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Suresh markets for autism, raises awareness

Coppell+High+School+sophomore+Athira+Suresh+folds+shirts+during+the+Imagine+Beyond+Walkathon+that+took+place+on+April+7+at+Andy+Brown+Park+East.+The+funds+raised+from+the+Walkathon+go+towards+the+Autism+Treatment+Center+in+Dallas.+
Coppell High School sophomore Athira Suresh folds shirts during the Imagine Beyond Walkathon that took place on April 7 at Andy Brown Park East. The funds raised from the Walkathon go towards the Autism Treatment Center in Dallas.

Coppell High School sophomore Athira Suresh folds shirts during the Imagine Beyond Walkathon that took place on April 7 at Andy Brown Park East. The funds raised from the Walkathon go towards the Autism Treatment Center in Dallas.

Nishant Medicharla

Nishant Medicharla

Coppell High School sophomore Athira Suresh folds shirts during the Imagine Beyond Walkathon that took place on April 7 at Andy Brown Park East. The funds raised from the Walkathon go towards the Autism Treatment Center in Dallas.

Nishant Medicharla, Staff Writer

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Inspired by people with autism, Coppell High School sophomore Athira Suresh contributed to the non-profit organization, Imagine Beyond, to create something bigger than herself.

 

Imagine Beyond aims to raise money and awareness for the Autism Treatment Center in Dallas. To do so, Imagine Beyond holds events such as chocolate sales and walkathons every month. These funds go to helping the physical and mental therapy of people with autism.

 

After hearing about this project from her close family friends, Suresh was inspired by people with autism because of how strong they were, amid their mental challenges. She wanted to make things easier for them.

 

“I joined this non-profit because I am really passionate about volunteering and helping out, but one of the main reasons why I joined was because people with autism are really inspiring,” Suresh said. “When I saw the patients with autism at the Autism Treatment Center, I felt more inclined to help. I also learned that they did not get enough therapy, so I wanted to raise funds to ease their issues.”

 

Suresh also took initiative to help Imagine Beyond because fundraising and awareness for autism is not common.

 

“I really wanted to join Imagine Beyond since the Autism Spectrum Disorder is an important topic that I usually do not see in which non-profit organizations are made,” Suresh said.

 

Suresh oversees the marketing efforts of Imagine Beyond to make sure that people are aware of this organization. She talks about the organization to her friends at school and new people that she meets.

 

However, handling such a big role is not an easy task for Suresh.

 

“The money and funds that I have to get do not come that easily,” Suresh said. “Influencing other people to help as is not as easy as it seems. It involves strenuous work, because influencing people is a skill that you have to develop, otherwise it just does not work.”

 

Suresh is not the only student at CHS involved in Imagine Beyond. CHS junior Anitta Nitto is also part of the organization and helps Suresh.

 

“Handling the marketing department is really not easy, but I think Athira does it well,” Nitto said. “It definitely requires a lot of self-confidence which I feel like she has. She has to talk to people she does not know, and that is a really big thing for a lot of teenagers. I feel like I can learn a lot from her.”

 

Even other students who are not part of the non profit admire Suresh’s work, such as CHS sophomore Suprita Ashok.

 

“She is definitely helping a cause we really do not see that often, and this has definitely made her more mature in a lot of ways,” Ashok said.

 

Overall, being part of this non-profit has allowed Suresh to develop numerous skill sets that she would not have learned through a “normal” high school curriculum.

 

“I have improved on being more passionate, kind and hard-working,” Suresh said. “When I started to help out the organization, I became heavily integrated with it, which has made me more passionate about the whole thing. I have also become more kind in my opinion because I was able to see what other people are going through. I was able to understand that people have their own situations and we should all understand their problems.”

 

Suresh hopes that the hard work she has put in will help people with autism lead a better life.

 

Follow Nishant @Nishantnm1

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Suresh markets for autism, raises awareness