Stories

Pranav's Story: Making a Splash for Pratham


As long as he can remember, tenth-grader Pranav Sethi has loved to swim. He started taking lessons at age 2 and has been a competitive swimmer for the past three years as a member of his high school team. Pranav explains, “It’s fun, it’s competitive, and it gives you the drive to push yourself and succeed at it.”

He also enjoys math. So last summer he decided to give private lessons to younger kids in both subjects.

The 16-year-old’s efforts earned him over $1,000, but at the end of the summer he realized that he didn’t actually need the money. Pranav, a Bangalore native whose family moved to the US when he was 11, knew there were plenty of people in the world who did, so he decided to give it away.

Specifically, he decided to give it to Pratham. “I really cherish Pratham’s values,” he says of the non-profit organization, which he heard about through a friend.

“I wouldn’t say I was privileged, but I had all my needs met,” he admits. “And comparatively, when I look at other children in India that don’t receive the proper education or don’t have the proper supplies to go to school, I wanted to do something to help them.”

Pranav’s efforts didn’t stop with his own donation, though. Now he is trying to get others to join his cause. He’s set up an online fundraiser with a goal of raising a total of $5,000 by the end of summer 2017.

And his aspirations don’t stop there. He also wants to expand the drive with an initiative called Teens Teach for Literacy, which asks other teenagers to join him in donating part of their paychecks to the fundraising campaign.

Looking past high school, he is considering engineering, which would combine his love of math and working with others. In the meantime, he is looking to become more involved with his local Pratham chapter as well.


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