EPHS students create an association to bring books to students in need


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When Mohit Agarwal noticed that the students he tutored were taking pictures of other students’ textbooks or using damaged, illegible documents because they couldn’t afford to buy them, he decided to find a solution.

It was these tutoring sessions that prompted the Eden Prairie High School (EPHS) senior to take action to address the lack of basic study materials for many students in North Minneapolis and the Phillips neighborhood.

His response: Educaturu, a non-profit organization whose mission is to address fundamental disparities in educational resources for students.

Educaturu was founded in 2019 with the help of connections in the Eden Prairie community that Agarwal built while volunteering as a math tutor for high school and college students. (The name Educaturu has no specific meeting, Agarwal said. He wanted a reference to education but also to avoid duplicating other names.)

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Mohit Agarwal

Agarwal has leadership experience through his participation in EPHS debate and speech teams. His volunteerism and leadership have been essential to the sustainable growth of the foundation.

The nonprofit has ramped up operations since its founding in locations across Minnesota and Texas, a team of four trustees and 15 volunteers, more than 1,700 volunteer hours and material donations through 32 fundraisers of books.

Thanks to Educaturu, the physics department at the University of Minnesota switched to free textbooks.

“Since our inception, we have received an outpouring of support from the community,” Agarwal said. “Teachers, students and lawmakers all understand the problem and want to help. In the Twin Cities, we have been able to implement significant change through university partnerships and, in some cases, we have increased the size and diversity of a school’s library by 50%. »

The nonprofit now has a leadership team, including EPHS students Lucas Wagner and Jash Parekh who serve as Advocacy and Relations Directors respectively, with Akhil Perla operating from his high school in Texas. Perla, a former EPHS student who moved to Texas his senior year, was determined to continue working with the nonprofit.

Educaturu has entered into corporate partnerships with Target, United Health Group, and Bank of America and has also partnered with state officials to raise awareness of legislative changes.

Agarwal said Educaturu is making a difference.

“We are achieving this through a few key initiatives,” he said. “The first is to make direct donations of books and teaching materials to schools and public libraries. The second way to do this is through legislative advocacy; misaligned incentives between administrators and governments are the root of much of the underinvestment in materials.

Educaturu received donations worth $82,000 in educational materials which were donated to the Hennepin County Library, North Community High School, Edison Senior High, Loring Nicollet, Wellstone International High and others.

Educaturu’s future is bright, and Agarwal is looking to aggressively expand beyond the two states in which it currently operates.

“We have an upcoming scholarship program that is raising up to $5,000 for AP, ACT, and SAT exam fee waivers, as well as donations to nonprofits more important,” he said.

Educaturu plans to continue making positive impacts in the community through book drives, drop boxes and various fundraising mechanisms to enable access to education – one book at a time, Agarwal said.

You can read more about Educaturu on their website here.

Editor’s note: EPLN Contributor Harini Senthilkumar is a senior at Eden Prairie High School. Previously, she had been contributing to the Eden Prairie News since she was 11 years old. She aspires to become a sustainability advocate through journalism.


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