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The Best and The Brightest of 2023



Age 16 | Junior
Perry High School
Ronak Bhatia proves you are never too young to make a big impact. Bhatia was just five years old when he and a group of service-minded friends first got together in 2011, looking for ways to help support those in need. They called the group “Brothers and Sisters Serving Others,” or BSSO. With a lot of help from their parents and other adults in their community, the group started hosting fundraisers, organizing service projects, and doing simple acts of kindness like visiting nursing homes or cleaning yards for the elderly.

Ten years after that first meeting, BSSO became a registered nonprofit and is now working to motivate students across the country to find creative ways to help local families in need. The organization’s website now offers resources and how-to guides to help kids establish their own BSSO clubs within schools and communities across Arizona and the U.S.

“If kids are given the opportunity to help out in their community, they always will,” said Bhatia. “Learning about different situations and challenges these families face really makes me feel so blessed for the life I have.”

Bhatia and BSSO have raised more than $50,000 over the years to go toward medical bills and living expenses for families battling serious illnesses. From gaming tournaments and a dance marathon to a holiday party for foster and group home high schoolers, BSSO always finds unique ways to serve others. One of their biggest events was a carnival that raised more than $10,000 to help a man diagnosed with brain cancer pay his mounting medical bills.

“Don’t be afraid to start small, that first step is the most important,” said Bhatia. “Once you get past that first step everything else will fall in the right direction.”

After spending so much time with people battling diabetes, cancer, or other terminal illnesses, Ronak now plans to pursue a career in medicine after high school. He hopes to eventually combine his nonprofit experience and medical expertise to serve those in need from philanthropy and treatment perspectives.
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