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Clean sweep – two LWSD students to represent Washington in prestigious nationwide volunteer awards program
For the first time in the history of the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, both Washington state representatives will be from Lake Washington School District (LWSD) this year. Sanika Datar, Environmental & Adventure School, and Adithi Raghavan, International Community School, have been selected for their extraordinary community service. The nationwide program honors young people for their volunteer work and selfless actions.
The two LWSD students will receive $1,000, an engraved silver medallion and an all-expense-paid trip in early May to Washington, D.C. They will join the top two honorees from each of the other states for four days of national recognition events. Ten students will be named America's top youth volunteers of 2020 during the trip.
Datar was chosen for her work conducting activities in her backyard to acquaint neighborhood preschoolers with things they can do to help take care of the planet’s natural environment. She also helped plant trees and rid trails of poison ivy in her area.
“Community stewardship projects in my school have instilled a passion in me to do more environmental work,” Datar said. “To be an advocate to make our community better.”
Raghavan educates young people about the environmental and economic impact of declining honeybee populations around the world. She encourages them to plant pollinator gardens to help reverse the decline. While volunteering for a local wildlife habitat group, Adithi learned about Colony Collapse Disorder. It is a phenomenon in which bee colonies suddenly disappear after the mass exodus of worker bees.
“If bees continue to disappear, people employed by the agricultural sector will experience huge business losses and consumers will face increasing food prices and limited options,” Raghavan said. “It is imperative that we rally young volunteers to plant pollinator gardens.”
Additionally, Arpit Ranasaria, Redmond High School, was chosen as a distinguished finalist for the award program. He helped expand the STEM-related initiatives at “Science Infinity,” where he also volunteers his time teaching science to middle school students. The organization has donated more than $30,000 to local and international educational programs and established a college scholarship.
- Read more about Sanika Datar and her conservation work.
- Read more about Adithi Raghavanan and her bee pollination education.
- Read more about Arpit Ranasaria and his STEM-related initiatives.