San José teenager sells homemade baked goods to buy nonprofit laptops

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A San Jose nonprofit is benefiting from the baking skills of a Presentation High School elder, who donates the proceeds from her button sales to purchase laptops for Sunday Friends customers.

Shrobana Sengupta came up with the idea when the courses went online during the pandemic. The Cambrian area resident volunteered with Sunday Friends and found that some students from low-income families served by the association did not have access to computers.

“About 80% of these families had lost their jobs and did not have unemployment benefits”, explains the teenager. “Some of the kids were trying to do homework on their smartphones.”

Shrobana had made baked macaroons as a Mother’s Day gift, and they turned out to be a hit not only with her mother but also with her friends, and her fundraiser was born.

Initially, she sold the cookies at home, and friends and neighbors collected them. She later started promoting her macaron sales through her website and on Instagram. She has so far raised enough money to donate more than 70 laptops to Sunday Friends.

Shrobana says there are many challenges in preparing these treats. She started cooking them in late fall, then winter came. The change in weather affected the end result, so she experimented with the temperature.

“Macaroons are finicky cookies,” she says. “They wouldn’t always go well. “

Born in Kolkata, India, Shrobana moved with her family to the United States when she was a baby. Service to the community is a family tradition; her extended family has periodically helped support organizations in India that help marginalized children and families.

Shrobana wishes to study business psychology and social entrepreneurship at university. With her creative talents, she would also like to combine business and design.

To order the Shrobana macaroons, visit www.merakix.com.


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