Raji Ram is a longtime passionate educator and community advocate. It all started in the year 2013, when Raji was looking for some resources to help the underserved children in her school during the holiday season. When the schools closed, these children would often go hungry. That was a turning point for her. Project Kinder Konnection, Kindred Hearts was born !. Raji reached out to her music students families, friends, neighbors to tell them about the immediate needs of many homeless and underserved children in public schools. With their support, she was able to help a few kids.In 2014-2015, Kinder Konnection served 32 homeless children. Raji continued to collect gift cards and blessing backpacks over the next 4 years for Kinder Konnection, Kindred Hearts project, serving a growing number of homeless and underserved students ranging from Kindergarten thru high schools which also include the Kids in Transition (KIT) in Everett Schools. In 2016-2017, Raji served close to 1100 homeless and underserved children in Everett School District alone.
Raji Ram is the Founder of Kinder Konnection and Director of Samskriti Kala Kendra, a community based organization for Culture, Heritage and Fine Arts ,Special Ed. Teacher, Music Composer and Singer, Wanderlust, and Writer. She loves Food, Travel, World History, Fine arts, Home decor and Dogs.
Co-Founder, Director of Technology & Finance
Ladha is the Co-Founder of Kinder Konnection and been part of the non-profit organization since 2017. Ladha started her journey with Kinder Konnection as a donor and met Raji at her house in December 2016. It all started as a casual conversation, they had similar thoughts and wanted to bring a change and serve the community. Along with Raji, she advocates for the underserved children in public schools and helps set the overall vision and direction of the organization. She cares about the welfare and empowerment of women and children and is committed to bring a change in the overall quality of life and prosperity of families. She believes technology innovation is one of the ways to bridge educational gaps and provide access to STEM based services to marginalized communities. Ladha is an Engineering Leader in the IT industry and a passionate advocate for growing women in Technology. She is an active traveler, blogger and volunteers in several local community projects like Seattle Tamil Academy. She loves music, photography, hiking, food and reality TV shows.
Director of Projects, Ambassador for Embrace Shoreline Schools
Renee Lico joined Kinder Konnection as Director of Projects in early 2018. Raji and Renee have been friends for close to 2 decades, starting out as coworkers and turning into family friends that stayed in touch over the years. Raji spent her time working in schools while Renee was a community advocate, helping students in need and a parent trainer for a suicide prevention program. Their paths were running in parallel working on similar issues that were close to their heart. They decided to join their efforts for greater impact. This allowed her to utilize her project management, design and marketing skills to further the cause. She loves coffee, dogs, nonfiction books, and helping others. She is passionate about connecting students in need to resources through leveraging community partnerships.
Ambassador for Lake Washington & Bellevue Schools
Dr. Aruna Turaga got her PhD in Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. She worked in the pharmaceutical industry in India and later managed an analytical lab in Seattle for an Environmental and Industrial Hygiene company for many years. Currently, Aruna runs science enrichment classes for the middle school children and does homework and test preparation help for high school science and math classes.
Aruna helps out regularly at the Hopelink Food Bank with their various programs and also at the Eastside Baby Corner. She enjoys fostering with Motley Zoo Animal Rescue and feels blessed to be able to receive the unconditional love of these animals. Aruna is a regular supporter of community programs like Friends of Youth and Sophia Way, she is currently part of the “Host Homes King County” program to be a host to a young person in need.
Advisory Board Committee
Sandeep Krishnamurthy is the first Dean of the AACSB-accredited School of Business at University of Washington, Bothell. This role involves managing the School of Business as its chief academic, and, administrative officer, with primary responsibility for faculty, students, curriculum, budgets, and external engagement. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in marketing with a minor in Economics in 1996.
Venkat has lived in Seattle area for the past 17 years. Venkat worked in technical leadership roles at Microsoft and Amazon in his past and is currently working on a startup. For the past 10 years Venkat has been a volunteer with AID India , an NGO which is a grass roots organization that works for the betterment of underprivileged people across India. In his spare time he enjoys producing live theater and live music shows. Recently, he has started volunteering with organizations that are serving the underprivileged in the greater Seattle area.
Kavya Sarat is a fundraiser and works as a Development Consultant helping various non profits in the Seattle area.
In her words, “We have the most generous community here in the area, and hence connecting people’s values to the life saving mission is very gratifying.” Kavya is very passionate about helping other immigrant women and communities. She enjoys mentoring and guiding women (who are new to the country) who are looking for ways to engage in the community. She says ‘It is so important that we care and nourish the well-being of women because amazing things happen when they are supported and heard’. She believes ‘When a woman does well, the entire community does well’
Here’s to strong women
May we know them
May we be them
May we raise them