Today we’d like to introduce you to Srilekha Cherukuvada
Hi Srilekha, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Everyone has a story. I remember riding the bus to and from school every day in elementary school and looking out the window at the trees and the sky; I even used to name those trees. More importantly though, I would gaze at the houses in awe and make up stories for each family living there. I would drown out the noises of all the students shouting and laughing and just breathe and think. It was so relaxing and honestly, I would give just about anything to do that again, just think peacefully. When it came to my story, however, I would always blank out. Where would I start and where would I end? Is it even fair to tell my story when it’s not finished yet? Is my story as interesting as the one I made up for my neighbors I never even met? My story doesn’t have a beginning or an end yet. It isn’t concrete; it’s always changing, always dynamic- just as everything in this world is. My nonprofit, Plannr Consulting, didn’t have a beginning, and I’m hoping it won’t have an end. I remember the whole thing starting as a fluffy idea in my head, something intangible and indescribable. It was just an idea. And so, I set up a website. For wedding planning. I still can’t believe this initiative, now focused on mental health for students, used to be an eighth grader wanting to plan weddings. Ridiculous, right? The idea obviously transformed a lot, and after a couple years in my Junior year of high school, we had our launch. Still, Plannr Consulting continues to change so much. With our values and mission, we continuously work towards improving our services, pushing out new resources, and creating new valuable content.
Beyond Plannr Consulting, however, my story is vast and filled with so many different experiences. I lived in Michigan for 11 years of my life in a joined family with my two cousins, who are still my closest friends. We moved to Texas smack dab in the middle of middle school. I almost drowned once. I played the flute for over 10 years. I got obsessed with walruses. I joined a bajillion nonprofits and got interested in social impact. There is so much more to one person than their success or where they are now. I am more than my nonprofit, and I’m more than what I answered here today. My story is bigger than this. Everyone has a story. However, I quickly learned that those stories are only valuable when the person behind them is doing what they love. My story is passion. My story is the bus rides and speaking at webinars. My story is music and endless meetings. This is my ever changing story and I’m proud of it.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Any story has obstacles and challenges along the way; that’s life. One of the biggest challenges with my nonprofit, Plannr Consulting, was, in fact, getting it started in the first place. As I mentioned before, Plannr used to be about wedding planning, and as I entered high school, I encountered several stressors causing mental breakdowns and anxiety. School broke me. I wanted to make sure no one else felt that way throughout their high school career. However, finding that initial spark was the hard part. I would frequently experience burnouts and get too tired to work. I was in band at the time so I would rarely have the time to actually work on my nonprofit. Eventually, things settled. Recruiting was difficult, but we got a team. And now, we’re solid. We’re growing. We’re impacting. Struggles mean growth. The challenges I’ve encountered through building my nonprofit, and even throughout all of my social impact work, all have resulted in my mindset changing, and me becoming more open minded. Bumpy roads pave out; they become smoother. But, a smooth road isn’t what I hope for. I wish for an interesting road, one with bumps and smooth parts, one surrounded by lush greenery and beautiful sights.
As you know, we’re big fans of Plannr Consulting. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
Plannr Consulting is a fiscally sponsored 501c(3) youth-led international non profit organization providing free personalized peer mentorship sessions to enhance student health. Plannr focuses on spreading mental health awareness through monthly interactive campaigns where attendees can collaborate with international workshop hosts, speakers, and organizations. In addition, the nonprofit has established a community platform to provide a safe space for students to converse. Plannr Consulting also has a blog called Journey, which highlights topics such as mentorship, confidence, and mental health journeys through different forms of expression. We have impacted thousands of students through social media, our campaigns, and our services. As a for student, by student organization, we are able to foster age-related connections with our clients, which aid in improving the comfort level during our sessions. Though we are not certified psychologists/therapists, we aim to help students through more minor mental health issues and providing self care tips. To sign up for a free session, visit http://plannrconsulting.org/consult. We are also always looking for new sponsors and partners, and more members on our Advisory Board. If interested in impacting youth in mental health, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We all have a different way of looking at and defining success. How do you define success?
Success has no definition in my book; it’s more of a feeling. Success isn’t just achievement; success is growth. It’s pride in the work you’ve done thus far. It’s happiness and passion, and it can’t be put into a couple simple words.