Venkat recognized at Thanksgiving game


Ashburn’s Shreyaa Venkat was among three people recognized at halftime during the Thanksgiving soccer game between the Chicago Bears and the Detroit Lions by America250 and the NFL for the 2021 America250 Awards.

America250 is the celebration of the 250 of the United Statese anniversary in 2026, led by the US SemiquincentennialCommission created by Congress in 2016. The 2021 America250 Awards class is the organization’s first and was created to recognize Americans who “embody the intangible qualities of the American spirit” according to the organization.

Venkat was recognized alongside Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher D. Braman of Orange County, CA, recognized for his actions at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 and Lilburn Police Sgt. Almedin Ajanovic of Dacula, GA, who has been recognized for his actions saving two people from a train derailment and fire. Each of the winners received two round-trip tickets, accommodation for the NFL Thanksgiving Day game and received an atrophy designed by Bennett Awards, a family-owned and operated business in Placerville, Calif.

Venkat has been named a Community Champion, which recognizes someone who embodies the daily courage of our nation’s extraordinary citizens who take heroic action to improve local communities, according to America250. Now a 19-year-old student in Georgetown, as a high school student, she founded NEST4US, a non-profit organization dedicated to tackling global hunger, quality education and other societal issues. The organization has more than 3,000 volunteers who have reached tens of thousands of people in 22 countries on six continents.

“It is truly an honor and a privilege to be selected as the 2021 America250 Award Community Champion. As a young female entrepreneur of color, I take pride in fostering a community built on mutual respect, inclusiveness, empathy and kindness that empowers others to take action and build a better and brighter future for our nation and beyond, ”Venkat said.

“As we reunite with our families and loved ones for Thanksgiving, it is an honor to stand alongside the NFL and express our gratitude to these three amazing heroes who inspire the American spirit in all of us,” said Joseph Daniels, President and CEO of America250. “Congratulations to Shreyaa Venkat, Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Braman and Police Sgt. Almedin Ajanovic who makes me very proud to be American.

America250’s commemoration period began in 2020, culminates on July 4, 2026, and officially ends in 2027. For more information, visit

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