Athale garnering new experiences through financial literacy education


Coppell High School junior Akshat Athale converses with an attendee at Saksham fundraiser. Athale founded his nonprofit, Saksham, in the summer of 2022. Photo courtesy of Akshat Athale.

Anvita Bondada, Staff Writer

When most Coppell students think of prevalent pressing matters, the last thing they would think of is the lack of financial literacy in our society.

Coppell High School junior Akshat Athale took notice of this issue and decided to take action. 

Athale founded his nonprofit, Saksham, last summer. Saksham is an organization designed to teach underprivileged young adults. It frequently hosts classes and fundraisers, and is partnered with organizations such as Microsoft. Saksham teaches underprivileged young adults skills such as investing, saving, budgeting money, and more. 

Athale was originally inspired to start Saksham by the opportunities he had from participating in the financial literacy event in DECA, and noticed the improper education about finance outside of his local bubble.

“I realized how many underprivileged people there are in the community that I haven’t seen before.” Athale said. “I thought since I had the privilege of financial education, I can go and educate the ones that are less fortunate.”

Through arduous, hard work, Athale was able to start Saksham from the ground up and recruit more people. He reached out to people he knew were interested in using and finance, and recruited them onto the team. Namely, he and Coppell High School senior Zachary Sanders worked on growing the organization together, and were able to get more people on board. 

“[Athale] approached me one day and said ‘I don’t think I help my community enough.’ I gave him the idea of volunteering in his community, and he told me he wanted to start a non-profit.” Sanders said. “He recognized the disparities in income in Dallas and found out that lack of financial literacy is the leading cause of poverty in the country. I was inspired by his initiative and agreed to help start it.” 

Through Saksham, Athale broadens his horizons by meeting new people and gains new insights by interacting directly with people who attend his classes. He uses these experiences to further understand how finance works around the world and applies them to his classes to reach further audiences and give a 3-dimensional perspective to the people who attend his classes.

“I got to work with different organizations like nonPareil, which helps young adults with autism become more independent, and The Refugee Services of Texas where I got to meet refugees from Afghanistan and Syria,” Athale said.

Owning a teen run nonprofit isn’t as easy as it looks. Athale worked tirelessly  to prove that Saksham had the potential to make a difference in the community by encouraging more people to volunteer.

”Financial literacy is a niche topic, so it took some time for people to trust and endorse us. However, after seeing our courses, they were able to see that we knew what we were talking about,” Athale said.

Athale thinks Saksham can make a true difference in underprivileged communities because he believes understanding finance is the best way in finding security in it. Through their financial education program, he hopes people can apply it to their lives to make them better.

Athale also thinks the people who work with Saksham reap the benefits that Saksham offers as well. He concurs that it specifically helps the people working with the organization because it opens them up to new and exciting opportunities.

“I have never been a part of a non profit before, so I feel like it taught me a lot about leadership, and I got to learn a lot about people with different backgrounds.” Coppell High School junior Saksham director Rujuta Padalikar said.

Athale strives to grow Saksham even further. He hopes to make his classes more readily available to everyone, and to expand beyond the DFW area.

“I want to be able to publish an online course for the people who can’t make it to the class, or are outside the DFW area,” Athale said. “It would be great to accommodate people that way and it could help expand our influence as well.”

Above all else, Athale hopes to contribute to stop the cycle of poverty, and thinks he can through financial education.

“I want to be able to make sure people my age and younger are able to understand all of the aspects of financial literacy that we teach,” Askhat said. “If they fully grasp that, I think they’ll have the skill set to become successful and break out of poverty.”


Follow Anvita Bondada @anvita_bondada and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.