North Carolina Association of Indian Americans raises $500,000 for NCSSM programs

NCSSM Trustee Chair Tom Looney and Chancellor Todd Roberts receive $500,000 donation from NCAIA members. Pictured right to left: NCSSM Trustee Vimal Kolappa, NCSSM Chancellor Todd Roberts, NCSSM Trustee Chair Tom Looney, U.S. Rep. George Holding and N.C. Lt. Gov. Dan Forest.

The North Carolina Association of Indian Americans (NCAIA) raised more than $500,000 in charitable donations to expand high-level STEM education in the state, making a dramatic impact in their group’s first philanthropic endeavor.

Association members presented the gifts to the charitable foundation of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics Saturday, May 4, during a grand gala dinner in downtown Durham attended by U.S. Rep. George Holding, N.C. Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, state Sen. Floyd McKissick, Wake County Commissioner Jessica Holmes, Morrisville Town Councillors Satish Garimilla and Steve Rao, and other political, business, and education leaders.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Indian American community for supporting our educational mission,” said NCSSM Chancellor Todd Roberts. “These very generous gifts will allow us to extend educational opportunities to even more talented students throughout North Carolina.”

NCSSM Trustee Vimal Kolappa, one of the event organizers, observed: “Our Indian American community is thankful for the many opportunities available to us in this country, and most especially for the educational opportunities available to our children. For our first charity fundraiser, we thought it especially fitting that we support the work of NCSSM, which offers advanced educational opportunities and support services to students, teachers and schools in every corner of North Carolina.”

The smallest — yet perhaps most meaningful — gift of the evening was presented by little Gabby Rose, 11, who offered the change from her piggy bank. “I was just thinking that one of the students served by NCSSM might one day cure cancer,” said Gabby, whose mom, Asha, is a cancer survivor. “That makes me a supporter of NCSSM!”

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