VIJAYAWADA: Bringing social change through ‘Empower and Excel’

Vijayawada: Ayesha Charugulla, a woman from Vijayawada, stands as a beacon of altruism and community spirit, crossing boundaries to empower the youth of the United States while serving her motherland India. Daughter of MD Iqbal and Baratunnisa, Ayesha is the founder and CEO of Empower & Excel (E&E), a California-based non-profit organization established in 2015.

Headquartered in California, USA, E&E has inspired a wave of philanthropy by donating over `10 crore to various organizations across India since its inception.

E&E’s footprint extends far, with more than 2,000 youth volunteers devoting more than 150,000 hours to community service. Their efforts include a myriad of initiatives, ranging from assisting low-income students to supporting the elderly and working with children with special needs. In India, E&E’s initiatives include supporting persons with disabilities, orphans and providing basic needs to vulnerable communities, with the NGO implementing projects worth more than Rs 10 crore.

Initiatives like Asha Jyothi Handicapped Society, Hanuman Junction in Eluru, Amma Children Home in Gannavaram in Krishna and orphanages like Bommarillu in Prakasam, Ongole support specially-abled children. During the peak of the pandemic in India, his organization raised $70,000 to set up 16 isolation and triage centers with 800 beds in 15 cities, distributed 2,000 PPE kits, 500 oxygen flow meters and cannulas, 20 oxygen concentrators, 10 oxygen cylinders One ambulance was purchased and provided to the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to meet immediate needs.

Ayesha Charugulla said, “At Empower and Excel, we believe in the power of youth to drive positive change locally and globally. It is not just an organization. It is a movement inspired by the collective spirit of humanity. This much-needed work was made possible with the support of a generous donor.” She acknowledged the support of her family members, including her parents, husband Sanjay Charugulla and children Nisha and Nihar. Ayesha and her team are firm on their mission. During the height of the pandemic, she led several campaigns in the Bay Area (California) to aid needy families, exemplifying the organization’s unwavering commitment to community well-being. As a testament to his hard work and the team’s dedication, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and LATI (Living Above the Influence) recognized him with the ‘Compassionate Leader (Honorable Mention)’ award.

As a testament to his impact on the community, California State Assembly member Kaysen Chu honored him with the Community Hero Award in 2019. Their dedication reached new heights in 2022 when California District 15 Senator Dave Cortez honored them with the ‘Nonprofit of the Year Award’ for their efforts to promote social change.

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