Silicon Valley Philanthropy Day is an annual event with awards presented by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Silicon Valley Chapter (AFP SVC) at a luncheon in mid-November to prominent individuals and organizations for their contributions to the community. This year, the event was held at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara, and 11 students from Harker were honored with awards for their work with the Pacific Autism Center for Education’s Youth Leadership Committee (PACE YLC). As PACE puts it, their mission is, “to provide high quality programs for individuals with Autism and its related developmental disabilities, so they may experience the satisfaction and fulfillment that come from learning, self-care, productive work, and interpersonal and community experiences.” The aim is to one day be the world leader in connecting a full range of services for persons with autism.
Of the 25 motivated high school students in the group, nearly half are from Harker, including: Jackie Jin, Isha Kawatra, Divya Sarathy and Jennie Xu, grade 12; Emily Chu, Kevin Lin, Isha Patnaik, Indulaxmi Seeni, Pranav Sharma, Apri Tang and Joseph Wang, all grade 11. Over the past two years, the group has raised more than $15,000 through various fundraisers, and this year they’re leading an anti-bullying seminar at local middle schools to talk about awareness and acceptance of students with disabilities.