Erin Zaikis was raised in Boston, to a dentist and a lawyer who embraced continuously giving back. Her dreams of being an astronomer were put on permanent hold after watching “Slumdog Millionaire” and realizing that she wanted to focus on problems a bit closer to home.
After graduating from the University of Michigan she found herself in rural Thailand, meeting children who had never used soap and didn’t know how to wash their hands. She was horrified to realize this was the first time she had ever given serious thought to soap – and even more shocked when she learned that even today, hundreds of millions of people go without access to soap – the most basic medicine available. Determined to put her experience to use, she founded Sundara, an organization that focuses on getting soap and hygiene education to communities who need it the most in a sustainable, community-led way.