Our Story

We created Girls Health Champions because we believe in the promise and potential of youth. We built this organization as a platform to enable adolescents to take ownership of their own health, to re-shape the dialogue in their schools and in their communities, and build healthier, more equitable futures for themselves and their peers.

This is a youth-led movement, built one Champion at a time. We first came up with the idea for Girls Health Champions in 2016. As we were piloting our model, we knew we were onto something when our Champions kept asking us if they could be assigned to teach difficult topics like mental health and menstruation. Watching our Champions transform into leaders, mentors, and community health advocates inspires us to continue scaling the Girls Health Champions model worldwide.

Our work is driven by a few simple principles: we believe in doing things the right way; in an impactful, measurable way; and in a sustainable way. We believe in fostering deep ties to the communities and collaborators we are fortunate to partner with.

We hope you’ll join us as we train the next generation of health leaders globally through Girls Health Champions.

Our Team

Dr. Priya Shankar

Dr. Priya Shankar

Co-Founder and Co-President

Priya is a physician with the University of California, San Francisco Pediatric Leadership for the Underserved (PLUS) residency program. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Boston University School of Medicine and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She was a 2009-2010 Fulbright-Nehru Scholar to India where she studied maternal and child health policy.

Priya has worked in the field of maternal, adolescent, and child health in India for the past fourteen years as a researcher and teacher.

Priya is a Girls Health Champion because her mission in life is to use her medical and public health training to give every young girl the best shot at life.

Ricky Sharma

Ricky Sharma

Co-Founder and Co-President

Ricky oversees operations and strategy for Girls Health Champions. He received a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, where he was also a Social Enterprise Fellow. Prior to Girls Health Champions, Ricky spent many years in the financial industry as a private equity investor with TA Associates in Boston and Hong Kong and as an investment banker with Lazard in New York. He completed his undergraduate studies in business and political science at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ricky is a Girls Health Champion because he believes that overcoming gender inequality requires male engagement and collaboration. He is passionate about unlocking the potential of adolescents globally because of the transformative impact these talented youth can have on our future.

Our Youth Leaders

Ritika Singh is a student at Brookline High school. Ritika focuses on social media, web design and development, as well as curriculum development with GHC. Ritika is a Girls Health Champion because she wants girls everywhere to receive the same health education that she was given so that they can feel safe, healthy and confident in their own bodies.

Navya Jain is a student at University of Massachusetts Amherst. Navya focuses on social media, marketing, and content development with GHC.  Navya is a Girls Health Champion because she believes that young girls have immense potential to shape the world when given the education and tools to traverse adolescence.

Our Champions are students in the 8th through 10th standards in India who are central to Girls Health Champions. These young people bring courage, confidence, and conviction to their role as health educators. Our team employs user-centered design to ensure that our curriculum / content mirror our adolescents’ needs.

Our Advisors

Ana Langer, MD, is a Professor of the Practice of Public Health and the leader of the Women and Health Initiative and Maternal Health Task Force at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She is a physician specializing in pediatrics and neonatology and a leading reproductive health specialist.

Gordon Bloom, MBA, is the Director of the Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Lab at Stanford University as well as a Faculty Fellow at Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health.

Vish Viswanath, PhD, is a professor of Health Communications at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Director of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health India Health Partnership.

Nancy Hayes, MBA, is an experienced business executive and Managing Director of Golden Seeds, an early stage investment group investing in women-led businesses.

Sohil Sud, MD, MA,  is an assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco and Director of the UCSF Pediatric Global Health Clinical Scholars Pathway

Our Partners

Niramaya Health Foundation

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health India Research Center

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