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UF Children’s Hope India is now Asha India!

UF Children’s Hope India has expanded its initiatives to reach the impoverished in all walks of life. For this reason we are now Asha India. Asha, meaning hope, reflects the fact that with support and education anyone can have hope for a better life. For more information please visit

Who We Are

Education inspires the student. Students inspire the world.

Started in 2008 by three students at the University of Florida, Asha India is a student founded, student run, subsidiary of the non-profit organization Children’s Hope India. Showcased at Clinton Global Initiatives Conference and winner of the prestigious 2009 Projects for Peace Grant, Asha India aims to combat poverty in India by empowering homeless children and their families with the powerful tools of education and international trade. Providing them with the knowledge and capital to be successful, Asha India aims to sustainably alleviate poverty through various initiates in India.  Working with our partner Prayas, Asha India has successfully educated over 300 students, founded a social business with 15 employees and run two internship programs.

Our Team

James Nichols
James Nichols

James Nichols has diversified experience in the field of finance, most recently as a Financial Management Program intern with the General Electric Company.  With GE he managed projects cash flows of over 80 MM, improved cash flow linearity and margin predictability.  In his role as an operations intern for TradePMR in 2008, he worked with over 40 institutional investors to resolve portfolio issues and manage transactions.  James also has extensive knowledge of risk management and holds a 2-20 general lines agent license.  He is currently a senior at the University of Florida completing a degree in finance with a minor in Spanish linguistics.  James is a leader on campus and currently serves as president of Delta Sigma Pi, a co-ed professional business fraternity and as an ambassador to the university’s entrepreneurship program.

Carol Skordas
Carol Skordas

Carol Skordas is a junior at the University of Florida working on an undergraduate degree in economics and a Master of Science in Finance degree.  She is also actively involved in many organizations at the University including: consulting captain for UF’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), teaching assistant for the undergraduate business finance class, and ambassador of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.  She has interned at both a seed-stage venture fund which partnered in the creation of medical technology companies and an asset management firm.  Carol’s interests include running marathons, traveling, competitive horseback riding, and modern art. She will be a Investment Banking summer analyst at Goldman Sachs this summer.

Kara Jordan
Kara Jordan

Kara Jordan is a third-year International Business major with minors in French and Mass Communications, she is also in the combined degree Masters in International Business program at the University of Florida. Service to her community is something she is passionate about. She has been very involved working with Haven Hospice, Winter Garden Animal Shelter, Children’s Miracle Network, Champions Are Readers and Read Across America. As the Director for Managing Money Matters and Life Beyond College with the UF SIFE Team, Kara works to educate students on financial literacy focusing on personal finance for life success.  In March 2010, Kara will be helping Oasis of Peace based in London, England, a service organization promoting peace in Israel. She is excited to become involved with UF Children’s Hope India this semester and will be greatly focused on pushing the fund raising efforts for the organization.

Tony Barakat

Tony Barakat

Tony Barakat is a graduate student of the Fisher School of Accounting, and plans to graduate with a Masters in Accounting in May 2011. He has been involved with UF CHI for one semester. He chose to get involved in order to see first hand the impacts his efforts made, which he believes not many other organizations can offer. Tony is involved with the marketing aspect of the UF CHI and creating awareness of the organization throughout campus and the community.

Greg Correia
Greg Correia

What We Do

Asha India works to alleviate poverty through three central initiatives:  education, social business and student internship programs.

Provide Children Education

Asha India understands that education is an imperative link in helping children increase their chances of a life free of poverty.  Focusing on students aged 14-16, our education initiative provides students with the knowledge to be the next generation of entrepreneurs in India.  Our curriculum includes lessons on financial literacy, computer literacy, cultural exchange and the arts.

