Rustic Spirit Spotlights: Khushi, Morgan and Molly
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Rustic Spirit Spotlights: Khushi, Morgan and Molly

When students engage in meaningful community service on our travel programs, small efforts add up to create a large collective impact.

But Rustic travelers aren’t the only ones who are creating change. Teens and young adults around the world are positively impacting their communities. We are celebrating these teens in Rustic Spirit Spotlights. Check out these changemakers doing amazing work!

Khushi Talluru
Age 15
Pine Creek High School
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Khushi is founder and president of the ‘Ending Disparities in the Healthcare System’ club, which works to end linguistic and ethnic disparities within the healthcare system and make health services more accessible. Many people are hesitant to use the healthcare system because they worry healthcare workers may not properly understand their English or cultural beliefs. Khushi founded the club to work with her local community and hospitals to make the system more welcoming.

This holiday season, Khushi is doing a book and magazine drive to donate to a local children’s hospital, specifically looking for books or magazines in languages other than English. When a non-native English speaker sees that their hospital took an extra step to acquire a book for them in the language they speak, it will make them more comfortable in the hospital environment.

Khushi plans to major in public health and become an ER doctor because she enjoys quick thinking and works well under pressure. She enjoys diving for her school dive team, running, baking holiday pies and cakes, and sleeping in on the weekends.

Khushi advises other students who want to make a positive impact not to be afraid to work and get the message out there. It might seem scary to bring a new idea to the community, but there’s always going to be someone who’s so grateful for it.

Morgan Carr
Age 16
Jefferson Virtual High School
Kenner, Louisiana

In the two years her virtual high school has been open, Morgan and others on the student council have been working to bring joy to their peers. They recognize that attending a virtual school is a much different experience than an in-person school, and work hard to plan events where everyone can feel involved and supported. As vice president of the student council, Morgan aims to create a safe space to bring her fellow peers together, make them feel comfortable and allow them to thrive in the learning environment.

Morgan is thinking about going into the medical field in college as she’s interested in anesthesiology and surgical medicine. Morgan enjoys painting and letting her creativity flow once she starts a piece.

Morgan advises others to put themselves out there and be confident in what they are doing to make a positive impact. She says it may be scary at first, but eventually reaching out and supporting others becomes second nature.

Molly Riggs
Age 18
South Charleston High School
South Charleston, West Virginia

Molly frequently volunteers at her school and church. In school, she is the senior class vice president, National Honors Society president, captain of the volleyball team, and manages blood drives and voting registration drives. Through her church she participates in packing gift or supply boxes and bringing food to families. Molly also has spoken on behalf of her school peers to the Office of Population Affairs, discussing how to support student and staff mental health in the school system.

As a current senior, Molly plans to go to Olivet Nazarene University in the fall of 2023. She will be majoring in interior design and aims to first work with an interior design company before starting her own business. Once successful, Molly would love to either join or create a non-profit that helps communities that have been through war or natural disasters rebuild. In her free time Molly loves to play volleyball and hang out with her friends downtown.

Molly says with the determination and drive to accomplish something, it is possible to do anything. She adds that while adults may not take notice, little kids will look up to those putting in the effort and making an impact.

Nominate a Student

Do you know a student doing valuable work that deserves to be recognized? Nominate them here! Are you making an impact? Tell us about your work here.

Make Change

Interested in creating change in your community? Check out our guide and learn how to make an impact as a student.

At Rustic Pathways, our goal is to make positive contributions to the communities we visit through responsible travel operations and community service projects that contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

About the Author

Kayla Anzalone

Kayla joined Rustic Pathways in 2020 as the Director of Special Projects. She has nearly a decade of experience in communications and marketing. At Rustic Pathways, Kayla is dedicated to helping high school students discover their passion for exploring the world through summer travel programs. She drives impactful initiatives to empower students through meaningful travel experiences worldwide. Based in San Jose, California, Kayla loves the outdoors, live music and travel.