Chirag Vedullapalli has been serving his community through art since he was nine years old. Vedullapalli began creating art when he was five years old. Through the help of his family, he sold his art and donated the proceeds to his community. At age nine, he realized that the talents of others could also be used to help those in need, and Creative Children for Charity (3C) was founded.
3C is a youth foundation run by youth for youth with the mission to inspire one million children and teens to donate their time and talent for a social cause.
“It allows kids to do something they’re passionate about and support the community,” he said.
According to Vedullapalli, 3C creates three types of opportunities for children: Technology programs, such as #STEAM3D that allow kids to develop new skills; entrepreneurship events, such as Seattle Acton Children’s Business Fair to empower youth to become entrepreneurs; service projects that bring youth together to support nonprofits.
For the past 10 years, nearly, 3C has donated more than 30,000 volunteer hours, worked with more than 7,500 youth and supported some 17 nonprofits in the community with about $27,000.
Now a senior at Mount Si High School, Vedullapalli was recently named a distinguished finalist in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program is the country’s largest youth recognition program based exclusively on volunteer community service.
Created in 1995 by Prudential and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), the program honors middle level and high school students for outstanding service to others at the local, state and national level.
Thus far, it has recognized more than 125,000 young people who’ve made a difference – and inspired countless others to consider how they might contribute to their communities.
Vedullapalli received a bronze medallion and a certificate for his work at a recent school board meeting.
Abraham Mathan, a financial professional for Prudential Financial Group, awarded Vedullapalli with the medallion and certificate.
Mathan said on behalf of Prudential Financial, he was proud to bestow Vedullapalli with the medallion.
“I hope you continue to do great things…,” Mathan said.
Vedullapalli said he was happy to be a recipient of the Prudential Spirit of Community Award.
For Vedullapalli, he encourages other youth to get involved with their communities and do something to serve others.
“I was always told, ‘You’re too young to run your own nonprofit,’” he said. “Don’t let that stop you… It’s been so empowering to be a part of this and see myself and my friends grow.”