ABOUT THE MILLENNIUM FELLOWSHIP - CLASS OF 2020

United Nations Academic Impact and MCN are proud to partner on the Millennium Fellowship. In the three months the application was open in 2020, 15,159 young leaders applied to join the Class of 2020 on 1,458 campuses across 135 nations.  80 campuses worldwide (just 6%) were selected to host the 1,000+ Millennium Fellows.  The Class of 2020 is bold, innovative, and inclusive. 

UNITED NATIONS ACADEMIC IMPACT AND MCN PROUDLY PRESENT VARSHINI SANTHANARAJAN ODAYAR, A MILLENNIUM FELLOW AND CAMPUS DIRECTOR FOR THE CLASS OF 2020.

Harvard University | Massachusetts, United States | Advancing SDG 4, 5, 10, & UNAI 5

" I am very excited to be a Millennium Fellow because it is provides the unique opportunity to create social change while growing and learning from my peers. It is a space where I can make connections with others, listening to their stories and motivations behind their work. Today, the voices of marginalized communities are silenced as their stories remain untold. I want to use the voice that I have in this world to amplify the voices of people experiencing homelessness and the voices of young girls fighting for their right to an education. "

Millennium Fellowship Project: Sparking Lives

Varshini is working on a collaborative project to create a report on educational inequity and lack of digital access by studying two rural Indian villages. Varshini has been passionate about empowering young girls and giving them a voice through her nonprofit organization known as Sparking Lives. Through this project, she hopes to understand how lack of digital access prevents children in rural areas from attending school and denies them access to educational opportunities. This lack of resources combined with gender inequities has created a situation where many families that have a limited amount of resources often choose to send sons to school over daughters. This project focuses on SDGs 4, 5, and 10- quality education, gender equality, and reduced inequalities. She, along with her team will be conducting interviews of nonprofits, students and teachers in the village, as well as nearby homes providing support to orphaned children. For the final report, she hopes to compile these interviews with the goal of identifying the main barriers to increasing digital and educational access. Her aim with the report is to address the current inequity, systems which perpetuate and exacerbate such inequities, and propose recommendations and ways towards which individuals and NGOs can take first steps to reducing this inequity."

About the Millennium Fellow

Varshini Odayar is a sophomore at Harvard College studying Neuroscience and Social Anthropology. She is very passionate about the intersection of health and human rights as she aspires to create social change in her community. From a young age, she has made it her mission to empower young girls and women globally through her nonprofit Sparking Lives. She strives to amplify the voices of marginalized communities through her social work and her passion for photojournalism. Through the Millennium Fellowship, she is excited to spark change along with a community of other civic-minded students.

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