Michaela is the founder and director of Priyam Global, a nonprofit dedicated to making the world more beautiful by equipping mothers of children with disabilities in India to rise out of poverty. Michaela and her team developed a women’s empowerment model specialized for mothers raising a child with disability within the existing challenges of poverty. These mothers are least likely to have a support network, most likely to place their child in an orphanage, and in addition to skills training need an initial phase of intensive support and mentorship to overcome years of isolation. Michaela founded Priyam Global after spending months with children in an Indian “orphanage” who had been given up because their mothers were alone in caring for them in a society/world that doesn’t see their worth. She saw their heartbreak when they left their children behind for the last time after years of trying alone, and she has committed her life to the belief that it doesn’t have to be this way. Michaela earned a master’s degree in public health from Indiana University and also works as a global health communications consultant. Learn more about her life’s work at www.priyamglobal.org

What makes me come alive: pursuing connection with people and earth around the world, finding and cultivating beauty, and being anywhere near mountains, in a forest, or by the sea