Many students spend their high school years preparing for college or sharpening their athletic skills.
Anika Verma, a graduating senior at Newark Academy, created her own apparel company.
Dare2Dye includes an OPTIMISM line featuring rainbow patches, bright colors and smile-faced embroidery. It’s bringing smiles to a Morristown-based nonprofit, too. Verma is donating a percentage of her sales to the Kids2Kids Special Needs Mentoring Program, where she has been volunteering for about six years.
Established a dozen years ago, Kids2Kids strives to pair teen mentors with special needs kids to develop social interaction, independence, pride and basic skill development in a variety of settings.
Over the years, K2K has recruited hundreds of mentors from area school districts and sports programs. They share their talents and bond with kids on the autism spectrum who struggle to socialize, yet can do so in a safe environment.
“Through singalongs, yoga sessions, swim lessons, golf lessons, art and crafts, I have formed unbreakable bonds with both mentors and participants in our programs,” said Verma, who will be attending the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business this fall.