By Sagar Patil
I am Sagar Patil, a raising sophomore at JP Stevens High School Edison in New Jersey.
I have one younger brother and I love to spend time with him. My parents are always encouraging me to do good for society. They are my biggest asset.
I am passionate about coding, using emerging technologies like machine learning/artificial intelligence (AI). I coded algorithms for face recognition and a self-driving car for a racing game software using AI. I am also working on a research project with Professor Zhi Wei at the New Jersey Institute of Technology on “Deep Learning for DNA Sequence Pattern Recognition”. I am always exited to learn new stuff.
How I Begin Volunteering with the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias (NFED)
While reading an online blog, I came across a very rare genetic disorder called ectodermal dysplasia. I started reading in-depth about this disorder and understanding that ectodermal dysplasias cannot be cured, but the symptoms can be treated or managed. I also started reading blogs of families who are affected by this rare disorder. After reading heart breaking stories, I decided to do something for them. Hence, my journey with the NFED began.
I was so touched by the experiences of families, children, and community affected by ectodermal dysplasias. I felt privileged to be a part of such a great organization. I like to put my time, effort and work toward something I feel strongly about and can make some difference. I believe this: “You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.”
After reading families’ lifetime experiences, I understood that many people are not aware of this rare genetic disorder when their loved ones are diagnosed for the first time. Bringing awareness to the people is very important because of this. The NFED is putting so much effort in this area. I became a small part in this big initiative.
Since I love software development, there is nothing better than doing work that I love while helping to support a cause that is near and dear to my heart. I started being more involved and researching useful software products for conducting awareness events and fundraising campaigns. I also worked on creating user guides for fundraising events like Facebook fundraising and Giving Tuesday.
Why I’m Going to Keep Volunteering
Volunteering is the most powerful when I can help new people and see that I can make an impact in their life. Helping others is a great feeling and gives me internal happiness.
Volunteering is a part of my life now. After seeing the impact of my help, I decided to continue doing more work. What we are doing is a small help, but it creates a bigger impact when all of us join our hands together. I am also gaining more and more knowledge and exposure after working with the NFED. My supervisor always guides and motivates me a lot.
Volunteering offers the chance to give something back to the community or make a difference to the people around me. Volunteers are critical to achieving those goals and improving the economic and social well-being of our nation. And as any volunteer knows, service is also a way to connect with our neighbors and use our skills for the common good.
– Sagar Patil is a guest blogger for the NFED. This teenager from New Jersey enjoys coding for technology, volunteering, playing tennis and listening to music. Learn how you can volunteer for the NFED.