CHARACTER COUNTS

Arcadia senior wins 2024 Character Counts Scholarship

Feb 29, 2024, 11:10 AM | Updated: 11:19 am

Aani Nagaiah, front row far right, is the winner among 10 finalists for the 2024 Character Counts s...

Aani Nagaiah, front row far right, is the winner among 10 finalists for the 2024 Character Counts scholardship, courtesy of Parkers & Sons. (Ed Cole/Arizona Sports)

(Ed Cole/Arizona Sports)

Arcadia senior Aani Nagaiah on Wednesday night was presented as the winner of the 2024 Character Counts scholarship, courtesy of Parker & Sons.

Nagaiah, one of 10 finalists, was presented with a $10,000 scholarship to reward her for her work in the community.

A three-sport athlete, Nagaiah is a co-founder of the non-profit Our Ode To You, which aims to bring art and music to senior citizens in the Valley. Our Ode To You hosts workshops at care homes in the Phoenix area and aims to nourish the minds and spirits of elders in the community while fighting social isolation.

“We want to rekindle the elderly’s passions, and we want them to know that they’re not alone,” Nagaiah said in January when she was nominated for the Character Counts scholarship. “It’s our ode to them.”

She additionally volunteers at the Musical Instrument Museum and HonorHealth’s John C. Lincoln Medical Center.

Nagaih, who has played basketball and ran for the track and cross-country teams at her high school, also is a member of the Arcadia marching band.

She plans to major in medical anthropology with the goal of becoming a doctor.

“I come from a family who didn’t have much to start with,” Nagaiah said. “Seeing all the resources I have around me now, there’s not really any reason not to help people.”

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