Executive Director, Common Threadz
Executive Director, Common Threadz
My father is from a small village in India. He couldn’t read or write until he was 17 years old and through great teachers, mentors, determination, ambition, luck and a dream was able to graduate from Michigan State University with a Phd in Philosophy at the age of 29. With this education, he was able to bring his brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces to the United States, educate them and send them into life with all the tools to succeed. He is directly responsible for the success of hundreds of people and it all stemmed from a solid education.
I also have been so blessed throughout my life. Supportive family and mentors, a world class education both in the classroom and professional arena and the opportunity to have traveled extensively inspire me to pay it forward to individuals with less opportunities and give back to society. I feel in my heart that with all the tools and mentoring that were handed to me that it is my calling to change the world on a macro level.
Recognizing this passion and life mission, I began to get involved with many charities throughout the world about fifteen years ago. It was important to me to understand NGO and charity operations in order to one day operate one myself. I built houses in Uganda, built water wells in Burundi, mentored in orphanages in India, and built schools and community centers in South Africa and Nicaragua. These projects and second jobs fulfill my love of philanthropy, travel, empathy and enable me to enjoy the almost selfish fulfillment of giving.
Last year, Donna Gunn from Africa Promise Village, approached our organization, Common Threadz, and requested that we build a school for a project she has been working on for over ten years for the Maasai Tribe in Tanzania. A school consists of not only bricks and mortar but more importantly, land, water, teachers, books, a curriculum and community participation and ownership. Ms. Gunn had all the components except for the brick and mortar. This seemed to be an opportunity to good to be true.
Last March, we traveled to Tanzania, verified the land, water source, community ownership and began our design and development with a local architect/engineer. The Maasai people recognize the need to educate their youth because due to climate change, living only of the land is not feasible anymore.
We plan to partner with both the Africa Promise Village and The University of Texas at Austin and complete our design by the end of this year, start our primary school for grades 1-7 in Spring of 2017 and complete our school by Spring of 2018. We are hoping this school will give these children the tools to follow the steps of my father and many others who used the sole tool of education to elevate their economic and social status.
Ravi Reddy founded Citistructure, a construction and real estate development firm in March 2001. Citistructure is presently developing several multi use mid-rise commercial/residential projects in New York City and has built and developed over $200 million of construction.
Ravi holds a BS in Civil Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, a MS in Civil Engineering from NYU/Poly and a Construction Management Certificate from Columbia University. He is also the Board Chair for Common Threadz and is extremely involved with The Miracle Foundation and Tri-County Scholarship Fund. Ravi has recently accepted a position as a Trustee at The Haverford School.
Ravi presently lives in Long Island City, New York with his wife Robyn, 18 month son Jagger and 3 month daughter, Andie.