FISHERS — Vani Sharma's passion is to spread kindness while giving back to the community.
"It's such a fulfilling experience being able to serve, but also gain a lot of gratitude yourself as well," Sharma said.
The 16-year-old Fishers High School junior says her passion for volunteer work started at a young age.
She remembers spending time at the Ronald McDonald House after her older sister had brain surgery. At the time, she was in kindergarten.
"We just saw how much hope those volunteers gave, and although I was really small, I could definitely experience how they made me feel," Sharma said.
WRTV presented Sharma The Jefferson Award for Multiplying Good at Changing Footprints in Carmel.
Sharma has spent time volunteering at the organization since 2017. Since then, she has helped collect and donate more than 10,500 pairs of shoes that will go to help people in need.
Her volunteer work does not stop there. She started a service initiative called EASE, which stands for educate, achieve, smile & empower.
Through EASE, Sharma works with more than 20 organizations.
In January, she was awarded Miss Teen Volunteer of Indiana. The scholarship program focuses on empowering young women through service.
Sharma is also focused on empowering youth to volunteer and serve their own communities.
"That is truly our mission with EASE," Sharma said. "Age is no barrier to what we can accomplish."
She has this message for any child or teenager who wants to make an impact.
"I truly just want people to recognize that if I can do it, they can do it too and just be able to create an impact and help more lives as well."