SAYA Celebrates 28 Years of Empowering NYC Youth, Raises $750,000 at Annual Gala

Feature and Cover SAYA Celebrates 28 Years of Empowering NYC Youth Raises $750 000 at Annual Gala

South Asian Youth Action ( celebrated its 28th anniversary on May 18, 2024, during its annual gala, which highlighted nearly 30 years of connecting underserved youth in New York City to vital opportunities and advocating for educational equity.

Held at Tribeca 360° in New York City, the event attracted nearly 400 guests who came together for an evening of philanthropy, inspiration, and celebration, according to a press release from the organizers.

The gala acknowledges the significant contributions and achievements of community members who use their privilege and platforms to drive positive societal change. This year, three exemplary individuals were honored for their dedication to these ideals: Sonny Kalsi, co-CEO of BentallGreenOak; Priya Parker, a renowned author; and Anand Giridharadas, an acclaimed writer.

Entertainment for the evening was provided by the celebrated musician Ali Sethi.

Actress, author, and SAYA board member Sheetal Sheth served as the event’s host.

The evening’s highlight was the personal stories shared by SAYA youth, which vividly illustrated the profound impact the organization has had on young lives throughout New York City.

Organizers proudly announced that “thanks to the altruism of attendees and supporters, the gala raised over $750,000, which will directly benefit SAYA’s programs and initiatives aimed at empowering youth and fostering their academic, social, and personal development.”

Executive Director of SAYA, Sonia B. Sisodia, expressed deep gratitude for the dedication shown by those in attendance. She stated, “The powerful stories shared by our youth highlight our history and the far-reaching impact of our programming.”

SAYA Board Chair Samidh Guha emphasized the importance of the support received, including a remarkable $1 million donation from Mackenzie Scott earlier this year. “The generosity of our supporters, along with the incredible $1 million gift from Mackenzie Scott SAYA received earlier this year, will advance SAYA’s important work in a profound and transformative way. Together we are creating a lasting impact in our communities,” he said.

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