Seventeen-year-old Maanya Pandey is the founder and president of Love For Red. The Des Moines-based nonprofit works to fight period poverty in local communities by donating menstrual products to places in need in Iowa. Learn about Maanya Pandey…
Hometown: West Des Moines, Iowa
First job: Currently unemployed and living with my parents…I’m 17! In reality, I consider [Love For Red] my first job because of how much work goes into it!
Favorite ways to spend your free time in IA: I enjoy going to different ice cream shops around town and also binge-watching shows on Netflix (my all time fave is Money Heist!)
Your biggest accomplishment and why: Reaching 10,000-plus menstrual products donated to the community because it really put into perspective how much Love For Red has grown in just over a year.
The biggest obstacle you overcame: Getting Love For Red established in the beginning. I spent weeks during the summer just calling and leaving voicemails to places around town to know if they needed donations (as an introvert, this pushed me WAY out of my comfort zone, but I kept calling and eventually connected with so many places). Also due to my lack of web design experience, I created our website 100 percent through YouTube tutorials.
Someone who inspires you and why: My grandmother because she has had Multiple Myeloma (bone marrow cancer) for over 20 years and her strength, resiliency and will to fight inspires me to keep going.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: My advice to young people is that you can do it! If you have a passion for something, act upon it!
Favorite quote: “You matter. Period.”
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I play three instruments! The flute, guitar and piano.
What makes someone fabulous: A person who is unapologetically themselves and helps uplift and empower the people around them.