Rancho Solano Preparatory School

Sneakers for Smiles

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Whether it’s leading the team on the soccer field or in the gymnasium on the basketball courts, Pia Sachdev always strives to keep the spirits of others up. As a junior at Rancho Solano Preparatory School, she maintains 4.0 GPA and plays multiple sports. In addition, over the past two years, she has grown a passion for painting and customizing shoes. It’s become a massive part of her life. Pia says she has always had a love for shoes, but it grew during the pandemic. She started painting and customizing sneakers for fun, making them for family and selling them on Etsy. Then, she had an idea to gift them. The first pair went to an acquaintance who was sick with an illness. “I thought, why don’t I paint her some shoes and brighten her day a little bit?” says Pia. That’s when “Sneakers for Smiles” was born. Shortly after, her brother was admitted to Phoenix Children’s, so she decided to work with the hospital. “I just realized, if that was that scary and he was there for like a week and a half, what about all the patients that are there for like six months, long-term?” says Pia. Pia now works with someone from the Child Life Department at Phoenix Children’s hospital. She doesn’t get to meet the patients but finds out what they like including their favorite color and their interests. “I feel like painting them really makes them personal. It just makes it even that more special,” says Pia. Even with her busy schedule, she says she wants her shoes to “brighten their day and always feel supported.”

We are so proud of Pia and her accomplishments! She embodies Rancho Solano’s mission and vision perfectly as we strive to develop students’ passions and interests, emphasize critical thinking and encourage personal growth and fulfillment.

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