It’s one thing to reach out and help those around you. It’s another to organize those around you to help even more people. But Shrey Pothini, a fifth grader at Harriet Bishop Elementary School in Savage, has gone one step further.
The founder of the Harriet Bishop Community Service Club, which has been highly successful both in terms of the work it’s done and the number of students who have contributed, Shrey committed last year to expanding the club to the nine other elementary schools in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191. With some writing help from his mom, Seema, he recently received a $25,000 grant from State Farm to accomplish just that.
“As soon as I started the club at Harriet Bishop, I hoped other schools would start clubs too,” Shrey said. “When I saw how popular the club was at our school and how we were able to help to thousands of people, I decided it was time for more action.
“It's something I want to see happen because I believe everybody in the elementary schools can make the world a better place and students shouldn't have to wait for junior high or high school to do service,” he said.
According to Shrey, the money will be used to purchase supplies and cover expenses for community service clubs at other schools as they begin their work. Shrey and other Harriet Bishop student leaders will also help their peers get off on the right foot by sharing their experiences and knowledge.
“I was obviously thrilled to see the award,” said Erika Nesvig, principal at Harriet Bishop. “The best thing about the award is that students will be teaching other schools about the Service Club. I think that is what will make it even more powerful.”
The award was presented to Shrey and the Harriet Bishop Service Club at a ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 2.