Seneca Valley Sophomore Hiruni Herat raises money for underprivileged students

Sydney Gibson, Staff Writer

Seneca Valley High School is known for several things, including great opportunities for students to be educated in a vast majority of career pathways. However, not every student in the United States is so fortunate to have a good public education. That considered, think about other nations; some school systems are nonexistent and children don’t even have a chance to be educated. 

Seneca Valley Sophomore Hiruni Herat saw this problem for what it is–heartbreaking.  

For her, it started with letters that were exchanged between our school and one in Sri Lanka and from there she became more and more passionate about the cause. She learned that the students there didn’t have the chance to prepare themselves for a brighter future. Herat told the Scout, “ I think every kid should have an opportunity to get a really good education but the kids there don’t really have that, and I want to help in anyway possible.” 

As a result, she decided to help by raising money and collecting basic school supplies for a school in Pugoda, Sri LankaIn 8th grade she asked students to donate backpacks, among other things, thinking she would be able to provide 13 backpacks to the 13 students at the school in the 8th grade as well. She was entirely overwhelmed when she received over 60 backpacks full of school supplies and was able to provide the entire school with what the students needed and more.

Herat visited school, Pelpita Kanishta Vidyalaya, and saw the impact she had on the students. She talked about her time thereIt was an amazing experience. Even though the students live on the other side of the earth and have less money, resources [and] opportunities, they are just like any kind, caring students here.” 

She held an event on February 25 at the UPMC Lemieux Center where those who came could buy a ticket through her and all of the proceeds went directly to the school. Her ultimate goal is to raise $500 to buy the school a printer and copier since they recently got electricity and having one would be extremely beneficial. She raised $130 at the event and is planning on hosting more events to gain the rest of the money. Herat explained how she felt about the outcome of the fundraiser, “I wish more people would have come, but I am so so thankful for everyone who came and supported my cause.” 

Herat is currently brainstorming ideas for the school and believes that her next project will be trying to improve their science lab and having the students get involved with chemistry. 

The Seneca Valley sophomore is always open to donations and looks forward to continuing to help students across the globe.