Rotary Golf 2024

Seniors use art to spread positivity

by | Jul 16, 2020 | Education

Two teens are showing their community that you’re never too young to start making a difference.

Murphy resident Sanjana Pemmaraju and Plano resident Ronak Shah, both rising seniors at Plano East Senior High, know what it’s like to watch a family member battle cancer. That’s what led them to form their own nonprofit.

They launched Creativity for Cancer earlier this year. The first major event was an art contest themed “What Positivity Means to You” that began last month, and winners were announced Tuesday, July 7.

Entries were open to anyone over the age of 5. Winners include Joseph Fung in the digital art category, Zarine Kumar for painting, Riya Verma for physical art and Arjun Jagada for photography. (See their pieces below.)

Fung’s piece is called “Transfiguration,” Kumar’s is called “Lady in Red,” Verma’s is called “Coffee Shop on a Sunday” and Jagada’s is called “Sleep?”.

Pemmaraju noted that they received 16 entries. To submit a piece, an artist had to pay a $5 entry fee that went directly to the American Cancer Society.

Between entry fees and 30 other donations, Creativity for Cancer received $1,545 in total. In a post-fundraiser write-up, they reported that the money could buy 154 Petri dishes for cancer research, lodging for at least 10 cancer patients or 5,150 test tubes for scientists working to find a cure.

The PESH students had also planned larger events – for example, a basketball tournament – but the pandemic put them on pause.

Shah and Pemmaraju aren’t letting COVID-19 slow their momentum, though.

“Quarantine was a blessing in disguise,” Shah said. “It gave us more time [to plan].”

A downside is that social distancing prevents them from drawing crowds. As soon as it’s safe, they’ll be hosting tournaments, trivia nights and more.

Though they’re not yet seeking to make Creativity for Cancer a state-recognized nonprofit yet, it’s one of the teens’ long-term goals; first they need to graduate high school and finish college applications. Shah is considering a major related to business, while Pemmaraju plans to major in environmental engineering and minor in business.

“We want the community to know it doesn’t matter what age you are. Fundraising isn’t just raising money, but coming together,” she said. “We want to spread a message of staying positive. [Art] can be a way for people to be lighthearted.”

 

 

For more stories like this, see the July 16 issue or subscribe online.

 

 

By Morgan Howard • [email protected]

Riya Verma’s “Coffee Shop on a Sunday” won Creativity for Cancer’s physical art category. Verma wrote in her artist’s statement that she enjoys the calm, homey feeling of a coffee shop.

Zarine Kumar won the painting category for “Lady in Red.” She wrote that it represents the idea of not looking back on the past, but moving forward.

Arjun Jagada won the photography category with “Sleep?,” which he took on a vacation to San Francisco. “This picture depicts a busy city that never sleeps, and serves as a testament to my personality, with bold colors, masked by the clouds of mystery,” he wrote.

Jospeh Fung’s “Transfiguration” won Creativity for Cancer’s digital art category. “The tree within the image represents the beautiful metaphor that good will emerge from adversity,” he wrote in his artist’s statement.

Photos online

0 Comments

Public Notice - Subscribe

Related News

Fine arts, CTE directors update WISD trustees

Fine arts, CTE directors update WISD trustees

Executive Director of Fine Arts Glenn Lambert presented what he called a “State of the Arts” in Wylie ISD last week to the Wylie ISD board of trustees. Five years ago, an initiative to add extracurricular activities, evaluate instructors and programs, facilities and...

read more
Coach Howard honored with award at annual gala

Coach Howard honored with award at annual gala

The highlight of Saturday night’s 21st annual Boots ‘N Barbecue gala was the presentation of the 2024 Elisabeth W. Garrison Legacy Award to former Wylie High School football Coach Bill Howard. The lifetime achievement award is bestowed upon individuals who exemplify...

read more
Experts discuss fentanyl, vaping at WISD event

Experts discuss fentanyl, vaping at WISD event

Wylie ISD families and community members learned of the dangers of fentanyl, vaping and social media from a panel of experts last week at Burnett Junior High. The informative community event, “Fear, Dangers and Concerns: Fentanyl, Vaping and Social Media,” was hosted...

read more
WISD leads effort to change Texas Education Code

WISD leads effort to change Texas Education Code

Superintendent David Vinson discussed an ambitious new effort at Wylie ISD’s regular board of trustees meeting Monday, Feb. 26. Vinson presented an information report on Chapter 37, the Texas Education Code on student discipline management. For more on this story see...

read more
District, community band perform at Meyerson

District, community band perform at Meyerson

It was a music-filled Saturday as Wylie ISD students and members of the Wylie Community Band performed at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas. Now in its fourth year, the event hosted by the Wylie Community Band and Jazz Band, offered Wylie junior high...

read more
CTE programs highlighted this month

CTE programs highlighted this month

February is CTE Month, a national public awareness campaign that highlights the value and achievements of Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs. “It’s an opportunity to showcase our programs and to continue to educate the community about the things we are...

read more
Education foundation gears up for gala

Education foundation gears up for gala

Boots ’N Barbecue, the largest fundraiser for the Wylie ISD Education Foundation, may be sold out, but there are still opportunities to get involved. The event, set for 5:30 p.m. Saturday, March 23, will happen at a new venue — the Plano Event Center— this year. Last...

read more
Donations approved for memorial honoring sisters

Donations approved for memorial honoring sisters

At the first Wylie ISD school board meeting of the year on Monday, Jan. 22, Cox Elementary Principal Krista Wilson announced an upcoming memorial honoring sisters Daniela and Sofia Mendoza. The Cox students were among the eight people killed at the mass shooting in...

read more
A new law tough on student vaping

A new law tough on student vaping

A new Texas law has brought steep punishments for students caught vaping on school campuses. Signed June 13 by Gov. Greg Abbott, House Bill 114 (HB 114) went into effect Sept. 1, weeks after the school year started.  With punishment previously at a district’s...

read more
WHS Theatre to perform ‘Beauty and the Beast’

WHS Theatre to perform ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Wylie High School Theatre will have 131 students on stage—and working behind the scenes—for its next production, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast – The Broadway Musical.” The musical premieres at the Wylie High School auditorium at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18, and runs...

read more
Public Notice - Subscribe