Debra A. Pennington
Debbie Pennington is the founder of Grassroots India and has served on the Executive Committee since its inception. She offers her voluntary services to the company for development, administration, emergency medicine and home healthcare. Debbie owned a moutaineering guide service in the Rocky Mountains for many years and served as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) for Moutain Rescue and the local ambulance. Being an entrepreneur she has developed several businesses, including The Golden Key resort marketing business in Aspen, Colorado. She has an extensive media background in print, radio and television, and has managed international press for global initiatives in environmental and child rights causes. Her photo-documentary work of children in difficult circumstances has been featured in the New York Times, various global conferences, UN World Food Program, and the Brookings Institute. She was invited as a delegate to teach "The Role of Media" to leading NGOs from around the world in ECPAT's Agenda 2000 on Child Rights, and managed the international press for the event. Debbie has spent much of her life in spiritual pursuit, through study of scripture, mediatation, pilgramage, and moutain seclusion. On a pilgramage to India, in 1988, she was initiated into the spiritual science of Kriya Yoga. In 2004 she moved to Cuttack, Odisha to stay at her Guru's ashram and offer her expertise in various charitable projects. In 2008 she began the Hariharananda Vocational Training Center and W.I.S.H. Network for marginalized young girls. She divides her time between Cuttack, Odisha and the Rocky Mountains.