Jaimie Sheth '01
Nonprofit President, CEO and Founder Jaimie Sheth '01 shies from the limelight. She'd rather the project-based initiatives—housing, clean water, education, food and energy—her foundation provides local, national and international communities speak for itself. Born in Chicago and raised in Evansville, Jaimie earned her USI undergraduate degree in general science, before entering a physical therapy program elsewhere. For 19 years she lived and worked in California, traveling the world when she wasn't working.
"I’ve been to over 50 countries and most of them have been in the developing world," she said. "Seeing the need people have, it’s so much, and I said if I can do something, I should, even if it’s just helping one person. So, from 2010 to 2015, I did one solo project each year in a different country. Working on it part-time by myself while working full-time in geriatric rehabilitation."
In 2015, the JD Sheth Foundation officially became a 501c3, continuing its global work with its domestic focus in southwest Indiana, specifically, Evansville. "Our philosophy is that every life matters, and we are all one," Jaimie said.
The Foundation is a project-based grantor and grantee, partnering with other nonprofits and young people seeking to help others and make the world better. The 2022-23 local project—Home of the Brave Veterans Housing Initiative—built three small houses for local veterans to purchase at half cost of the original build price.
In 2006, she visited India, her father's homeland and her mother's adopted homeland. Her mother was born in Burma (Myanmar today) and immigrated to India during World War II. "My mom was 7 years old when she had to walk to India with her mother and siblings. I wanted to go see what that looked like," Sheth said. "She would always tell me about the school she went to, and I wanted to see that. What I saw was lack of infrastructure, lack of clean water, no government assistance. The children didn’t have access to any food with nutritional value. It was really disheartening and hit home even more because I could see my mom in those children. I took it very personally. A couple of years later, I traveled to Southeast Asia and saw the same thing. That’s when I built the school in Cambodia and began the work to start my Foundation."
The five pillars her foundation focuses on are Affordable and Secure Housing; School Construction and Renovations; Clean Water and Sanitation Initiatives; Energy Efficiency; and Food Security.
Houses – 26
Schools – 4
Water – 30
Sanitation – 25
Energy – 33
Food – 3
"I have dedicated my career and my life to helping people and have been blessed to be able to make a difference in people's lives. I know I can do more with my future projects. I have successfully financed projects through donations while also funding many on my own. Project-based community assistance is my passion and I want to positively affect and inspire as many people as I can while I’m here."
2023 projects continue to focus on global partnerships with projects serving JDSF's five pillars. "Locally, the success of our Home of the Brave project for veterans inspired us to expand our housing initiatives to provide more affordable housing for any qualified resident in southwest Indiana."