A half dozen Milpitas Unified School District students were among the 2020 honorees at Assemblymember Kansen Chu’s 6th Annual Community Heroes Awards for their service and dedication to the local community.
Nima Bhavansikar, Nyla Choates, Chloe Wang, Amy Stanley, Rachel Wu and Amy Zheng exemplified MUSD’s Culture of WE in their humanitarian efforts. They received their recognitions during a drive-through ceremony held outside the San Jose City College-Milpitas Extension.
“Throughout all the unfortunate events, it has been inspiring and heartwarming to witness members in our community work together to help those in need,” Assemblymember Chu said. “These heroes were nominated and picked by the people living in our community for their acts of kindness.”
Bhavansikar, a sixth-grade student at Alexander Rose Elementary School, started a fund to support the Milpitas Food Pantry through her Shirts for Smiles endeavor. She designed shirts with all proceeds benefiting the pantry. In addition, she teaches kindergarteners and first graders in the Brain Builders Program.
Nyla Choates, a senior at Milpitas High School, founded the nonprofit My Roots are Rich, which works to show all people the culture and historical achievements of African Americans. The MHS Black Student Union President was the lead organizer of the Black Lives Matter demonstration in Milpitas earlier this year.
Amy Stanley, a MUSD Student Board Representative, founded ProjectMaskify, a youth-led movement that has made and donated more than 4,000 masks to frontline workers in the local community. The MHS student leader is President of the MHS STEMgirls organization that has helped inspire more than 150 Bay Area students through STEM education.
Chloe Wang, a MHS alumna, shares her passion for STEM and business with younger students, while also teaching classes in entrepreneurship, technology and robotics. During the COVID-19 crisis, Wang organized donations of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to hospitals to protect frontline workers.
Rachel Wu, MHS student leader with the Milpitas Debate Program, organized a free public speaking program for 400 elementary and middle school students. During the pandemic, she offered free online classes in public speaking.
Amy Zheng, also a student leader at MHS, offered free online learning services for Milpitas students as a mathematics tutor in addition to teaching classes in drawing, origami, and cooking. In addition, she volunteers regularly to clean up at Augustine Park in Milpitas.