Sewa was able to do that for him, solidifying in him a joy in serving others and an ability to make a difference.”

Alings Chinese Bistro sponsored a sumptuous dinner for the event.