Each one of you must have volunteered for some social cause at some point in your life to try and bring a change in the lives of those who are less fortunate. But here we have a girl with a heart of gold. Hailing from Queens Village, our very own Cayla Kumar, has contributed to humanity more than what is expected from a 15-year-old. And now she is competing for the Miss New York’s Outstanding Teen which will take place on April 7th, in upstate New York, after winning Miss Bronx’s Outstanding Teen, representing downstate New York.
Miss New York’s Outstanding Teen is known as the prestigious scholarship-based sister program to the Miss America Organization.
We are proud of Cayla, who has dedicated almost 4,100 hours in volunteer service in more than four years. This young girl helped raise $25,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, as its first youth ambassador, which will be utilized for cancer research.
Cayla Kumar believes in philanthropy and wants to give back to the society in the best possible way. Inspired by the commercial of St Jude’s, which showed the sick and helpless children they took care of, and also seeing two of her family members die of cancer, Cayla made it her forte to help these children. That has been her reason for putting so much effort in raising funds; in fact, she has been a part of many volunteering services since she was 11.
As a part of her fundraiser “Gold Ribbon Project: Curing Pediatric Cancer” program, she sells gold lapel ribbons, the amount of which is then used for treating children’s cancer. “Gold is the color of pediatric cancer,” Kumar said.
Apart from her volunteering services, she is also professionally trained in classical Indian dance from the Sadhanalaya School of Dance and the Natraj Center for the Performing Arts. Once she started competing in pageants, she has actively promoted the cause of pediatric cancer through this platform. She has performed Bollywood dances on the Miss Teen stage and found her inner confidence that has helped her reach where she stands today.
Though a sophomore, she actively participates in the newspaper, photography and broadcasting clubs and is also a member in it. Also, she has been the student government President in Our Lady of Lourdes, as well as a student mentor and a school peer monitor.
Through the CureFest for Childhood Cancer organization, she interacted with thousands of people outside the White House for more funds for pediatric cancer research. Aspiring to become a pediatric oncologist, she hopes to continue dance and through her performances to pay for medical school at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland.
It is really inspiring to see such a young child taking so much initiative for a global cause!
Go, Cayla! All the very best for the pageant!