Happy new year! We are thrilled to be back with our community and honored to continue sharing the work of amazing people making the world a little kinder. Through our friends at Matt’s Kindness Ripples On, we were connected to Aanand Mehta, founder of Magical Motors in Phoenix, Arizona. I am so inspired by Aanand’s work and know you will be too.
Liz: Let’s start in traditional Smile Project fashion. Give me a “Happiness is.”
Aanand: Happiness is knowing that you can be yourself.
Liz: Tell me about Magical Motors.
Aanand: My organization is Magical Motors. We adapt ride-on cars for children with developmental and physical disabilities and reform STEM education and disability tech accessibility policy internationally.
Liz: What is the driving force behind what you do?
Aanand: The driving force behind what I do is simply thinking of one question: "What if I didn't have the right to move on my own?" I first saw this in Arizona, where access to disability technology is not readily available, and I began seeing similar trends across the country and internationally. I aim to continue building solutions to address these inequalities and ensure that each child has the right to express themselves to their fullest potential.
Liz: What does service mean to you?
Aanand: Service, to me, entails 3 steps. First, identifying a problem in a community, whether it be local or something that's personal to you. Second, it consists of creating a "rough draft" plan to tackle that issue. And finally, service means working with other people to help achieve that goal and fill that gap. However, there will always be roadbumps on the journey, so be prepared on how to face those adversities!
Liz: How can people get involved?
Aanand: To get involved with Magical Motors:
Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions about starting your own initiative or if you're interested in getting involved with Magical Motors!
Liz: Do you have any advice you’d like to leave us with?
Aanand: To begin solving a problem, start local. From there, develop larger-scale connections to begin growing your initiative!