From left: Angad Singh ’24, Ming Wang ’24, Shaurya Baruah ’24 and Savir Singh ’24 won the President’s Gold Volunteer Service award for their work in community activism.
Shaurya Baruah ’24 remembers overhearing his father’s somber tone on the phone in early 2021. A family friend had died from COVID-19, and he was the sole provider for his family.
“It wasn’t until I overheard my father on that phone call that the global pandemic and its effects came into perspective for me,” said Baruah.
The news spurred Baruah and his classmates Angad Singh ’24, Savir Singh ’24 and Ming Wang ’24 to found Academic Advancements, a student-led, non-governmental organization offering local tutoring. Profits from the tutoring program fund educational resources for underserved children worldwide. The organization has been recognized as an official Peddie club since 2022 and boasts 80 student volunteers.
“During the pandemic, education took a back seat in many developing countries, such as India,” said Baruah. “We wanted to do something to help our local community and give children across the world equal access to quality education.”
The organization’s leadership team recently received the esteemed President’s Gold Volunteer Service award for their contributions and work in community activism. As part of the award, the Peddie crew received a letter of thanks signed by President Joe Biden.
“It is exciting to receive this award after working on Academic Advancements for over two years across innumerable hours, working to build a successful team, generate revenue and donate all proceeds to students across the globe who are less fortunate,” said Baruah. “I would like to thank our team and everyone who has helped contribute to Academic Advancements to help it fulfill its mission.”
The organization’s tutoring program assists students and adults in subjects ranging from STEM, ESL and the arts. To date, more than $20,000 in profits from the program have enabled Academic Advancements to fund scholarships, books, tablets and other resources for students in India and Taiwan.
“We aim to achieve this similar impact in the United States,” said Baruah. “Our goal is to increase the number of locations in which we tutor and improve the education of students who may be struggling.”
“Although receiving an award is certainly an honor, what matters most is being able to help as many people as possible, and I hope we can continue to scale Academic Advancements in the future!”
–Angad Singh ’24
“As we look towards the future, I hope we can impact even more students and families and expand our organization even more.”
–Savir Singh ’24
“It means a lot when I can share my opportunities and Peddie education and use it to uplift underprivileged students around the world.”
–Ming Wang ’24