HC4A Hosts Q1 Quarterly Connect: A Call to Action

Introduction to the Quarterly Connect

On Sunday, February 25th, HC4A hosted its first Quarterly Volunteer Connect of 2024. This networking event brought together enthusiastic volunteers, supporters, and community partners to align on HC4A’s mission of providing educational resources and opportunities to economically disadvantaged youth.

A highlight of the Q1 connect was the announcement of HC4A’s New Board of Directors by its founder, Mr. Harish Kotecha. The new leadership of HC4A is charged with advancing the organization’s vision.

Mr. Kotecha joyfully expressed, “I am thankful to the many volunteers who stepped up and to the commitment of our new leadership to carry out the HC4A vision, mission, and values.”

The Social Mixer

The Volunteer Connect began with an energetic social hour where all guests mingled and networked with each other. During this mixer, former and new volunteers exchanged greetings and opened up about their ideas and inspirations that brought them to HC4A.

The large-hearted hostess and everyone’s favorite person, Shobhana Kotecha, did an elaborate work of introducing all the guests to each other. She arranged an extensive spread of delicious Indian and Mexican food and drinks.

She said during a group conversation: “Thank you all for generously taking time out of your busy schedules to support the HC4A committee. Your commitment to ‘Serve Where You Live’ is shaping a better future with the invaluable gift of education. The school supplies & college education support dramatically change lives, for many ambitious & dedicated recipients. They go on to contribute to the quality of life in their families & the community at large, just like you do today.”

Overview of Accomplishments

After the certification, the new Board of Directors was announced and introduced to everyone. Each board member shared their experience with HC4A, as well as the programs, events, and fundraising goals for 2024. Mr Kotecha featured some of the key milestones HC4A has achieved so far:

  • 14,000+ children supported with school supplies.
  • 800+ vocational scholarships awarded.
  • Launch of a Certification Program to enhance skills.
  • Humanitarian aid during crises, including natural disasters and COVID.
  • Establishment of an Endowment Fund, securing HC4A’s future.

The announcement of the new Board of Directors followed, promising a continued dedication to advancing HC4A’s vision and making a significant impact on the lives of economically disadvantaged youth.

Meet the New Board of Directors

Alok Singh, President

Alok Singh’s journey with HC4A has been marked by dedication and resilience, especially through the challenging pandemic years of 2020-22. His impressive career has been defined by significant leadership roles at multinational corporations like Dell Technologies, where he played a pivotal role in driving over $100 billion in annual revenue.

Among his long list of accolades are multiple CEO recognitions for his work on top Business Excellence projects. Beyond his corporate achievements, Alok founded the World Cricket Initiative (WCI) to promote cricket in the USA, emphasizing youth development and high-performance training.

Barbara James, Vice President of Programs

Barbara James brings a wealth of experience and a passion for educational equity to her role. Her career has been dedicated to leveling the playing field in education, ensuring that every child has the opportunity to succeed.

She has been the backbone of all program development HC4A has been involved in for over a decade.

Previously, she held positions as the Texas State Coordinator for Homeless Education at the Texas Education Agency and led the Texas Homeless Education Office at The University of Texas at Austin. Her knowledge and passion for education equity will be highly valuable as we work to bridge income disparities through education.

Gulshan Singh, Vice President of Communications

While sharing her experience with the organization, Gulshan recalled, “In supporting underprivileged kids, there are many stories that folks at a nonprofit can revel you with and many that are still looking at an arc of completion. For us, all these stories matter and keep us going.” 

Her diverse experience includes working for award-winning advertising agencies, premier consultancies, and innovative healthcare startups. 

Gulshan has a longstanding relationship with HC4A, as she was a driving force behind the organization’s hugely successful 2020-21 virtual fundraising campaigns and additional humanitarian initiatives. Her dedication earned her the prestigious President’s Volunteer Service Award, and Gold Medal for outstanding dedication to the cause.

Pankil Matalia, Vice President of Operations

Pankil has been part of the HC4A family since 2013, getting more drawn into the cause from volunteer to Operations Director to Chapter President from 2019-2022, and now VP.

Pankil’s services outside of HC4A also demonstrate his dedication to community impact. He is the Program Manager at Accenture and leads their Asian Pacific Employee Resource Group for the Austin Chapter.  Pankil’s determination to create meaningful community development was evident when he played a pivotal role in establishing the Jain Center of Austin.

During his presentation, he spoke about the upcoming Bollywood Meets Borscht Belt on April 21. He shared that the event has supported over 14,000 homeless children with school supplies so far. “This year, the aim is to extend this help to another 1,000 children by raising $50,000 with the help of generous people who believe we can “Bridge Income Disparities through Education,” he said.

Mr. Harish Kotecha, President Emeritus

Mr. Kotecha continues to be on the board as president emeritus.

You can read more about them and connect with them on LinkedIn here: https://www.ec4a.org/our-team/

Volunteer Passion and Commitment

Volunteer Recognition

Two volunteers, Abhay Samant and Pragya Sen, were appreciated for their effort and dedication toward the cause and mission of HC4A.

As Mr. Kotecha awarded the volunteers with the special ‘President’s Volunteer Service’ certificate and medal for their wonderful work, he also talked about his experience with each of these volunteers and how their contribution made the events and programs of the organization successful.

Volunteer Engagement

The Q1 Volunteer Connect concluded with an engaging 20-minute Q&A session, where volunteers and peer nonprofits interacted with the Board of Directors to discuss HC4A’s future plans. The conversation explored volunteering opportunities for 2024, focusing on program support, outreach, and fundraising initiatives.

This dialogue underscored the volunteers’ eagerness to contribute to increasing access to quality education for underserved students, fostering a highly positive and motivated atmosphere. They were interested in becoming more actively involved in program support, outreach, fundraising initiatives, and other activities.

As volunteers offer their unique skills for HC4A’s 2024 programs for youth or any other nonprofit, we grow and evolve dramatically as a compassionate society. 

With devoted volunteers and committed leadership, HC4A is well-positioned to drive a stronger and greater impact in 2024 and beyond. The Q1 Volunteer Connect highlighted the powerful impact of bringing people together for a common goal and opening doors through the gift of education.

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