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Released on: June 8th, 2022

Simone Sharma (16years)
Founder and Executive Director at YouthGrowYouth.
Published writer &Poet | Entrepreneur | Basketball player & Sports Enthusiast | National Spell Bee 2019 Runner up.

YouthGrowYouth is one of India’s first U-18 student-led youth non-profit organizations affiliated with the United Nations Youth Council aiming to promote gender equality in forms of opportunity accessibility also on the mission of helping high school students navigate their futures with clarity and confidence by providing opportunities to them through social media platforms to bridge the accessibility gap from youth in low-income communities.

At YGY, we strive to provide the present day youth with the best of opportunities available in today’s market for them to explore and discover several opportunities and help them to help themselves build an outstanding college application by providing them with exceptional extracurricular programs ranging from jobs/volunteering positions, mentorships, access to exclusive educative webinars, finding internship opportunities (globally) and most importantly while forming an active community of like-minded youth where we can all discuss solutions & problems related to our journey/experience from present school to choice of university! we have been able to cater opportunities to about 60,000+ youth. Alongside, us in tandem with another organization, raised 40,000 covid kits for orphan care homes during covid last year and delivered 100+ care packages to youth in our community struggling with mental health ever since the global pandemic hit.

Simone Sharma , 16, is the Founder and Executive Director at YouthGrowYouth. She is a Published writer, a basketball player, and the National Spell Bee 2019 Runner up. She enjoys playing the ukulele and writing during her leisure time. Alongside, she also actively advocates for social causes be it gender equality, climate change and Asian youth intersectional activism as she holds immense interest in the politics of analyzing social issues especially ones existing in the present era; she upholds the content creation department of some of today’s Global leading youth-led organizations on Instagram that revolve around fighting intersectional issues. Simone is also the co-executive director of the Women of Color Conference. The 2-day conference held in March united 4,850+ girls of color to engage with career-oriented panels from 31 renowned speakers, mental wellness workshops, a mentorship program, $4000 in scholarships, and performances from creatives of color. From the conference, Simone witnessed firsthand the sheer power of unity and solidarity among women of color. Simone’s business acumen has also led to some significant accolades, including being selected for the Harvard 2022 Cohort of Entrepreneurship where her project was selected from a pool of thousands of applicants. The Crimson Youth Entrepreneurship Society is a startup and nonprofit accelerator run by Harvard University students dedicated to helping young founders create meaningful impacts in their communities and beyond. Besides business, leadership, the environment, and addressing youth social causes, Simone has a great passion for poetry. She started writing at an early age and eventually grew up to address issues like body positivity and self-love through her poems. She is also a published writer with some of her work previously published. Simone is also the finalist of “Miss teen India 2022” and is elated to represent her cause for gender equality on a National platform. The youth leader has also co-founded a high school business called Hands4Paws, the mission is to help animal welfares by selling eco-friendly products and thus the business utilizes 40 per cent of its profits towards dog feeding programs and old age centers for animals. Notebooks and Ceramic Mugs are known to be a leading cause for plastic pollution, and thus she is in tandem with her classmates created products that are 100 per cent biodegradable, recyclable and reusable. “For me, I founded YGY just personally through my own challenges and wanting to create more opportunities for young people because I realized there was a huge accessibility gap between the youth and an ample amount of opportunities that were getting met, there was opportunity out there for youth to volunteer, to get jobs, to get scholarships to fund their education after high school and yet it was so difficult for youth to find these opportunities and I felt that way because I was one of those youth. So what really inspired me to bring this idea into real-life definitely was ‘how can we make sure that young people get access equally to the same opportunities that anyone else would’, ‘how do make sure that they’re picking their careers based off of all the knowledge surrounding them’, so just having these opportunities in various forms helped me get a lot clearer about what i wanted to do in future and my goal is that young people grabbing these opportunities can also figure out what they wish to pursue after high school.”

What is your success mantra that you have embraced as you sought to establish your success story?
Something that I have embraced thorough my journey is simply to reflect, every single day and especially reflect on anything you’re passionate about or you really want to do well in. Reflection is really the key. So for me, if I’m really into a certain class or just basketball practice what I do at the end of every session is actually reflect on A. how it went B. What did I do well C. What didn’t I do well D. How can I improve the next time on the things that didn’t go so well? Just asking these three questions at the end helps me improvise for the next time I have a session be it sports or studies in general because now I just know how to do better at the things that went wrong initially. And probably just reaching out for help, HUGE thing!! It’s something I struggled with for the longest time. So reflecting and reaching out for help I think is something that kept me together and definitely goes a long way.

One special Quote/message for all communities/brands.
– “DROP THE LABEL- WOMEN” At the end of the day, I am just here to run a business and actualize a vision. The world is ready to give you enough labels without you even having to ask for them. Don’t bear this label as an extra burden in your journey.

Any other Happy moments /achievements you would like to share with the world

• Secured 3rd place in the JR.MBA Program, an extremely competitive program with over 750+ participants and 20 finalists, was conducted at Brown University and won the title of “The Most Impactful Venture” for my idea invention. • Was selected as one of the 125 participants out of 4,000+ applications for the Harvard Youth Lead the Change Scholar Conference which is a program developed for high school students with exceptional leadership qualities by Harvard Business School, Harvard Law School, and Harvard Graduate School of Education. • Being immensely interested in Model United Nations (MUN) and having taken part in numerous conferences I was selected for the Executive Board and offered a position as a Campus Ambassador at the International Model United Nations Association (IMUNA) • YouthGrowYouth was selected from a pool of thousands of applicants for the Harvard Crimson Youth Entrepreneurship Society’s 2022 cohort. Which is a start-up and non-profit accelerator run by Harvard University dedicated to helping young founders create meaningful impacts in their communities. • Co-executive director of the Women of Color Conference. The 2-day conference held in March united 4,850+ girls of color to engage with career-oriented panels from 31 renowned speakers, mental wellness workshops, a mentorship program, $4000 in scholarships, and performances from creatives of color.

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