The idea of service is no foreign concept to Megan Anandappa. Starting at the age of 5, Megan began working in St. Francis Table Soup Kitchen weekly alongside her father, and the tradition has never stopped.
Megan is responsible for cooking meals for the homeless people who visit the soup kitchen and preparing the shelter before they arrive. She attributes her early love for working at the soup kitchen to the fun routine her dad started: “Because the shifts would be really early in the morning, my dad and I would always get Dunkin’ Donuts before. It became a fun little tradition.”
Now, her service extends far beyond the walls of St. Francis Table. In the winter, her family cooks meals together and then serves the food at Central Night Shelter.
Additionally, Megan is the president of the Students for Life Club at St. Pius, in which she first became involved in freshman year. As president, she organized a drive to collect diapers for low-income expectant mothers so that they can begin providing for their children as early as possible. This drive successfully collected 1,500 diapers.
One charity that holds a special place in Megan’s heart is the Our Lady of Perpetual Help, a cancer home located in downtown Atlanta. She makes and collects encouraging cards to bring to the patients during her visits. During one visit, Megan was able to see one of her former teachers, Charleen Klister.
“Going to see her there was really cool, and she was a really good person, so being able to help at that home really meant a lot knowing I was impacting people that I knew,” Megan said.
Megan’s teachers have high praise for her, with many highlighting her humility. Her AP Statistics teacher, Katie Stilson, reveres Megan for her “incredible intelligence and talent, yet her focus is never on herself. She takes whatever time is necessary to help those around her.”
Nominating Megan to be included among Reporter Newspapers’ “20 under 20” honorees this year, Father Michael Silloway called her “the most engaged, most present, strongest-charactered teenager” he has ever met.
Megan will attend the University of Georgia in the fall. After college, she hopes to pursue a career in the medical field.
This article was reported and written by Amanda Gibson, a student at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School.
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