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Six students from the Mumbai slums boarded an aircraft for the first time and arrived in New Jersey this week to play soccer and fundraise for their college education, thanks to the efforts of 17-year-old NJ-native and Pingry student Aanya Shah.

Shah has worked for the past two years as a youth leader of the OSCAR Foundation, a global nonprofit organization that enables underprivileged girls and boys living in the slums in India to become role models within their communities.

The six students have spent a week in New Jersey and experienced life outside their community and country for the first time, while building their leadership skills. Their ventures included staying at the Pottersville campus of the Pingry School, visiting the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, a tour of the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and playing soccer with local teams amongst many other inspiring experiences.

Shah is the founder and executive director of the International Young Leaders Council, which is dedicated to raising funds and visibility for a variety of global issues by connecting with other organizations abroad. She also serves as a youth ambassador for the OSCAR Foundation.

“I take my role in global leadership seriously,” Shah said. “I was very happy to develop this program for underprivileged children in India, who are talented soccer players, to visit the United States, board at my school and play other school soccer teams in the region as a fundraiser for their college educations.”

To see images of the week and to contribute to the college education fundraiser, click here.