Spartanburg Day School
Spartanburg Day School
Passion for community creates opportunities for all.
“I did not expect a ninth-grade science fair project to change my life,” says Cameron Srivastava. He elected to study heart valve disease because of his family’s history with cardiac issues. Specifically, his grandfather needed heart surgery, but was too frail to undergo it. Interested in exploring the options, Cameron’s project research uncovered a new medical procedure that could bring hope to people like his grandfather. But the data Cameron found pointed to inequity in access to the treatment based on race. “This inequality offended my sense of fair play developed in sports, and I made it a goal that everyone would be treated equally by our healthcare system.”
Cameron’s project earned him a win at the Region Ill Science Fair and allowed him to advance to the International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF). But he did not stop there. What he learned inspired him to advocate for health equity in his community. He began volunteering at black churches and barbershops and giving speeches at community centers to raise awareness about new treatments. He founded a non-profit organization, Equity Starts from the Heart, to establish a coalition of community members, physicians, nurses, hospital leaders, pastors, politicians, and educational institutions to jointly address the issues. He published an abstract in American College of Cardiology on improving patient care processes. Through this journey, Cameron personally met with individuals affected by this work. “This volunteer experience changed my perception of science; behind each data point on a chart or graph is a person with a family who deserves to be treated fairly.”
Cameron plans to devote his career to research and medical advancement that will bring widespread benefit to all people. In the meantime, he will continue to strengthen the legacy of community he’s been instrumental in fostering at his school and beyond. His roles as captain of his sports teams, student body president, peer tutor, editor of the school newspaper, and member of the honor council give him unique opportunities to influence culture and create a spirit of unity on the field and off, which he believes propelled his cross-country team to become state champions. His leadership and influence reach well beyond the school through his participation in South Carolina Youth in Government, his efforts to extend voter registration drives throughout the county, and his role in the national political process as a volunteer during the 2020 Democratic primary. “I was taught that being part of a community means that family extends beyond the four walls of our house.” He already lives that lesson every day even as he looks toward a future where he can make an even greater difference.
“My values—hard work and civic mindedness—come from an internal desire to make sure all people are respected and treated fairly.”
~ Cameron Srivastava ~