MISSION & VISION

Our mission is to advance children’s rights through youth-led service and advocacy.
We are united by the belief that youth voices make our community stronger.

Just For Kidz is a completely youth-run national 501c(3) nonprofit organization based in St. Louis on a mission to support marginalized and underserved children worldwide through grassroots service and advocacy while empowering and inspiring the next generation of youth to become active and engaged global citizens and leaders. The Founder and Executive Director, Meghana Bharadwaj founded "Just For Kidz" as a youth herself after witnessing a mother and her children begging in her parents’ hometown, Chennai and realizing that children don’t have equal opportunities to reach their fullest potential everywhere.

Our Mission and Vision Involves 3 E’s

Equitability

We strive for equal opportunities for all children.

Enrichment

We hope to enrich the lives of many youth here and abroad by both providing direct services and a platform to have their voice heard while raising awareness about key issues facing young people everywhere.

Empowerment

We work to empower the next generation of global leaders through education, service, and activism.

Meet Our Team




Meghana Bharadwaj

Founder and Executive Director

School: Columbia University in the City of New York
Major/Study Interests: Human Rights and Political Science
Fun Fact: I have traveled to 84 countries in the world. Ask me about my near-death experience in Ecuador.
Other Interests and Hobbies: Political debates with family and friends on Facebook, dancing Hiphop and Bhangra, singing in the shower, playing flamenco guitar
Favorite Quote: "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou
Specialized Children's Rights Issue: Understanding the systemic inequalities and barriers that affect children, I believe the juvenile justice system in its current state reinforces these inequalities by punishing kids who face already tough circumstances rather than providing positive opportunities for rehabilitation. Furthermore, children's underage status often makes them more vulnerable to due process violations, because they aren't given adequate opportunities to express their opinions and desires. I am committed to ensuring children are guaranteed equal protection under the law and citizens and stay on playgrounds rather than in prisons.

Sumair Bhimani

Director of Operations

Major/Study Interests: Economics and Statistics
Fun Fact: I cut my mile time in 6th grade from 11:10 to 5:56 in 8th grade.
Other Interests and Hobbies: Reading about development economics and social innovation, volunteering, and snowboarding.
Favorite Quote: "You don't have to be great to start; you have to start to be great." - Zig Ziglar
Specialized Children's Rights Issue: The children's issues I care about the most is ensuring children receive quality education and nutritious food, allowing them to lead healthier lifestyles.

Holly Rosenbalm

Director of Operations

School: The Art Institute of Chicago
Major/Study Interests: Fashion Marketing, Business Management
Fun Fact: I worked as a stylist for Dwayne Wade and Rajon Rondo.
Other Interests and Hobbies: Spending time with family, volunteering at Chicago Children's Hospital
Favorite Quote: "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." - Wayne Getzky
Specialized Children's Rights Issue: I hold dear to my heart issues involving orphans and abandoned children without adequate care.

Shristi Varshney

Director of Development

School: Cornell University
Major/Study Interests: Chemical Engineering, Business
Fun Fact: I have a third degree blackbelt in karate!
Other Interests and Hobbies: Crocheting, doing nail art, and even building a canoe out of concrete (yes you read that right!)
Favorite Quote: “It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed." - Theodore Roosevelt
Specialized Children's Rights Issue: A children’s rights issue I am most passionate about is access to education. It absolutely breaks my heart when I see children unable to go to school due to financial and safety matters.


Kyler Rood

Director of Finance

School: Cornell University’s Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management
Major/Study Interests: I am studying finance and business analytics within my major, and I will be interning in fixed income origination this coming summer.
Fun Fact: I always had a lot of pet birds growing up, ranging from parakeets to cockatiels to mini-macaws.
Other Interests and Hobbies: Playing and watching soccer, hockey, and baseball.
Favorite Quote: “There may be people that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do.” - Derek Jeter
Specialized Children's Rights Issue: Children’s health is the children’s rights issue I am most passionate about as access to nutritious food and consistent exercise can make a lifetime of a difference in one’s development. This was the subject of my blog post in April of 2018, where I reminisced on how participating in athletic activities while growing up has influenced my life tremendously. I also encouraged schools to implement after-school athletic programs for all children as sports and exercise can teach important life lessons not learned in libraries or classrooms, and can set a child up for years of healthy habits.

Melinda Hsieh

Director of Public Relations

School: University of California, Berkeley
Major/Study Interests: Intended Business Administration and Spanish
Fun Fact: I founded my own startup this past summer in Portugal!
Other Interests and Hobbies: Volleyball, coffee shop exploring, and binge watching Grey's Anatomy
Favorite Quote: "The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today" -H. Jackson Brown Jr.
Specialized Children's Rights Issue: I joined JFK because I wanted to make a difference but stayed in JFK because of the people. Working with such a talented and inspiring group of people and making an impact on real issues has been so meaningful. As someone who loves volunteer work, JFK was the perfect opportunity for me - it not only allowed me to gain lifelong leadership and communication skills that I would not have gained in my classes as a college student, but also let me serve the greater community in ways that I never could have imagined

Nicole Nudelman

Director of Regional Chapters

School: Cornell University College of Arts & Sciences
Major/Study Interests: Chemistry, Chemical Biology and Biological Sciences, English.
Fun Fact: I have been dancing ballet since I was 3 years old and found my passion for working with children through my local dance studio.
Other Interests and Hobbies: Figure skating, skiing, singing
Favorite Quote: “You’re only given one little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” - Robbin Williams
Specialized Children's Rights Issue: I am really passionate about children’s education. Growing up, I was fortunate enough to have had a family that valued education and had the resources to provide ample opportunity for my academic success. Not everyone is so lucky and I find it is so important to allow every child the opportunities to fulfill his/her academic potential. JFK has given me the chance to not only help children nationally but to share my passions as I work with existing chapters and with new communities to start new ones. Together, I believe we can make a real difference in the lives of children in our communities and beyond!

Silk Shimamoto

Secretary

School: Cornell University College of Arts & Sciences
Major/Study Interests: Orange County School of the Arts under the Classical Contemporary Dance Conservatory
Fun Fact: I can crack my shoulders and click my tongue super loud :)
Other Interests and Hobbies: sleeping, eating and trying new lunch spots, knitting, going on camping trips, and I find entangling objects (necklace, earphone, cords, etc.) therapeutic
Favorite Quote: “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care,” - Theodore Roosevelt
Specialized Children's Rights Issue: I am most passionate about helping refugee children across the world where countries are affected by war and political turmoil. I want to give these voiceless children opportunities I had in my childhood due to geographical privileges. I want to learn from them and help build an empathetic community.