Sterling, VA (June 24, 2015) – A Park View High School graduate and former English language learner (ELL) student at Park View High School returned on Friday, May 13th, to read the children’s book she recently authored to a pre-school class in the school’s library.
Children’s book author Aditi Verma graduated from Park View High School in 1997 and, as a recent immigrant from India, studied as an ELL student while a student there.
Verma accepted an invitation to return to her alma mater to encourage current ELL students and read her book, “Sal, Let’s Help,” to a classroom of pre-schoolers and their high school teacher cadet and teacher assistants. (“Sal, Let’s Help” tells the story of Sal Greene, who likes to help around the house. When there’s a chore Sal doesn’t like, his mother finds a way to make it fun.)
“When I was a student, I had the usual goals; complete college and get a high-paying job,” Verma told the current ELL students. With a degree in finance from Virginia Tech, Verma quickly earned a six-figure income at a New York financial investment company.
“But that wasn’t the life I wanted,” she confessed. “So, after a few years, I left my job to start the non-profit organization Helping Town. My parents and everyone else thought I was crazy, but this is the life I was looking for.” (Helping Town LLC is a social good company. It provides the easiest way of directly connecting volunteers with people who need help in their community.)
Verma and co-author and friend Priti Bonsal published the book with funds raised on the online site Kickstarter. The proceeds from book sales will help fund projects undertaken by Helping Town. “Be passionate about what you want to do,” said Verma, “then you will love your life.”