Sunitha Cheruvu, interviewed in our December issue article ‘Diwali in Frisco’, organized the Diwali lamp lighting event, along with Gopal Ponangi. Sunitha, also known as Sunny, has lived in Frisco for ten years. Along with her husband, they have three beautiful children who have all attended Frisco ISD schools since kindergarten.
Mrs. Cheruvu attended Rutgers University and received her electrical engineering degree at Rutgers College of Engineering. When asked what she is most proud of she stated, “Professionally and locally it would have to be accepting the Frisco Chamber’s Nonprofit of the Year award this past year on behalf of Frisco Education Foundation, alongside our hard-working board and amazing staff led by Allison Miller. Education is a gift that never diminishes. It was a huge honor to have FEF’s great work recognized with this award. On the personal side, receiving a special commemorative pendant for service directly from HH Sri Swamiji, our temple’s founder and spiritual leader, during the global celebrations for his 75th birthday means more than words can say.”
Currently Mrs. Cheruvu is a business consultant at Southwest Airlines, but she is also the president of Frisco Education Foundation, vice-chair of the Frisco Mayoral Inclusion Committee and she helps to coordinate efforts on the community services team at KSHT. In addition to her already busy schedule, Mrs. Cheruvu is a member on the Frisco Police Training Advisory Board, Institute for Law Enforcement Administration (ILEA) Advisory Board and FISD Diversity Task Force. “Building bridges towards mutual understanding is very important. Through my role on ILEA, I help facilitate cultural awareness training for law enforcement leaders from organizations all across the US. Similarly, I’ve served as community liaison for the Frisco PD to provide cultural context, share insights and learn from our frontlines/heroes through honest dialogue. While teaching is about imparting knowledge, I’ve come away with valuable lessons from these interactions.”
When asked what she loves most about her volunteer roles, she stated, “Serving our community through the Frisco Education Foundation, especially during the pandemic, has been both challenging and rewarding. Despite the unplanned restrictions, our FEF board, staff and volunteers came together to award over 920 scholarships to graduating seniors! We adapted to new virtual platforms for our events to deliver on our mission and meet the needs of FISD students and educators. We made silver linings from the gray clouds.”
“Another silver lining during this time has been working on the Frisco Inclusion Committee’s efforts to increase engagement, education and understanding among all the communities who make Frisco their home. Personally, I was thrilled to coordinate our city’s first ever Diwali Lamp Lighting on November 14. The support from Mayor Cheney, the city and FISD leaders who joined together to light the inaugural lamp was incredible. It means so much to the Indian community and their future generations to have one of the most significant Hindu festivals be included in the city’s holiday season celebrations.”
Even though Mrs. Cheruvu is very busy in the community and with her family, she still finds time to explore our local town. You will likely find her at the Frisco Fresh Market, eyeing the amazing foods and craft creations from local vendors. What you may not know, however, is that Mrs. Cheruvu had a brief stint as a radio DJ! “It was a bit terrifying at the start and an absolute blast by the time it wrapped-up!”
It is unmistakable that Mrs. Cheruvu loves her community. “Frisco is one of the best places to live because of its caring residents. It’s evident in the way we give and support great local charities because they help lift up our fellow Frisconians. I think we can use that caring nature to lean in with our hearts and seek to better understand each other. I hope we can come together because of the things we have in common and stay to celebrate what makes each of us different, without having to agree on everything. I’ve found sometimes all it takes is a good cup of coffee and a slice of ‘keeping it real’ conversation. One person can make a difference. By working together in partnership and seeking a middle-ground, we can make a lasting, positive impact in our city.”