Reshini Premaratne is a junior at the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School in Richmond, Virginia. She has been a competitive figure skater for the past 12 years and even won the 2013 U.S. Figure Skating Intermediate Solo Dance Championships. In school, Reshini is on the honor roll and participates in multiple school clubs, including Model United Nations, the Forensics Club, and Global Citizens Corp. She is also the Co-Captain of the Debate team, a Service Project Coordinator for her school’s Education Political Advocacy Club, a news writer for her school’s newspaper, The Jabberwock, and the Vice President of Spanish Club. Balancing all of these obligations is especially impressive because Reshini attends one of the top 10 public schools in the nation, an extremely prestigious an honor given to Maggie Walker by The Daily Beast.
Outside of school, Reshini has earned over a thousand community service hours working for various organizations, such as The Daily Planet, The Community Foundation, the HandsOn Network, the Learn-to-Skate Organization, and Virginia Commonwealth University. Currently, Reshini serves on the Teen Advisory Board for MissHeard Magazine, a national magazine for girls, and is an alumnus of both the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership’s High School Leaders Program at the University of Virginia and the High School Diplomats Program at Princeton University. Reshini is also interning with Delegate McClellan of the 71st District of Virginia for this school year, learning about public policy and the role the government has in our lives every day.
In 2010, after recognizing the same issue of homelessness in the United States as in her parents’ home country of Sri Lanka, Reshini started X-Out Homelessness, which is a youth-led service campaign dedicated to raising awareness about and funds for the homeless. In Sri Lanka, Reshini felt like a foreigner, but the United States is her home and she wants to make sure everyone else has a home, as well. Over the past 4 years, X-Out Homelessness has spread to over 20 schools, reached more than 15,000 students, raised almost $10,000, and donated about 350 pounds of goods to the homeless.
Reshini was also selected to be a 2014 Three Dot Dash Global Teen Leader for the We Are Family Foundation and a 2013 and 2014 Peace First Prize Finalist. In addition to receiving support from GenerationOn and Youth Service America for her work for the homeless, Reshini has been named a Youth Service America National Child Awareness Month Ambassador. Reshini is passionate about figure skating, youth changemaking, community service, and helping the homeless and will continue to strive to make the world a better place for her generations and for the many generations to come. From a young age, both literally and metaphorically, Reshini has committed to one of Buddha’s most famous sayings: “If you knew what I know about the power of giving, you would not let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way.”