In the Kennett Spotlight
Dhanya Karra
KAD’s 2022 UHS Be the Change Award Recipient

Dhanya Karra, a 2022 Unionville High School graduate and KAD’s “Be the Change” award recipient, was inspired by a photo exhibit to truly be the change. As she studied the photos of crying children, she was stunned to realize that she was watching pictures of children who were victims of child trafficking. She soon learned that the organization responsible for the exhibit was seeking a way to prevent child trafficking. Many young people might have merely shaken their heads in sorrow for the plight of these children and walked away. Not Dhanya. She immediately knew that she needed to raise her community’s awareness of this atrocity.

So, she reached out to the Child Rescue Coalition to find out the best ways to do something in her community. She also talked with local police departments, but they told her they did not have time to honor her cause. Undeterred, she created a club at her high school, which she called FACT (Fight Against Child Trafficking). She found a faculty advisor, recruited members among her peers, and held meetings. Her club, then, set about to earn money by organizing a shoe drive. The effort turned out to be wildly successful, as they were able to donate more than twenty-five bags, each containing one hundred pairs of shoes. This drive helped them to purchase blankets and create care kits, which they gave to the Chester County Police Department to distribute to children who had just been released from their captors. Dhanya says that “Knowing I was making a difference in the world, even if I was just talking to people, filled me with joy.”

Dhanya will be a first-year, Pre-Med student at Emory University in Atlanta this fall. Her sister will assume the reins of FACT at Unionville High, while she hopes to replicate FACT at Emory.

A gentle word to the wise: Remember Dhanya Karra’s name. I have no doubt that she will continue to make a difference in this world!

~Brenda Mercomes