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Freshman runs nonprofit for first responders


By Sowmya Krishna, Staff Reporter

Editor’s Note: The original version of this article was unedited pre-publication. It has since gone through the appropriate editorial process.

In cases of fires, first responders are the first to alleviate the situation and make sure everyone is safe — they sacrifice their safety for the lives of others. Seeing this, freshman Shrihan Sivaraman wanted to support the community’s emergency medical service workers by starting a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization called My Sanskruti, which translates to “My Culture” in Hindi.

My Sanskruti aims to raise funds for the Berwyn Fire Company through various events. Last year, the then-eighth grader started the organization at T/E Middle School after seeing how emergency medical service workers put themselves in danger for the community’s sake. Instantly, he grew an appreciation for them and wanted to help out.

“I saw the firefighters from the Berwyn Fire Company in action. And I feel like it’s a very brave thing to do. I then requested my parents to help set up the nonprofit,” Sivaraman said.

One of his most successful events was a Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream fundraiser in September, in which the shop donated a portion of the day’s proceeds to the Berwyn Fire Company.

Another one of Sivaraman’s goals is to celebrate various cultures through My Sanskruti. In 2022, the organization held two events: one celebrating Diwali with food, music and dances, and one multicultural festival inviting people of many heritages to participate in dances.

This year, Sivaraman planned two events. On Oct. 14, he held a Dandiya event at Woodlynde School, at which people from various cultures performed dances together. On Oct. 28, Sivaraman hosted a Diwali multicultural festival and invited people of all cultures to celebrate the Hindu holiday. Sivaraman sells tickets to each fundraiser and donates the funds to the Berwyn Fire Company.

His mother, Shwetha Yadav, helps plan and manage funds. She takes pride in Sivaraman’s achievements.

“It feels great, and it makes us feel proud of him. He actually thought about doing something for the Berwyn Fire Company, and he was very persistent in that,” Yadav said. “He was also insistent that it should be an ongoing process and not just a simple one-time fundraiser.”

Sowmya Krishna can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Sowmya Krishna, Staff Reporter
Sowmya Krishna is a junior and Staff Reporter for The Spoke. She generally covers stories about current events and general news.