Lifestyle Schools

Area High Schools Holding ‘Hope for Human Rights’ Fundraiser

Maya Palanki, a junior at Conard High School in West Hartford, founded the ‘Hope for Human Rights’ fundraiser.

By Ronni Newton

A fundraiser started by a West Hartford teen, that has been expanded to include eight high schools in Connecticut, is continuing toward its goal of raising at least $5,000 to support four different local nonprofits.

“I decided to start this group because I’ve always known how important nonprofits were to Connecticut and West Hartford,” Conard junior Maya Palanki said in an email.

“From volunteering at Hands on Hartford, I could see the direct impact they were making. It was an impact on the personal level, and I think that is so important.,” Palanki said. “During the pandemic, a lot of nonprofits were falling short on funding, and so I decided to create a campaign that would inspire leadership and creativity in teenagers while giving back to the local nonprofits that have done so much. Our overall goal is to help reinforce and protect human rights through the essential nonprofits we are donating to.”

Maya Palanki, a junior at Conard High School, speaking at a rally in support of the AAPI community at West Hartford Town Hall on March 19, 2021. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

Hope for Human Rights CT is now a student fundraising collective focused on “preserving human rights around the sate and engaging the younger generations” that now includes eight schools throughout the state, three of which are in West Hartford. Conard, Hall, and Kingswood Oxford are part of the collective, along with Simsbury, Fairfield Warde, Fairfield Ludlowe, Canton, and Farmington high schools.

The nonprofits that will benefit from the current fundraiser are:

  • The Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness
  • The Center for Children’s Advocacy 
  • Hands on Hartford
  • CT Women’s Education and Legal Fund

Several events have already taken place – including a virtual fundraiser hosted by the Conard team that included an a cappella performance by BeS#arp, an acting performance by the Conard Thespians, and an art auction.

From April 11-17, a Virtual Fun Run will be held, and the public is also invited to participate and submit their times. Click here to register for the virtual run.

Hope for Human Rights also has a GoFundMe page where donations can be made directly. To date the GoFundMe has raised $3,424.

More information about Hope For Human Rights CT can also be found through their Instagram account @hopeforhumanrightsct (link to register can be found in bio) or Facebook account.

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