FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — South Forsyth High School Senior Anish Bikmal was selected Georgia’s high school honoree for the 2019 Prudential Spirit of Community Award, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism. Bikmal will receive $1,000, an engraved silver medallion and an all-expense paid trip in early May to Washington D.C., where he will join honorees from other states for four days of national recognition events.
Bikmal earned the honoree title in part through his help in creating the Motivate and Inspire Academy which also served as a non-profit fundraising organization. Bikmal’s academy donates all profits to charities like Food for Life Global, a network of food relief organizations and wellness services, and Share Your Care Charity, a community relief effort that provides affordable health care services to the needy, Earthquake Nepal and Syrian Refugee Crisis reliefs.
Bikmal got the idea for the academy following a trip to India in 2014 when he was a rising eighth grader. Bikmal and his brother, Anirudh Bikmal, performed community service in small villages and noticed farmers using primitive equipment. That’s when he realized there was a need for funds and donations.
Anish said he and his brother want “to tackle issues, such as world hunger, at its root cause,” and providing funds for the farmers was a way to “educate the farmers and make the solution sustainable.” He said that providing resources for the farmers improve their crop circulation.
In addition to supporting global service organizations, the Motivate and Inspire Academy focuses on local community work.
“Activities being done in the academy are targeted to benefit the local community, but the funds benefit other countries as well,” Bikmal said.
In order to benefit his local community, Bikmal delegates tasks to the academy’s tutors, organizes events, such as motivational talks and college counseling, and conducts four tutoring classes a week as president. The organization has around 100 combined regular tutors and summer camp tutors and extended branches in other neighborhoods.
Bikmal said that giving back and donating to charities “drives what [he does] and inspires [him].” It’s important to not let “awards go to your head,” he said.
Bikmal said he plans to continue growing the academy after his graduation and to incorporate fundraising for charities into his future.