With a dedication to others that exceeds that of most children her age, Tara Sharma said she feels volunteering is an inherent responsibility.
"I actually joined the Red Cross because I wanted to do some volunteer work around the community," said Tara, a 13-year-old eighth-grader at Augusta Preparatory Day School. "I had been asked if I was interested in being the president and I said yes."
Since August, Tara has served as the president of the Augusta Chapter of the American Red Cross' Middle School Youth Board.
"Tara has been a Red Cross volunteer since she was in the fifth grade," said Lynn Reese, the volunteer and youth services director for the Augusta chapter of the American Red Cross. "I've watched her grow into a caring and compassionate young woman, who is mature beyond her years."
As president of the middle school youth board, Tara is responsible for doing service projects throughout the community. She also participates in leadership training for younger children, volunteers at Gracewood State School and Hospital and nursing homes, and works with children in foster homes.
"At Gracewood we have birthday parties for the patients each month and we help out and celebrate everyone's birthday," said Tara, who is president of the middle school's Spanish club at Augusta Prep.
In the summer, Tara volunteered at Augusta Urban Ministries, where she served as a camp counselor.
Tara Sharma, an eighth-grader at Augusta Prep, is the president of the American Red Cross Middle School Youth Board. Tara also volunteers at Gracewood State School and Hospital.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"Mostly, we take a group of children and do activities with them," said the daughter of Gary and Sarita Sharma, a real estate businessman and psychiatrist, respectively.
Tara, an all-A student and member of the school's track and cross-country teams, hopes to participate on the Red Cross' High School Youth Board.
"I think it's a great way of helping others," she said, adding that she might want to follow in her mother's footsteps and become a psychiatrist. "But things might change."
"She has been involved in numerous Red Cross projects, and is wonderful with younger children and adults alike," Reese said. "Tara is always friendly and courteous and she always has a positive attitude. She is a pleasure to work with and she's a tremendous asset to our program and our community."
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