During a visit five years ago to a deeply impoverished area of New Delhi, Ameerah Grover, then 11 years old, decided she wanted to do something to help children living in such dire conditions.
She put that desire into action that summer, teaching English to children while working alongside her aunt who worked in the neighborhood. When Grover returned to L.A., she established an organization called iSparkle Inc. “I named it iSparkle because when I saw those children, they all had a sparkle in their eyes,” Grover, now a rising senior at Harvard-Westlake School, writes.
Through her nonprofit, Grover strives to eliminate educational obstacles in underprivileged communities. Her work includes donating more than 15,000 books, hosting drives for shoes, school supplies and clothing.
During the pandemic, she and her family have not been able to take their usual annual trip to India, but Grover continued her efforts with iSparkle by focusing her attention on the needs here at home.
“Through her own struggle with school on Zoom, Ameerah realized how hard it must be for children that are not as privileged as she is,” her mother, Varuna Grover, says.
During the school year, Grover partnered with her former elementary school, Berkeley Hall, and raised more than $1,200 to fund headsets for children at several underprivileged schools. She also started an online school to teach Hindi to children of Indian origin. She is using the money she earns from her school to fund other activities at iSparkle.