Introducing Harshita, a musically gifted tenth grader at Milton High School whose passion to give back to the community led her to Social Innovators Academy (SIA).

Harshita’s SIA journey began in 2019 during her freshman year of high school. The idea was first introduced through Milton High School’s Talented and Gifted (TAG) program. For Harshita, who had always felt strongly about helping her community, SIA seemed like the perfect opportunity to do just that and even lead others to do the same.

What immediately resonated with Harshita about the SIA experience was the emphasis placed on creating a better tomorrow.

“SIA does not just focus on community betterment through volunteering, but rather working towards a lasting improvement towards a problem in society that will live on beyond yourself,” said Harshita.

Harshita at the Milton High School Paint Drive

Over the last year, Harshita has been involved in two SIA projects. The first being the Milton Paint Drive which was initiated last year through GivingPoint’s relationship with Mr. Rony Delgarde, CEO of the non-profit, Global Paint for Charity.

Harshita, alongside other members of Milton High School’s SIA, planned, organized, and executed a hugely successful paint drive. Used paint cans were collected for a dollar each, sent to Global Paint’s refinement facility where they were cleaned and restored to be shipped to third world countries for other purposes. Last year, Milton High School raised $2,680 and collected over 2,200 cans.

For Harshita, watching the paint drive come to life in the community was awe-inspiring.

“Seeing everything you worked for finally come together successfully is the best feeling in the entire world. The best part being that along the way of bettering yourself, you have also bettered a family, a community, and a society.”

This year, Milton High School’s SIA students are working to draw even stronger attendance at the paint drive in addition to creating their own non-profit subgroup under Global Paint for Charity.

The other project Harshita has been busy working on is her very own social impact project. While the project name is still a work in progress, the mission is crystal clear. Harshita’s project is focused on working toward equal education opportunities for children from refugee or immigrant families, for whom English is a secondary language. Currently, she is trying to partner with local refugee homes and organizations that do similar work. The ultimate goal is to hold two workshops a month where Harshita and her team can teach children topics ranging from English, reading, basic math, etc.

Harshita credits many of the strides made so far to the lessons and guidance provided by SIA.

“SIA has helped me tremendously. Whether it’s connecting me with someone to get my project running, providing me with opportunities to promote my work, or just being there to listen to my internal monologue and guide me, the staff have seen every part of my project and have given endless advice and support whenever I needed it.”

When asked if she would ever recommend SIA to a friend or classmate, Harshita had the following to say.

“I have already recommended SIA to so many people. It’s an amazing organization that ties self-improvement with social improvement. Our society does not give much thought to social entrepreneurship, and even less consideration to youth’s power in that field. SIA reminds us of the importance of giving back and proves the power of the youth to change the world.”

If you’re interested in discovering more about Harshita’s project or how you can help email umaharshy@gmail.com.

To learn more about Global Paint for Charity visit the website or follow @globalpaintforcharity. Additionally, be sure to stay tuned over the next few months for updates on the upcoming Spring paint drive.

If you, or someone you know, would like to find out more about the Social Innovators Academy, we would love to hear from you.  Please email Director of Programs, Paige Whalen at paige@mygivingpoint.org