When the COVID-19 pandemic first impacted her community last year, Geetika Peddada, currently a senior at Westlake High School, witnessed firsthand how the effects of the virus and ensuing lockdown rendered countless families unable to provide for their needs. However, she also saw the efforts by groups such as Manna Conejo Valley Food Bank to provide for these individuals. Inspired by their efforts, Geetika held several food drives while maintaining necessary COVID-19 precautions and safety guidelines.
Through collecting food items from various neighborhoods, contacting friends and family, and collaborating with local school organizations, Geetika donated several hundred pounds of food each month. “At first it was somewhat difficult to collect food items because of the pandemic and safety guidelines,” she shared. “But as I continued to conduct food drives and get others involved, I started to collect more. It’s been a little over a year since I began collecting for Manna, and I am glad to hear how my initiative has impacted others.”
In addition to her efforts for Manna, Geetika is heavily involved in her school’s Key Club and student government. She is learning traditional Indian dance, and spends her free time hiking, volunteering, and tutoring other high school students in science-related subjects.