WICHITA FALLS, TX (TNN) - Young people are often called the leaders of tomorrow, but a Rider High School sophomore is leading the way today.
For Manasvi Reddy, 16, it’s hard to think of a time when she didn’t have a tutu on. She has graced the stage for 12 years, even landing the spot of Clara in the Nutcracker.
In between her five AP and two honors classes, to being class president, in the chemistry club, copy editor for the Rider Chronicle, and winning state champ four years in a row for the UIL Academics Math team, Manasvi volunteers at Hospice of Wichita Falls.
She has spent the last eight months planning a pretty large fundraiser. An idea that actually she says all started when her grandfather, who lived in India, was diagnosed with Stage 3 Pancreatic cancer.
“Because we have family in the medical field, I think it made a huge difference for us. But I know a lot of patients in India, under the same circumstances would not have received the same care that he received in his last days,” said Manasvi Reddy.
Words she came to realize, believe it or not, while first looking out the window on the way to school.
"On the way to school every morning, I would see this red brick building, that looked like a house and said Hospice of Wichita Falls, I was always curious about what went on inside. because I think there is a stigma around Hospice, especially people my age that it has to do with death or is just a scary thing," said Reddy.
But that all changed when she began volunteering and got to see first hand that the care is far from a hospital setting.
"After seeing my grandfather I realized if we have something like Hospice in this community we are indebted as citizens of Wichita Falls to do to everything that we can to support it because it really is an investment in our community."
Instead of leaving that call to action for someone else, she led the way for change and dreamed up a benefit combining her passion for the arts and medicine.
“There were a lot of times, and there still are, where I’m scared to say something because of my age. I feel like I’m going to get shot down because what do I know? I’m 16. But it was my dream, so I made it happen.” said Reddy
Her friends and fellow dancers with the Wichita Falls Youth Ballet agreed to be the entertainment, and after months of planning and rehearsals, a Dancers Dream Benefit was finally a reality.
The night of dancing, silent auction bidding, food, and desserts brought in a total $37,782. An idea first thought out of reach is now allowing this dancer to dream even bigger.
“We think that everything in our lives right now is everything that matters, but we are capable of so much more than that to just think a few steps ahead a few years ahead it can make the difference, in not only in your life but in the lives around you,” she said.