EHS Juniors’ Nonprofit Supplies Bright Futures


Zoe Cheung

Prasoon Sinha, one of the junior founders of Unlocking Young Minds.

Ellery Mahlum, features editor

Unlocking Young Minds is a nonprofit organization founded by five Edina High School juniors: Bobby Scalia, Prasoon Sinha, Alex Dimitrov, Khalid Ishani, and Jack Ford. Initially, the group’s mission was to send school supplies internationally to children in underdeveloped countries, but it was too expensive and not feasible for their small organization. Instead, they plan to make a difference by providing local schools with supplies to serve underprivileged kids, and to send money internationally to help fund schools in developing countries. Sinha’s grandparents have spent their lives helping provide schooling for underprivileged children in India, and he was inspired not only by his family’s compassion, but also by the experiences he had in India the summer going into his sophomore year. When walking through a small village, he saw children who were starving on the streets without access to food, let alone education or school supplies. These first hand experiences, along with a determination to make a change in the world, led to the creation of this organization.

Their first big fundraiser was at Chipotle on May 8th from 5-9pm; fifty percent of proceeds went towards supporting Unlocking Young Minds. Through this fundraiser they raised $473.75, “It was really successful. We were not expecting more than $250, so [we] definitely reached our goal,” said Sinha. This fundraiser surely won’t be their last.

In the past year, they have raised $2,500, and they have even bigger plans for the future. This summer they are planning events to reach out to the community and make connections with local underprivileged schools, including a fundraising event and a booth at the State Fair. “We are going to contact [the State Fair] to hopefully get a booth to talk to people around Minnesota about [the organization],” said Sinha. Donations are always welcome and encouraged, but the club’s founders also aim to inform people about their organization and its goals. “Spreading the word is the biggest thing for us because I don’t expect [students] to continuously donate to us on a regular basis, that just isn’t practical,” said Sinha. Anything from donating some pencils that are sitting around your house to telling a neighbor about the non-profit can bring them one step closer to reaching their goals.

These determined students appreciate the support from their peers so far in their endeavors and they look forward to making more progress in the future. Sinha wants people to realize that not everyone has access to the same materials and technology as we do and “to realize how blessed we are to be in this school with the resources we have and not to take [our education] for granted.”