Anya Lukka is giving back to her community — and beyond.
The 12-year-old incoming seventh grader at Redmond Middle School has been painting since she was 4 years old.
After a visit to India last summer and seeing underprivileged kids, she said she became inspired to do something to help others.
“I saw kids going around selling things to support their families,” she said. She learned that only a few kids were able to sell enough to go to school but at night.
Following the philanthropic footsteps of her mother and her older sister, an incoming senior at Redmond High School, Anya decided to sell some of her art through Junior Asha (JA).
JA is the youth wing of Asha for Education – Seattle Chapter, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing about socioeconomic change in India primarily through education.
Launched in 2009, JA kids decided to adopt one of Asha’s projects, Adruta Children’s Home, as a project of choice to support with their fundraising efforts. One hundred percent of funds raised are sent to the children’s home.
At her first JA fundraiser, Anya raised about $650.
“Helping out makes me feel happy,” she said. “It felt good to support people like me. I’ve been fortunate to not be in their situation and it feels good to help underprivileged kids.”
Anya has been selling her art for other nonprofit organizations as well. On Aug. 31, Anya and other youths will be participating in the Acton Business Fair at Crossroads Mall in Bellevue.
The Acton Business Fair, sponsored by the Acton Academy, is one of the largest entrepreneurship events for kids in North America. The goal of this event is to provide a platform for youths ages 6-18 to become entrepreneurs for a day.
Participants develop a brand, create a product or service, build a marketing strategy and then open for customers at a one-day marketplace.
This is the third annual Acton Business Fair at Crossroads. This year, Anya is selling her art to benefit St. Jude’s Hospital.
She said she chose St. Jude because she wanted to give back to kids who need health care.
As a young person, she said it’s sometimes difficult to have adults understand that kids can make a change.
“Adults don’t really understand that kids can make a change in their community and beyond,” she said.
To other young teens who want to do something for their community, Anya advised them to get involved with local organizations and volunteer over the summer.
To learn more about Acton Business Fair, visit www.childrensbusinessfair.org/seattle.