Fund and Operate a Social Business

Asha India and Prayas India have partnered to form a social business.  This partnership will link the U.S. based organization with one of India’s most highly regarded non-profit organizations.  The goal of the social business is to provide sustainable solutions for poverty, not one time fixes.  The social business gives impoverished women the ability to learn valuable life skills and make a living. Besides extensive training and competitive salary, the women are also given the opportunity to take out microloans in the future.  Without something like this in place many would be forced to live in extreme poverty with little hope of breaking the cycle.  The business also has the added benefit of supporting itself:  all of the revenue goes back to the business for expansion and new initiatives.  It is certainly a social business for sustainable societal change.

Run an Internship Program

Each summer selected students from our organization travel to India to learn the ins and outs of non-profits, gather data for our work, implement our education initiatives and establish valuable on site relationships. Through hands on work with social workers, children and artisans the experience is truly invaluable to the student. Further, by travelling to the site our interns ensure that our programs and funds are aimed directly at fulfilling our mission. Our 2008 and 2009 internship programs reached over 300 students in Dehli.

Current Projects

Currently, Asha India is looking to improve each of its three areas of focus.

Better Education Through Technology

Excelling in today’s business world requires an extensive knowledge of technology, specifically computing.  Many children in India don’t have access to computers.  Asha India looks to fill this void by obtaining computer donations for our Prayas educational facility.  Our goal is to add 20 new laptops to our Prayas facility to aid in our technology education cirriculum.  The additional computers will provide hands on experience for children in the facility and their parents working in our social business.  UF CHI feels that this will provide a vital link to success for our students.

Social Business Expansion

After training over 15 women to produce high quality, environmentally friendly handbags, Asha India has made it’s first major sale.  The social business has contracted to sell over 1,200 jute bags to Coca Cola.  The bags will be produced solely by employees of the social business and customized to meet Coca Cola’s need.  The sale is a landmark transaction for not only Asha India, but social businesses across the world.  Support from a major corporation proves that the business model implemented by Asha India and Prayas is viable and mutually beneficial to employees and clients.

Forging this major sale to Coca Cola, UF CHI looks to only grow from here.  All of the revenue from the project will be reinvested into the business.  This will provide capital to expand into other projects, provide more jobs for impoverished women and increase funds for microloans.  Not only that, but Asha India looks to revamp the business this year by improving marketing efforts internationally.

Improving our Internship Program

The past two summers Asha India has successfully completed two internship programs.  Each spanned two weeks in length and include two University of Florida students.  Looking to expand upon this success this summer Asha India looks to send four students to India for over six weeks.  The internship structure will include three weeks of intensive training with Prayas, our non-profit partner.  Training will include learning more about how to run a social business and efficiency studies to ensure that our funds are being used properly.  After completing training with Prayas, the students will teach a three week curriculum to children in our Dehli facility focusing on core skills for success.

Sponsor Asha India

Asha India would not be in existence without generous donations from businesses and individuals alike.

Please check out our Sponsorship Packet for more details. 

Your donation to Asha India is a sustainable one – it will not be a “one time use,” but rather will impact the organization for years to come through our social business.

Platinum Level

Yearly giving of $500 or more

  • Featured on our website and any advertising material we produce
  • Framed picture of our interns in India with your company logo
  • Monthly email updates on progress of Asha India

Gold Level

Yearly giving of $250

  • Featured on our website
  • Receive monthly updates on progress of Asha India

Silver Level

Yearly giving of $100

  • Receive monthly updates on progress of Asha India

Current Sponsors


Get Involved

Join Asha India today!

Asha India is currently work on some very exciting projects.  If you are a UF student interested in joining please contact us through email at or use the Contact Us page.

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Inspire the World

UF Children’s Hope India’s project is seeking to revitalize the lives of deprived men, women, and children by empowering them with the belief that their personal actions can create sustainable, progressive, economic growth able to lift them out of poverty. This project has introduced me to the realization that one idea and one mission has the immense ability to generate a shared passion from individuals across the world, simply because of their inner need to help those less fortunate.

- Brian Halston, Founder UF CHI

Our Thoughts