Bodhi's Light; Inner Light In the Dark
We have taught and co-taught over 10 "Playshops" and classes in two states and three countries, having a positive effect on over 750 people.
My business logo, created by my fellow entrepreneur in training during the YEA :)
Last class on integrating mindfulness into the classrooms
Learning about Body, Mind, and Spirit at Aarti for Girls in our daily Playshop!
Teaching a wellness workshop at Aarti for girls, a orphanage in rural India.
Additional categories (optional)
Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?
Eligibility: Date of Birth
August 12, 2002
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2322 S Pierce St.
Arlington VA, 22202
Website or social media url(s) (optional):
My business: https://www.bodhislight.com:
Over the last 5 weeks I had a glimpse into the life of 550 young students at Aarti, a school and orphanage built to foster gender equality by providing a safe home and educational sanctuary for young girls in rural India. Through teaching English, Wellness, and Environmental Science I discovered how joyous these children are despite their heartbreaking experiences. Donate at Aarti for Girls: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-fund-aarti-school-for-girls
Date You Started Your Project Started
When I started my service project, Bodhi’s Light LLC, In January 2016, I hoped to be a bright light of positive change in my school. To kick start my service project, I asked my fellow students: “how do you deal with stress?” There were five majority responses: “I eat, I sleep, I watch YouTube videos, I lock myself in my room, and I scream at my siblings.” It confirmed some things for me. So, I began. I worked tirelessly, putting in countless hours to condense the tools and techniques...
Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.
Scaling (expanding impact to many new places or in many new ways)
1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?
350 million youth are affected by depression. The epidemic the world is facing today, characterized by extreme levels of suicide, self-harm, and drug and alcohol abuse, is a direct consequence of young people who have lost their ability to deal with internal and external stressors. This problem must be addressed immediately, as more young people are being consumed by the negative effects of depression and technology overuse, on a daily basis.
2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.
Since founding my social enterprise, I have taught and co-taught over 10 Playshops in two states and three countries, having a positive effect on over 750 people! I accomplished something on a small scale that helps other people. I hope to serve a much larger number of people, helping them to improve their lives using some simple tools and techniques I learned and will continue to learn along the way. I’ve set an ambitious goal for my service project going forward - to start and maintain a positive movement to improve the lives of kids (and adults) in my school, community, state, country and eventually globally by helping each one to discover their Inner Light. My hope is that the tools and techniques that I learned to calm my mind, be present in my body, and unleash my spirit, are shared with those in need.
In the future, I hope to develop a “Pivot Cards App” that encourages young people to observe their feelings, and take action to obtaining how they want to feel. I am currently working on gathering a team of website and app developers, to aid this process. I already have a chief designer, Abhiram, who I have consulting with this summer while I volunteerd at Aarti.
3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?
I remember how many days I would come home and cry because I was so unhappy and stressed out. I honestly felt like I was trapped in a small dark box not being able to move at all. Even little things, like missing a shot at one of my travel soccer games, would really eat at my heart. If only I could feel joyful! From that low point I shot up learning helpful techniques from my mom, such as: Deep breathing to stay calm and centered; Accepting Releasing and Moving on from negative feelings; and focusing on how I want to feel. I worked on these techniques every day and over time customized them more specifically for me. Now in 8th grade, that small dark box has transformed into a beautiful internal lighthouse, giving out a warm reassuring light to all the people around me. Prompted by “what do other kids do when they’re feeling stressed and unhappy?” I began my journey in spreading love.
4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”
I'm making change because I'm inspired to help kids and adults discover their inner light. A few years ago, I went through a personal crisis that took me from severe stress and fear, to love and happiness. Along the way, I learned and developed several tools and methods that supported my life-changing transformation. The tools I learned throughout my personal journey helped me to be calm in my mind, present in my body and to unleash my spirit, essentially allowing me to discover my inner light.
5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.
Team, in a broader sense, means a group of individuals who are striving to achieve a goal. In this regard, I have a team that is willing to help me in any situation. I have mentors and individuals who are so essential to the betterment of the world around me, and are equipped to aid the entrepreneurial process. In addition to my individual passion, I feel as if I have a team and large network that is committed to supporting my dreams and dedicated to inspire others to discover their Inner Light. I have collaborated and co-collaborated with a number of different organizations and groups, such as Motivate Canada, Lummi Nation, Arlington OST, Youth Assembly Session 23, and the Dream Project. This network has been vital in the development and creation of different projects, Playshops, and services. I strive to work with people and organizations who are constantly growing and improving.
6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?
Teenage stress has become a huge problem across the United States and the world, negatively affecting millions of kids. I know firsthand because I went through my own stress crisis where I felt so horrible to the point where I wanted to run away and even end my life. Thankfully, with the help of inspired adult mentors and digging deep, I went from surviving to thriving. I learned several tools and methods from my parents, grand-parents, and a psychologist, that supported my life-changing transformation. Since then, I’ve customized what I’ve learned to help positively affect other kids+adults.
7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?
Bodhi's Light has affected 750 people. In March, my mom and I were invited to give our three part Playshop, Inner Light in the Dark for the 'Arlington All In' conference. To fit our time slot we reduced our 3 hour, 3 Part Playshop to one hour. Over 75 people attended including kids living in group homes, teenagers with their parents, and the county's school board chair. It was a real success with lots of participation and questions, although I am still waiting on the results of the post-Playshop survey. I was overjoyed when my upcoming high school PTA president, the head of Argus House Boys’ Group Home, and the head of all Arlington County’s teen group homes signed up to bring “Inner Light in the Dark” Playshop to their organizations. I’m excited that hundreds of kids will be able to benefit from the same tools I learned to manage stress and discover my inner light over the next year.
8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?
I accomplished something on a small scale that helps other people. I hope to serve a much larger number of people, helping them to improve their lives using some simple tools and techniques I learned and will continue to learn along the way. I’ve set an ambitious goal for my service project going forward - to start and maintain a positive movement to improve the lives of kids (and adults) in my school, community, state, country and eventually globally by helping each one to discover their Inner Light. My hope is that the tools and techniques that I learned to calm my mind, be present in my body, and unleash my spirit, are shared with those in need and maybe we’ve taken a few first steps towards initiating a worldwide movement.
9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?
10. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?
Donations less than $100
Donations between $100-$1k
Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?
White (for example: German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, French) (6)
Asian (for example: Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Pakistani) (9)
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander (for example: Native Hawaiian, Samoan, Chamorro, Tongan, Fijian, Marshallese) (12)
Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?
Religious minority (non-Christian)
How did you hear about this challenge?
Recommended by others
Participated in previous Ashoka challenges
Ashoka page or contact
Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?
Mentor Dida my Ashoka Youth Changemakers ambassador.
Diana Wells, a supportive mentor that has helped guide me through this process.
I would love to have exposure to the Ashoka Network. I feel that the people and resources, who are apart of this game-changing framework, have a lot to share.