Rustic Spirit Spotlights: Victor, Thaksini and Kornpaka
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Rustic Spirit Spotlights: Victor, Thaksini and Kornpaka

At Rustic Pathways, we’re constantly inspired by the students who are making change in their communities and around the world. Through their actions they help others and protect our planet.

Rustic Spirit Spotlights are a collection of stories that shine a light on these amazing changemakers who have led young and are working hard to make a positive impact. This week we’re featuring teens in Thailand who are doing amazing work!

Impact advice round up: Don’t be afraid to try something that seems impossible. Oftentimes, unfounded mental barriers limit individuals. Take the initiative and be a changemaker. Although it may be intimidating to ask for certain projects or even funds, the worst thing you can get is just a “no.”

Don’t forget to make it fun! Fundraising and volunteering should be something you like doing and not something you feel as if you’re forced to do. For example, if you like graphic design, try designing t-shirts and selling them.

Victor Phisitkul
Age 16
Ruamrudee International School
Bangkok, Thailand

After starting a chess club in middle school, Victor found studies that show how chess positively influences the brain, improving concentration, reasoning and planning skills. This led Victor to examine various heuristic methods that can help introduce soft skills and useful habits to ADHD individuals. Eager to see how chess could affect the neurodiverse community, he started teaching students and has seen improvements in various skills. Playing chess has even become a self-calming method for a student with anxiety attacks.

From this experience Victor created a chess and ADHD book, which is endorsed by a former Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand. All funds from the book sales will be used to provide the necessities for skill training of underprivileged neurodivergent individuals.

Victor is also the founder of the Canceling Cancers club, which works to support ongoing research for affordable cancer treatments by means of immunotherapy and raises awareness on cancer prevention. The club has had great success through different fundraising events including a 3K run in which they donated $4,300 with 300 runners attending.

Victor aspires to be a researcher in the area of science and study how different forms of knowledge and technology created in various times, places, and cultures have shaped the modern world. In his free time he loves to visit historical sites and collect fascinating coins from the past.

Thaksini Chawla
Age 17
Bangkok International Preparatory and Secondary School
Bangkok, Thailand

Thaksini is a founder and leading member for many different community service groups including Smile Club, HelpMorThai, 30,000ToGo and ChanceGivers. The Smile Club raises funds for Operation Smile, a non-profit organization that provides free reconstructive surgery to underprivileged children around the world who are born with a cleft condition. HelpMorThai is raising $850 to buy medical essentials and PPE kits for rural Thai hospitals. 30,000ToGo is about to begin efforts to raise $850 to pay for a child’s heart surgery through the Cardiac Children Foundation. ChanceGivers gathers donations of clothes and essential goods that are distributed to people in the Khlong Toei community, the largest low-income area of Bangkok.

As a student leader since primary school, Thaksini has organized and hosted many different school events to raise funds for nonprofits focused on positive social change.

Thaksini plans to major in dentistry or medicine and has aspirations to become a dentist or a doctor. She enjoys going on long walks, painting, debating and baking.

Kornpaka Suntipong
Age 17
Mahidol University International Demonstration School
Bangkok, Thailand

Kornpaka is the founder of an international, youth-led organization called Once Upon a Generation that strives to encourage unity in the online community. With 40 team members, the organization’s community has grown to over 8000 people, and they have led more than ten virtual events.

Kornpaka is also the founder and president of Bangkok’s Dear Asian Youth chapter that aims to empower and support youth across Thailand through service projects. The chapter has raised over $2,000 worth of books for underserved children in rural areas of Thailand.

Kornpaka plans to major in biology and pursue a pre-med track to become a physician. She describes herself as a literary fanatic who loves to curl up with a story after a busy day at school. Some of Kornpaka favorites include F.Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories of Sherlock Holmes.

About the Author

Kayla Anzalone