Tarina Ahuja is a senior at Harvard College dedicated to building just institutions grounded in empathy. She is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit Young Khalsa Girls, a grassroots organization founded in 2012 with a mission of empowering young girls to serve their communities through selfless service and advocacy. She is also the co-founder of The Greater Good Initiative, a youth-led, youth-run, national policy think-tank working to write and advocate for policy at the local, state, and federal levels in the sectors of economy, public health, education, civil rights, and environment. She is the youth ambassador for the National Democratic Institute’s and Running Start’s DISRUPTHER program, an initiative envisioned to increase women’s political participation around the world. She is a renowned speaker: she has served as the youth keynote speaker at the Madeline Albright lunch and the Foreign Policy HerPower Summit in 2019, delivered a TEDX talk with 23K+ views, represented the Sikh community as one of the youngest plenary speakers at the 8,000 people strong World’s Parliament of Religions in 2023, and many others.
She has worked with Senator Cory Booker, Delegate Suhas Subramanyam, the National Democratic Institute, Amnesty International, the Harvard Refugee and Immigration Legal Clinic, and the Greater Chicago Legal Clinic. She is motivated, determined, and driven to be a person of change as demonstrated by her ability to execute international fundraisers raising upwards of $25K for protesting farmers in India and $15K to support survivors of domestic abuse and various marginalized groups in the South Asian Community through an organization entitled Ashiyaana. She helped in the planning and execution of the 10-year anniversary of the shooting at Oak Creek by running a workshop on youth empowerment with the local community. She went on to launch the Sikh American National Youth Council in August 2023 with the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund. This Council acts as a connecting organ and organizing platform for Sikh youth across the country.
She has also been internationally recognized for her work. She was named as one of the top 100 Sikhs in the world under 30, awarded the inaugural Norman Nimeta Spirit Award at the American Courage Awards. At Harvard, she has been recognized as a John Harvard Scholar representing the top 5% of her class, named a Detur Book Prize Winner, awarded the Eaton Organizing Scholarship, and chosen as a Presidential Public Service scholar. On campus, she has served as the Director of Diversity and Outreach for The Institute of Politics, the Captain of Harvard Bhangra, the President of Harvard Sikhs, and the founder of Harvard Amnesty International. Her work has been featured on CBS News, Comcast, the Milwaukee Independent, Huffington Post, Scripps News, the Associated Press, and more.