A student at Inglemoor High School in Kenmore, Washington, Sanika Datar is the founder of a nonprofit called Space for Youth that engages young people in projects that support environmentalism, empathy, entrepreneurship, and equity. Its projects include an annual Vitalize Earth Day event, the cross-cultural Kindness Explorers project, a weekend marketplace for young vendors, and a musical fundraiser for Seattle Children’s Hospital.
How did you first get involved with the Discovery Center?
I attended their summer workshops while I was in middle school and really enjoyed the experience of having conversations with people who care about the important issues today, such as stereotypes, climate change, and mental health. It felt great to be part of a cohort that inspires real social change related to these topics, raises awareness locally and globally, and presents unique ways to solve these issues.
What advice do you have for other young people looking to get involved in community service?
I believe youth advocacy is very powerful, and teens should strive for ways to make a positive influence and encourage their peers to be change-makers. When young people show leadership, it’s very inspiring for others to know that anyone can do anything, no matter their age. Any small action counts to make a difference, and if everyone plays their part, it can create a big change.
Any advice for parents on how to support their child in the pursuit of their passions?
I think parents play a large role in supporting their kids. They can help guide the way to seek new opportunities that align with their kids’ passions. Having good communication and a nurturing relationship between kids and their parents can allow them to pursue their goals, big and small.
YAP alumni information adapted with permission from ParentMap.