7th Grader Develops App to Benefit Kessler Foundation
Mohnish Sabhani is your typical 12 year old—a casual kid who loves technology and gaming. But when his Social Studies teacher, Ms. Gorton from Park Middle School in Scotch Plains, NJ, gave the class a service learning project, he took the opportunity to go above and beyond her expectations.
Ms. Gorton’s goal was twofold--to teach her students to be better citizens and make a difference in people’s lives. While most kids organize a bake sale or car wash, Mohnish’s idea was to develop a gaming app that would encourage players to donate to a charity—Kessler Foundation, which improves the lives of people with disabilities by funding rehabilitation research in spinal cord injury, stroke, traumatic brain injury, and multiple sclerosis as well as employment programs. “I chose to work with Kessler Foundation once I learned that more than 54 million Americans have a disability,” said Mohnish. “Kessler Foundation works everyday to support their independence and I want to be a part of that. I’m hoping that the app will raise money to support research for people with disabilities. Giving $5, $10 and even $5 million helps!”
“The Target”, available on all Android devices, is free to download and play. It just provides an easy option to donate to Kessler Foundation. If selected, the player will be linked to Kessler Foundation’s page. But more importantly, “The Target” is fun! A game of timing, the goal is to navigate a ball through a series of falling obstacles to reach the target. There are three main categories to play—easy, medium, and difficult—with 15 levels in each category. If the ball hits an obstacle, the player gets a strike. After a number of strikes, the player goes back a level. Watch Mohnish’s video on how to play “The Target” and how simple it is to make a donation. Download “The Target” and enjoy!
Mohnish is influenced by his father, a computer programmer and engineer. By the time he was ten years old, he had excelled in writing programs, email functions, databases, and even a website. But that wasn’t enough for him. Soon, Mohnish developed games for the PC. Intrigued by the popularity of mobile devices, he decided to create apps.
“The Target” is designed to engage and entertain users around the world while introducing them to the work of Kessler Foundation.
“Mohnish is the perfect example of how anyone, at any age, can be motivated by a meaningful cause and find a creative way to get involved,” said Pam DeLuca, chief development officer at Kessler Foundation. “When kids get involved in a charity, they learn compassion, appreciation, humility, and develop a good work ethic. Grassroots fundraising is effective and engaging and shows that they genuinely care about the cause. We’re very pleased that Mohnish took the initiative to support Kessler Foundation’s mission to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. He’s an amazing kid!”
Mohnish looks forward to continuing his relationship with Kessler Foundation. When the school year ends in June, he’ll tour the Foundation’s Research Center. He’s especially interested in seeing how robotic technology is improving the mobility for individuals with spinal cord injury and other physical disabilities. He’ll also see innovative ways that gaming technology like virtual reality and Kinect are being incorporated in research for stroke, traumatic brain injury, and multiple sclerosis. The Sabhani family is also volunteering for Kessler Foundation’s 11th Annual Stroll ‘N Roll (and RUN!) on October 21, 2012.
Mohnish shows how young people can change the world one small step at a time. While most people may not be able to create a gaming app, everyone—regardless of age—can do something to help others.