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Distinguished Finalist

Pallavi Rao

Columbia, South Carolina

Pallavi Rao, 18, of Columbia, South Carolina, a senior at Spring Valley High School, organized a service project, “Totes for Hope,” that sourced and donated wheelchair bags that patients at a rehabilitation center can use to carry their personal belongings; she raised money through donation boxes, a GoFundMe page and word of mouth, then commissioned 110 bags from artisans from Rajkot, India. Pallavi hopes to continue this service project to honor her Indian heritage while benefitting her local community.