Thursday, May 30, 2024

Meet a Roadrunner: Honors student Shruti Sinkar is raising awareness about homelessness and hunger

Meet a Roadrunner: Honors student Shruti Sinkar is raising awareness about homelessness and hunger

Undergraduate launched a student organization devoted to helping the homeless.

(Aug. 14, 2017) -- Meet Shruti Sinkar. This Honors College student and UTSA Terry Scholar is the founder and president of the UTSA Hunger and Homelessness Movement and is inspiring other Roadrunners to support the cause.

After living in India, South Carolina and Houston, Sinkar came to UTSA in 2015 to join the Honors College.

During the second semester of her freshman year, the service-minded undergraduate started the UTSA Hunger and Homelessness Movement, an initiative that she conceptualized after a visit to a battered women’s shelter.

“It opened my eyes to the need for resources and I started the organization to do as much as I can for the homeless population in San Antonio,” said Sinkar.

A handful of people attended the student organization’s initial meeting. Now, more than 100 Roadrunners are involved. The group hosts food drives and volunteers with local organizations. To date, it has provided more than 1,000 service hours. It has also provided about $500 to local non-profits and has donated hundreds of clothing items to a refugee center in San Antonio.

“It makes me extremely happy to see how empowered these volunteers at UTSA are and how dedicated to the cause they are,” said Sinkar.

As president and founder of the UTSA Hunger and Homeless Movement, Sinkar’s goal is to work with city leaders to provide support to individuals who are homeless and searching for employment opportunities. To support students in need on campus, she is also focused on the success of the Roadrunner Pantry, which opened last March. The pantry supports student success by providing food and other essentials to UTSA students free of charge.

Sinkar also carves out time to help UTSA students. The biology major is a member of the UTSA Ambassadors, a group that provides thousands of service hours to the UTSA community each year. She also tutors students who need help with biology and organic chemistry in the Tomás Rivera Center on the Main Campus.

“I help freshmen get adjusted and make sure they feel at home at UTSA,” said Sinkar. “I know the struggles of moving to a new place and not knowing anyone firsthand.”

To develop her analytical skills, she’s working in the laboratory. The undergraduate has conducted research on Lyme disease under the guidance of Dr. Janakiram Seshu in the Department of Biology.

She’s also appreciative of the opportunity UTSA has provided her to travel across the world. Through GlobeMed at UTSA, a student organization that promotes health equity and social justice globally, Sinkar spent three weeks providing health care to residents in rural Peru. This summer, she took a trip to Italy, soaking in Italian history, culture and architecture, with funding from her Terry Foundation Scholarship.

With a positive attitude, Sinkar balances her volunteer work and academically rigorous course load. She credits her UTSA advisors and mentors, including Dr. Ann Eisenberg, for encouraging her to pursue her dreams. She also credits the Honors College for providing her with smaller classes and seminars that have allowed her to work closely with top-tier faculty in a multitude of disciplines.

When Sinkar graduates, she plans to go to medical school. She wants to continue her outreach and positively impact people’s lives, and hopes to work with organizations to make health care accessible around the world.

Building on her track record of success, she advises new students, “Set goals for yourself and believe in them. Challenge yourself every day and you’ll learn something new. UTSA has great resources to help you succeed and accomplish your dreams.”

Kara Soria

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