Three Hamilton Southeastern Schools students recognized for volunteer service

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From left, HSE Supt. Allen Bourff, Vani Sharma, Olivia Keith, Rahil Thanawala and HSE School Board President Matt Burke. (Submitted photo)

Prudential Financial and the National Association of Secondary School Principals recently recognized three Hamilton Southeastern Schools students for volunteer service in the community.

Vani Sharma, a sixth-grade student at Sand Creek Intermediate, received the Prudential Spirit of Community Award. Rahil Thanawala of Fishers High School and Olivia Keith of HSE High School were both recognized as distinguished finalists.

Sharma does a lot of her volunteer work at Riley Hospital for Children, where she was inspired to give back after her sister was a patient there.

“I decided to do that because years ago, my sister was in Riley Hospital and we couldn’t get anything to eat outside of the hospital, and there are lots of volunteers there that served meals,” Sharma said. “We were very thankful and grateful for that. We decided that after my sister got discharged, it was our turn to give back to the community, so I started serving meals at Riley Hospital.”

Sharma also entertained the patients and their families by playing instruments with her friends at the hospital. She plays the clarinet.

Sharma said she tries to get to the hospital once a month, and she also participates in other community service projects. She reads to young people at Barnes & Noble, picks up litter at local parks and organizes shoe drives.

“I am very grateful for the award I got because I never expected to get it, and I’m very excited and happy,” she said. “My school is always supporting me. They always lead me down the right path.”

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