Shaili Kothari Pickerington Lions Club, Ohio While a Pickerington Leo, Shaili Kothari learned more than how to serve. A 2014-15 Leo of the Year Award recipient, Kothari has found that hard work pays off, prioritization is a must and that her dreams can become realities—but she can’t do it all alone. Shaili Kothari, who was president of her Leo club for three years, is now in an accelerated program at Northeast Ohio Medical University. A Powerful Group My grandpa had been a Lion in Bombay and would tell me stories about helping people. When a Leo club was starting in my town, I liked that it was made up of kids from different schools, ages and backgrounds. We were able to accomplish so much together. Like when we held a book drive, we could all go back to our schools and collect books. We sent over 2,000 books to a Nigerian library. Accepting Help I had a dream to organize a 5K and raise money for Pilot Dogs. When my Leo club started planning it, I hadn’t realized how much goes into planning a big event like this. I’m the type of person who likes to do things on my own, but my biggest lesson was that delegation and teamwork are crucial for success. Seeing my dream become a reality with everyone’s help was amazing. Selfless Spending I had seen TV ads on Indian channels about children in India who need cataract surgeries. I wanted to help them, so I used money I had earned babysitting to sponsor three surgeries. It felt so great to know that three kids out there would have sight. I’ve been fortunate for everything I have in my life, and it makes me happier to help those who don’t have as much. Connecting through Music If there’s music playing, I’m either dancing or choreographing in my head. I’m in an Indian dance group, and we dance in styles including classical Bharatanatyam, which involves intricate hand positions and footwork that narrate a story. My favorite is Bollywood dancing—it’s more modern and fun. The dancing, along with watching Bollywood movies and eating Indian food, helps me connect with my roots in India. Doing Less, Achieving More I take on a lot, so I have to prioritize. That means sacrificing things like hanging out with friends. As long as I focus on what's most important to me, it’ll be worth it. I learned through Leos that when you’re passionate about something like service, you want to do everything. We learned together that we can’t help every single person, but to put a smile on just one person’s face can mean everything. Volunteered in urgent care at a children’s hospital for four years Was among the top 10 graduating seniors in a class of 450 Received the 2015 Youth Athena Award from the Pickerington Chamber of Commerce Do you know a Lion who you think has a great story or deserves a bit of recognition? Email us a brief description of the Lion and the reason you’re making the nomination to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include “One of Us” in the subject line.
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