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Michigan High-School Student Serves Locally and Abroad

by Elyse W.

Pratyusha Yalamanchi of Rochester Hills, Michigan, has a passion for making a difference locally and globally. It is evident in all that she does.

Her international effort, Dental HygIndia, is a nonprofit organization she founded several years ago after a visit to India, to increase awareness and improve dental care in the county. During the past several years, she has raised funds to build more than 200 dental hygiene awareness camps in Andhra Pradesh, India, which have treated the dental needs of more than 290,000 people. The camps provide free treatment and preventative care to villagers.

Pratyusha has also volunteered in her community with several organizations, including BuildOn, the Grace Center of Hope, Toys for Tots, Recycle Detroit, and Beyond Basics. She has planned large-scale community service projects, worked to raise monies for several initiatives she feels passionately about, educated citizens on important issues, and given countless hours to the local community. Pratyusha also served on the Rochester Hills Government Youth Council, which involves her in many city events, such as the Festival of the Hills Fireworks Show and State of the City.

In addition to her community and civic engagement activities, Pratyusha is an exceptional student and leader. She received a perfect score on her SAT, maintains a 4.0 grade point average, and is co-present of her senior class. Pratyusha was recently recognized in Michigan as a 2009 Governor’s Service Awards finalist in the category of “Youth Volunteer of the Year.”

This story is submitted by the Michigan Community Service Commission (MCSC). The MCSC builds a culture of service by providing vision and resources to strengthen communities through volunteerism. In 2009-2010, the MCSC will grant more than $7.7 million in federal and state funds to local communities for volunteer programs and activities, such as AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve. The Corporation for National and Community Service grants federal funding that the MCSC administers to its programs.

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