Burlington High School (Age 17)
“Simply unmatched in the field of education”
SAFE – After his trip to Salamanca, Spain in 2012, Nikhil Thakkar created a free, bilingual (English and Spanish) alcohol and drug education program based entirely on interactive activity and stimulating discussion, to teach students the danger of drinking and drugging. He does weekly presentations for 70,000 impoverished students in schools across all 20 official Spanish-speaking countries via Skype and prerecorded video. SAFE is the only organization to be supported by the F.C. Barcelona Franchise, and Nikhil has been invited to speak at events with figures such as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. He has been noted as an “unparalleled example of a truly passionate and inspiring educator.”
Music Para Pyaar- After fundraising about ten thousand dollars by hosting benefit concerts playing his original fusion music (English, Spanish, Hindi), Nikhil helped students build original instruments from everyday materials with designs that represented their interests and hobbies. He then developed a curriculum through which students could share and teach each other their languages and culture through music. His foundation has now helped over 5,000 students across 8 countries build vibrant communities that create multilingual music (27 languages) and encourage intercultural learning. MPP has also built 12 centers where students initiate concerts and community sing-alongs.
LiberEd– After recognizing potential improvements in education in developing countries, Nikhil began to write web-based interactive textbooks and children’s books in English and Spanish. Nikhil then created a curriculum that focuses on holistic growth with emphasis on extracurricular and personal development. He has redesigned education in hundreds of Asian and Hispanic schools, and reaches 18,000 students across 8 countries with his books and curriculum. LiberEd has also constructed the first school orphanage in Ecuador, where students will have a place to sleep and receive an education, and has launched the VAMOS summer camp to increase interest for foreign languages across India. In the field of linguistics and its application to education, Nikhil has made “unprecedented, unrivaled, and incredibly great strides,” and is considered an “expert” in the field.
The MM Project- A project to help students break free from the endless and dehumanizing cycle of poverty and dependency, Nikhil is working to provide motivated and driven students in Nicaragua with guidance as to how to realize their entrepreneurial dreams and improve life in Nicaragua. To date, The MM Project has helped empower students to think creatively and employ their resources for the amelioration of Nicaraguan communities. Through The MM Project, students have constructed homes, implemented irrigation systems and knitted clothes from scratch material. This is Nikhil’s newest nonprofit, which he hopes to grow both in depth and breadth soon.
Author: Jonothan Williams.