Vernon Hills teen creates nonprofit to tutor younger students for math competitions and more

  • Kandarp Vadia, 17, of Vernon Hills over the summer talks to a class of 11th-graders at a professional tutoring company in India about the American education system and his own tutoring nonprofit, Project Curiosity.

    Kandarp Vadia, 17, of Vernon Hills over the summer talks to a class of 11th-graders at a professional tutoring company in India about the American education system and his own tutoring nonprofit, Project Curiosity. Courtesy of Kandarp Vadia

  • Kandarp Vadia, 17, of Vernon Hills has started a nonprofit tutoring program, called Project Curiosity for fourth- through eighth-graders.

    Kandarp Vadia, 17, of Vernon Hills has started a nonprofit tutoring program, called Project Curiosity for fourth- through eighth-graders. Courtesy of Project Curiosity

  • Michelle Duster, great-granddaughter of journalist and activist Ida B. Wells, will speak today at Wheaton Public Library.

    Michelle Duster, great-granddaughter of journalist and activist Ida B. Wells, will speak today at Wheaton Public Library. Courtesy of Michelle Duster

  • Community members are invited to the Islamic Center of Naperville's Open Mosque Day on Sunday, Oct. 30.

    Community members are invited to the Islamic Center of Naperville's Open Mosque Day on Sunday, Oct. 30. Daily Herald File Photo, 2018

  • Suburban Hindus, Sikhs and Jains will celebrate Diwali, the "Festival of Lights," Monday. Colorful clay diya lamps with flowers on purple background.

    Suburban Hindus, Sikhs and Jains will celebrate Diwali, the "Festival of Lights," Monday. Colorful clay diya lamps with flowers on purple background.

  • Iranian American author and historian Reza Aslan will speak Nov. 10, at a Naperville church about his latest book, "An American Martyr in Persia: The Epic Life and Tragic Death of Howard Baskerville."

    Iranian American author and historian Reza Aslan will speak Nov. 10, at a Naperville church about his latest book, "An American Martyr in Persia: The Epic Life and Tragic Death of Howard Baskerville." Associated Press File Photo, 2016

 
 
Posted10/24/2022 5:30 AM

Vernon Hills teen Kandarp Vadia always had a wonder for learning math and a passion for teaching.

He's been involved in math competitions since fourth grade and now focuses on tutoring younger students in advanced math to prepare them for competitions and extracurricular teams.

 

"I've been through all those processes, know some tips and tricks that I have learned through my experience," says the 17-year-old Vernon Hills High School junior, who launched an online tutoring service in May 2021. "I just wanted to pass that along to students ... mainly to inspire this sense of curiosity that I myself felt about learning in general."

Kandarp's nonprofit tutoring program, called Project Curiosity, is for fourth- through eighth-graders. Through it, he now offers a variety of classes on subjects including competition math, astronomy, public speaking, violin and guitar. He charges $7.50 per lesson and donates proceeds to UNICEF to help educate children globally.

Kandarp studies college-level math and is part of his high school's competitive math team. He also has a love of astronomy.

"One of the first few books I ever owned was a space encyclopedia," he said. "Over the years I have taught myself a few things. What I teach the kids ... I tend to focus on the basic concepts (of astronomy, basic physics laws, cosmology) that they can understand while also trying to hopefully instill the same passion and interest in outer space that I had when I was younger."

A majority of students also use his tutoring service for public speaking lessons to prepare for debates, speeches and improvisation, he said.

"It's a very good skill to have to know how to talk to people," he said.

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For now, Kandarp is the only tutor with Project Curiosity. He mainly offers tutoring sessions over the summer and helps tutor peers during the school year at Vernon Hills High.

"It's more of a social work project for me," he said. "The key point of it was to instill that curiosity in students."

History talk

Public historian Michelle Duster will talk about the work and legacy of her great-grandmother, Ida B. Wells, and her family's efforts to ensure her contributions are recognized and honored at 7 p.m. today at Wheaton Public Library.

Duster is a professor and author of "Ida B. the Queen." She has worked on a PBS documentary film, edited two books that include Wells' writing, has written two biographies and worked on a Chicago monument, honorary street name, historical marker and large-scale mural to honor Wells, who died in 1931. She also consults on national projects that feature Wells.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Wells, a Chicago journalist, fought for women's right to vote, was instrumental in the establishment of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and posthumously was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism.

The free event will be held in-person at the library, 225 N. Cross St., and livestreamed via Zoom. Register at wheatonlibrary.org/calendar.

Mosque open house

The Islamic Center of Naperville will have an Open Mosque Day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 30, at 2844 W. Ogden Ave., Naperville.

It's the first open house at the mosque in two years. It used to be a regular event since before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of the free event is to welcome neighbors and community members, and provide an opportunity for dialogue and building friendships with members of the larger community.

A new virtual reality attraction has been added this year to allow visitors to experience the Mecca of 640 A.D. and today. There also will be presentations about "Hope after the Pandemic" at noon and 2 p.m., and various booths representing different aspects of the Islamic faith. Food and refreshments from the Middle East and South Asia will be served.

Happy Diwali

Suburban Hindu, Sikh and Jain communities will mark Diwali, the South Asian "Festival of Lights," today with celebrations.

The festival symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. It includes worship services and rituals such as putting up lights, setting off fireworks and family gatherings. Here are a few suburban events:

• Aurora's Indian American Community Outreach Advisory Board will host a Diwali celebration Nov. 5, at the Fox Valley Mall. The event will include Indian cultural music, performances, food, ethnic clothing, jewelry and more. It will be held in the Center Park of the mall, 195 Fox Valley Center Drive, Aurora. Admission is free, no registration required.

Parking is free and closest spots are at mall entrance #1 near Macy's. For more information, visit the Indian American Community Advisory Board's Facebook page bit.ly/3V5mTms.

• A Diwali Dandiya Night Festival will be held at 7 p.m. Nov. 5 at the Sullivan Center, 635 N. Aspen Drive, Vernon Hills. Dandiya raas is a folk dance originating from the Indian state of Gujarat. To purchase tickets, visit bit.ly/3exRgS0 or call (512) 788-5300.

Persian author talk

The Chicago Theological Seminary will present an evening with Iranian American author and historian Reza Aslan at 6 p.m. Nov. 10, at First Congregational UCC Naperville, 25 E. Benton Ave.

Seminary board member the Rev. Mark Winters will lead the discussion on Aslan's latest book, "An American Martyr in Persia: The Epic Life and Tragic Death of Howard Baskerville." A book signing will follow the talk.

The event is free but registration is required. Visit bit.ly/ctsreza.

MLK dinner

The 53rd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance Dinner will be held Nov. 19, at Cotillion Banquets in Palatine.

The theme for this year's event is "Heeding Dr. King's Call for Health Care Equity."

Dr. Wayne Giles, dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois Chicago, will chair the dinner. Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of Washington, D.C.-based American Public Health Association, will deliver the keynote speech.

During the event, organizers will honor Harper College President Avis Proctor and Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, chief executive officer for the Cook County Public Health Department.

The dinner is organized by the Illinois Commission on Diversity and Human Relations.

• Share stories, news and happenings from the suburban mosaic at mkrishnamurthy@dailyherald.com.

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