The Beat loves nothing more than featuring young people in our community who are doing good in the world.
This week, we’re covering Sheen Raina, a Milpitas High School (MHS) student heading into her junior year. During the academic year, on top of being busy with her schoolwork, Raina works to serve and support the community in any way she can…
Last year, when India was being hit hard by the Delta variant, Raina had the idea of putting together an online fundraising event to raise funds for Breathe India, an initiative that works to make oxygen concentrators available to those in need. With the help of her piano teacher Darrell Leffler, from Leffler’s Academy of Music here in Milpitas, she and other music students put on a recital and raised more than $1,800.
Inspired by the success of the event, Raina joined forces with her friend Ananya Kamath to plan out a live dance performance in an effort to raise funds for the Sankara Eye Foundation, a nonprofit that works to eradicate curable eye blindness in India by providing free eye care to those in poor, rural areas.
“My friend and I will be dancing and doing performances live in-person,” said Raina in an interview with The Beat. “We’re trying to get to 100 eye surgeries. Each $30 you donate is a free eye surgery.”
That event will happen on August 6 at the Santa Teresa High School theater – and the amazing part is that it has been completely planned and organized by Raina and Kamath. The pair booked the location and have been knee-deep in preparation for the big performance, where they will both dance to 10 different songs.
Raina has been practicing Bharatnatyam, an Indian classical dance, for the past 8 years. She practices with Shri Krupa Dance Company in San Jose.
Meanwhile, this summer, she has also teamed up with a group of friends to start offering free Math classes to students in grades 5-8.
She and her friends run the classes online, and work together to plan out their Math teaching presentations for the younger kids. The students are even assigned homework, and Raina and her friends check over everything and offer any needed support.
Raina also participates in sports; she plays junior varsity volleyball.
Her August 6 performance will run for over 2 hours. When The Beat asked if that would be a challenge, Raina said, “The performing part is easy. But the planning part has been more challenging.”
Raina’s mother says her daughter has been dancing for nearly a decade, and is accustomed to performing for 2-3 hours in front of large audiences: “Both the girls are experienced dancers,” shared her mom. “And surely this will also be a good performance.”
Anyone wishing to donate to the Sankara Eye Foundation fundraiser can go here. There are details at the link for attending the August 6 performance.