Sixteen-year-old Karina Tarsadia is an Orange County native and Sage Hill High School sophomore. After having the opportunity to take service trips through her family’s Tarsadia Foundation to India, Cambodia and Africa, the poverty and an incredible community spirit she observed inspired her to create the Backpack Project to give back locally. In 2019, Karina’s efforts helped provide, along with nonprofit partners, 5,500 backpacks with school supplies, groceries, haircuts and food to low-income families. This fall, due to COVID19, Karina and her team have shifted plans to work directly with partners and schools to ensure that students are set up for success, with plans to distribute 15,000 backpacks through Santa Ana Unified, Anaheim Elementary, and Placentia-Yorba Linda school partners, along with partnering with Nailing It, MovingForwardTogether Coalition in Garden Grove, Advance Beauty College, and OC United Way. With education her priority, Karina wants young students to feel equipped with the materials they need to put their best foot forward in school. She credits Nithin Jilla, Dreams for Schools executive director, as her mentor in connecting to the community.

“Service and education are important to me. I know that I’ve been blessed with opportunities and want to do my part to ensure that other students have the same opportunities and are set up for success. I want students everywhere to Dream Big!”
– Karina Tarsadia