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Aahana is a non-profit organization bringing educational opportunities to disadvantaged populations, such as disabled individuals and women in India. The organization’s purpose is to provide educational opportunities by moving past traditional “band-aid” solutions through a three-pillar, systematic approach of education, health, and vocational training. 

Founded in 2011, Aahana formed a partnership with The Human Research Foundation, a social organization local to Himatnagar, Gujarat run by Jayanti Patel. Together they run Mamta School, a living and learning environment for 67 deaf and disabled children with far reaching social impacts. 

The HRF, Aahana, and Mamta School always keep one mission central to every action: improving the quality of life of India’s poor through education. Our students quickly become members of the Mamta family. With the support of a dedicated and experienced staff, Mamta School is changing the lives of children and ultimately, the regions around Himatnagar, Gujarat. 


  • Aahana's Mamta School educates 67 disabled children
  • Learn to Earn Campaign: 90 day vocational training program for 30 women from local villages

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Rina PatelRina Patel, Founder and Director
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Rina decided to start Aahana in late 2011 when she was 17 years old. Rina is currently a senior at Drexel University with hopes of traveling the world and bringing Aahana's mission to greater heights.


Stevie GuarinoStevie Guarino, Director of Analytics
Email Stevie:
Twitter: @StevieGuarino

Since 2012, Stevie has been helping to portray Aahana's mission visually. With an eye for design and a love for marketing, she continues to serve as the Director of Analytics for Aahana. Stevie is currently a senior at Drexel University, with a Custom Designed major in New Media Branding and a minor in Business Administration.

Alexandria Persad

Alexandria Persad, Director of University Relations
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Since 2013, Alexandria has been helping Aahana spread their message throughout the country. With her passion to make a difference in the world, she has been serving as the Director of University Relations for Aahana. Alex, our youngest team member, is currently attending high school in South Florida.

Cate DeBenedictis

Cate DeBenedictis, Director of Marketing

Cate joined the Aahana team in December of 2014 as their Director of Marketing. After meeting with the Founder, Rina Patel, she knew she wanted to bring her marketing skills to such an inspiring organization and help them grow as a non-profit. She's currently a senior Marketing Major in Drexel University's Lebow College of Business and graduates in June of 2015.

Stacey Thomas

Stacey Thomas, Director of Development

As Director of Development for Aahana, Stacey works to promote education and eradicate ignorance in order to enhance Aahana's mission and vision. Currently she is a junior Health Sciences major who dreams of being a Physician Assistant. She wants to work with impoverished communities in order to give them the healthcare and medical treatments that are normally unavailable to them.

Catie McDonnell

Catie McDonnell, Graphic Designer

Catie joined the team in January of 2015 and is Aahana's first Graphic Design Intern. She is currently a sophomore at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. She is studying Visual Communication Technology, with a focus in web development and print design, and a Business minor.