A natural leader, Pratiksha Tonpe is a State Director for the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS), a nationwide honors organization that invites high school students from around the country to use their knowledge for the betterment of the global community.

As a State Director, one of Pratiksha’s responsibilities is to execute a NSHSS statewide initiative and engage other student ambassadors in the project. Pratiksha, along with her co-state directors, created a very impactful initiative that focuses on collecting school supplies for Guatemalan students. Her goal is to engage all 208 Texas state ambassadors in the project and collect a total of 5,000 supplies!

Why school supplies for Guatemala?

The idea for the project came about after Pratiksha’s co-state director, Maricarmen Pedroza, volunteered at a school in Guatemala. There, she saw how often students lacked the necessary, every-day supplies to complete assignments. This left an impact on Maricarmen, who shared the idea with Pratiksha and Kyra Thomas, a fellow co-state director.

“In my school specifically, you find pencils on the ground everywhere so it’s hard to think that other kids around the world only have one pencil a year. I feel like it’s our moral responsibility since we are so blessed with fortunate lives to help these schools in need of supplies,” said Pratiksha.

Once the initiative was off the ground, Pratiksha explained one of the biggest issues to resolve was how to get the supplies to Guatemala. That’s when she decided to research online and found Common Hope, which she described as a perfect fit. “Common Hope was already sending a shipment to Guatemala so we knew that our supplies would definitely be in the right hands,” she said.

A way to make a difference

Aside from collecting supplies, Pratiksha said she hopes this initiative will get her fellow Texas high schoolers involved in and excited about a great cause. Personally, she wants to gain and hone her skills for leadership, communication, and organization. She said it’s also an opportunity to give back, “the only thing I hope to take away from this experience is the satisfaction of knowing that I am finally doing something that can truly make a difference in a child’s life. A year ago, I never would have thought that I was capable of handling such a large service project but now I’m confident that this project will be a success!”

Common Hope thanks Pratiksha and fellow NSHSS members from across Texas for their efforts and enthusiasm. Every school supply collected will reach the hands of a student in Guatemala–a student who will no longer struggle to find a pencil, pen, or notebook. ¡Gracias por su ayuda