A senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Neil Kothari has been a valuable member of the Givology team. Leadership comes naturally to Neil - he serves as both the Student Body President and the Co-Director of the Peer Tutoring Center. One of his focuses is computer science - for his senior research project, Neil is developing an application that analyzes consumer complaint data regarding financial institutions.
Growing up in Fairfax County, a suburb of Washington DC, Neil often worked on political campaigns, supporting various legislation important to him and his community. “Over time, I found the issues that resonated with me, one of which happened to be education,” he says. He also comments that with the rise of internet giants, technology and education are increasingly important.
Neil has always had access to quality education. He states, “[Education] has given me the foundation I need to make an impact in my day to day life and taught me the skills necessary to succeed beyond the classroom – how to ask questions, how to think critically, work on a team, and that everyone’s ideas are valuable.” Neil believes that through Givology, he can help give the same opportunities that he received to others that are less fortunate.
Neil first learned of Givology at his school’s internship fair. After further investigation, he got in contact with Joyce Meng, Givology’s founder and also Thomas Jefferson alumna. He began his journey with Givology as a development intern in Spring 2017. With his creative ideas and initiative, Neil rapidly took on more responsibility and now serves a permanent role as the HR Director/Chief Talent Officer, where he can be found recruiting new volunteers, conducting interviews, making hiring decisions, and assigning people to teams and projects. His most enjoyable project so far was when he conducted a financial and charitable analysis of several partner organizations.
Neil sees his work at Givology as his way to give back to the community. While other nonprofits and NGOs take cuts out of donations to fund marketing and operations, Givology first stood out to Neil as it is 100% volunteer-run, keeping costs low and maximizing the impact of every dollar. “Every member of the Givology team participates from the goodness of their own heart, inspiring me every day with the unique passion and energy they bring to the table,” he says. He lives by a quote from Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
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