A pair of local high school students recently raised more than $3,000 for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for a service project they began to help prepare themselves for future nonprofit work.
Pranav Golakoti and Chinmay Dave, juniors at Alliance Academy of Innovation, sat down at school one day in early January to ask themselves how they could help the community. They both wanted to help better the lives of those in the community as some continue to struggle through the COVID-19 pandemic.
They both also felt their time in high school coming to a close as they reached the second half of their junior year, and they wanted to make an impact on the community before having to head off for college.
Immediately, the two thought of creating a nonprofit to try to help as many in the community as they could, but after doing some research, they realized the steps to create the organization would take longer than they hoped.
“We wanted to start off on the community work immediately because we wanted to get it started and maybe get a few projects on the ground by the time we have to start college …. That’s only a year and a half away,” Golakoti said.
With this in mind, they said they both started to think of service projects that could be completed while also working toward an overarching goal to eventually start a nonprofit of their own.
Their thoughts immediately went to area hospitals as health care workers and patients alike have been struggling through the pandemic for nearly a year. Golakoti started contacting Emory, Northside Forsyth and others, trying to find a hospital willing to work with them. Finally, they decided on CHOA, where they found an immediate partnership.
“We reached out to the Forsyth location, and they were more than happy to support us in our endeavors,” Golakoti said.
The two high school students spoke to a CHOA representative about where they most needed extra funding, and they have spent the past few weeks speaking with community members about their goals and the service project they are working on and asking for donations to help CHOA.
Through speaking with neighbors and other community members, they managed to raise $3,132, and they presented the donations in the form of a giant check to Laurie Cole, a community development officer for CHOA, on Friday, Jan. 29.
Golakoti and Dave want to continue with individual service projects in the community for as long as they can before graduating high school or starting their dream nonprofit, which they eventually decided to name Team Relieve.
After presenting the check to CHOA, the two want to jump into organizing their next project: a food or clothing drive to help benefit the Salvation Army.
“We wanted to try anything we could do to just help the community,” Golakoti said. “That’s it.”