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Teen's Organization Donates 142 Backpacks to Dayton Students

Dayton Independent Schools received a donation of 142 backpacks from a ninth grader from Mason, Oh.

Tanya Keskar is the teen CEO of Realize to Act, and she visited Dayton's Lincoln Elementary with her family to make her donation.

The connection started when Tanya's dad met Mayor Ben Baker at Xavier University and though him to be "the coolest man in the country."

"I go to school, eat food every day, write poems, and up until now, I took all of this for granted," Tanya Keskar said on her website. "My parents took me on a trip to visit the slums of Nagpur, India, and it shook me to the core."

She wanted to help, and works with a non-profit group called Pratham which raises money to educate children in the poor areas.

Keskar eventually created her organization to address many causes.

"Many people want to help, but they don't know how," Tanya explained. "Once people know how, they can really make a difference!"

Keskar also works with Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN).

Superintendent Jay Brewer was impressed with Tanya and her family.

"Our mission is 'inspire, engage and grow'," he said. "Once you were inspired, you became engaged, and you have grown. Most kids your age are in a 'me' stage, and you have grown into a 'we' stage. You are a five-star student!"

Mayor Baker had good words for Tanya also, and gave her the key to the city.

"I have been impressed with your energy and passion," he told her. "You are a major catalyst for growth, and are helping where you can, and that is great!"

Tanya's 9-year old brother, Arnav, works as his sister's assistant.

Tanya said that she will continue to get the word out about groups that are in need of help from passionate people. She urged people to visit her website, Realize to Act, to get ideas of how they can help.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor

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