"Go Mustangs!" Singh exclaimed, showing Munster pride as he showed me a picture of the State Champion Speech team, Munster High School.
Sidarth Singh, a senior at Munster High School, believes that one good deed can go a long way. Singh is not your average teenager. While many teens spend their weekends sitting in front of the television or computer for a countless amount of hours, Singh is finding new ways to challenge himself, whether it is brainstorming new ideas for his nonprofit organization or attending a Speech meet.
Singh founded his own nonprofit organization in January of 2012, Aid For Change Corp. The organization is centered around building up grassroots movements through marketing and organizational efficiency channels, such as social media, planning events, and outreach management. There were many factors that played a role in sparking his interest in creating such an organization. Both of his parents are in the mental health field, so he had exposure to foster children early in life. Despite his age, he recognized that he had the ability to make a difference in these kids' lives. His main objective was that he wanted to start a company that supported something that was important to him. Secondly, he wanted to create a company that could partake in variety of causes. Singh enjoys the flexibility that goes along with a nonprofit organization. He is not limited to working only on one cause, making the opportunities endless! Not to mention the success Aid For Change has had in the last two years. It has held two major walk-a-thons in Miami, Florida, for "Duffels for Kids", grossing over $30,000. Additionally, it has created subsidiary organizations in five states. As of right now, Aid for Change is in the planning stage for a "Band Campaign" to raise money for children in need in Northwest Indiana. Singh takes his social work beyond his organization. He is currently working on a congressional bill to increase funding for foster children throughout Indiana.
"Aid For Change has taught me many things. Working with disenfranchised youth has given me a perspective on the importance of family in our lives. I've learned how to manage a business and take care of real-world problems more efficiently," Singh stated. "The most valuable lesson I've learned is that even though things may not work out every time, never give up on something you care about."
Singh's itch for adventure does not stop there. He has participated in taekwondo for the last decade of his life. He competed in the Olympic trials, Junior Olympics, and US Open. Singh has had much success in the sport, earning a silver and gold at the Junior Olympics and silver at the US Open. He has had the privilege of training with teams from South Korea and Mexico and has traveled internationally to compete. Singh did most of his training in the United States at the Olympic training center in Colorado Springs. Unfortunately, Singh learned the saying, 'no pain, no gain' the hard way. He broke his arm twice in competition, the second time being in the final round at Junior Olympics. While this momentarily cut Singh's Olympic dreams short, it gave him a necessary break to focus on other aspects of his life.
"Taekwondo is a brutal sport, but my team was so supportive I couldn't help but love it!" Singh stated.
Singh also makes it a point to be very involved in his high school, specifically the Munster speech team. Singh is a four time qualifier to the National Forensic League national competition. This past year he placed 14th in the nation in his main event, International Extemporaneous Speaking, and 30th in the nation in Impromptu Speech. Additionally, Singh is the Congressional Debate and International Extemporaneous Speaking state champion.
"Speech really made me come out of my shell and become more confident about myself and my speaking abilities," Singh told me.
Additionally, he participates in DECA alongside his teammate Saam Mojtahed in the event Business Law and Ethics. They will be attending Atlanta, Georgia, this May to compete in the DECA International competition. Singh has also been a member of We the People and Munster CRY.
Just by talking to Singh I became overwhelmed! The busy schedule, the countless extracurricular activities- I was dying to know how he balanced it all.
"The best way to balance any busy schedule is appropriate time management. We all need time to relax and have fun! I usually just prioritize my schedule so that I manage the more important tasks first before moving on," he said. "As long as I avoid slacking off, I generally am able to balance it all out relatively well."
It is evident that Singh has had a lifetime full of adventure. Although Singh is leaving for college in the fall, I am confident that he will bring his friendly personality, motivation, and passion for making a difference with him wherever he decides to go.
"I am still weighing my college options. It's a tough choice to make. With that said, I will most likely be attending Columbia University in New York this fall!" Singh grinned widely.