By: Sneha Kadiyala
In 2014, Vibha became a certified organization to earn Presidential Service Awards through. This year, six youth volunteers from the Vibha Atlanta Action Center earned this prestigious award. As the name indicates, the award is sponsored by the US government and given to volunteers who complete a number of service hours. Different age group require differing amounts of hours to earn the Bronze, Silver, and Gold awards.
I was honored to be one of the six to earn this award, and more honored to have received it through Vibha. Vibha is renowned for its work in empowering the underprivileged youth of India, but lesser known are the benefits earned by its volunteers. It is more than a charitable organization; it provides a family for a group of people who come together for a certain cause. All of the volunteers, adults and youth alike, show an unparalleled dedication working as many hours with Vibha as they do at work. The volunteers start working months before the actual event handling all the planning and logistics from designing the event to the smallest of details like choosing the color of the shirt. This attention to detail asserts that each Vibha fundraiser is fun for the volunteers and the attendees as well as effective at raising money for the children in India.
I have to thank all the volunteers especially Mr.Srinivas for coaching me through the process of Vibha’s events as well as handling the editing position at Vibha Scope. It gave me a sense of purpose and responsibility which I hadn’t felt before. Without this mentorship, I wouldn’t have had the wonderful experience that I had and still have as a Vibha volunteer.
While the work Vibha does is important, the sense of fulfillment is just as significant. Waking up at 4 in the morning to set up the Vibha Dream Mile or handing out food at the cricket tournaments is all worth it when you see the amount of money raised or hear the success stories of projects like Sikshana or Doorstep Schools. The real heroes are the mentors who made this experience possible, my fellow volunteers who made it enjoyable, and the children in India receiving the education they deserve. These are the people who truly deserve recognition. Vibha has been a guiding experience in my life, and I know that it makes and will make an impact on many others as well.