LIBERTY LAKE, Wash — A Selkirk middle schooler is taking the leap to help her community, one brushstroke at a time.
When the COVID-19 pandemic to the world by storm, 8th grader Sindhu Surapaneni saw the opportunity to make a difference and connect through art. In fact, one of her pieces hangs in the hallway of her school in Liberty Lake.
"I created this art hoping that whoever sees it, especially the kids in schools feel that they're loved, valued, accepted and included no matter what regardless of any differences," Surapaneni said.
In 2021, Surapaneni began teaching art classes to children all around the world. The middle schooler would charge $10, and would then send proceeds to Blessings Under the Bridge, a charity dedicated to helping the homeless population. In the first year, she made $4,000. This year, after continuing art classes and selling her own original paintings, she donated another $6,000 to the Giving Back Packs charity.
She also teaches Bharatanatyam and Bollywood dancing classes to people of all ages and will be speaking at the TedxSpokane on Oct. 8. Surapaneni’s goal is to help people realize that no matter your age: You Can Do It! She hopes her talk at TEDxSpokane helps people realize their potential so they can help themselves and others.
Surapaneni plans to continue her charity work, even going a step further to bring awareness and begin a path to advocacy under the message of helping others.
"I always want to continue helping people. I'm not sure what I want to be, but I know what I want to do. I want to help people," Surapaneni said.
To check more of Surapaneni's artwork, visit her website here.
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