Peninsula High freshman Shivani Sharma recently had a musical debut, of all places, at New York's famed Carnegie Hall.

The 14 year old, who began her relationship with the piano when she was seven, said the experience playing in Weill Hall was amazing. She traveled with a small group of advanced students from Hills Academy of Music and played Sonatina in A minor by Benda and Solgfeggio in D major by Bach.

“I was nervous getting on the stage in front of everyone, but when I sat down to start playing, I felt confident," said Sharma. "I just focused on the music.” 

Sharma, an honor roll student since sixth grade, credits her parents with her strong work focus.

Her mother, Archana, is a professor, and her father, Vivek, has been a practicing physician (senior anesthesiologist) for nearly twenty years. Sharma said she also takes after her brother Keshav, a sophomore at Peninsula, who has helped guide her this first year of high school.

In addition to music, Sharma plays libero for Peninsula's freshman team. She recently received a defensive player of the year award at the girls volleyball banquet.

Sharma is also an active Girl Scout. She’s a member of the Shark Bait Troop 12345 and has completed her Cadette journey and her Silver Award.

“A Cadette journey,” she explained,” is identifying a problem, putting a motion into place, and working to learn about the topic while spreading information. I was interested in essential oils and the air around us, so I picked this Breathe Journey.  For that project, I worked with the Peninsula Village, assisted some of the members and kept them company.”

The Girl Scout Silver Award is the highest honor a Girl Scout Cadette can achieve. The Cadette focuses on an issue she cares about, learns the facts and takes action to make a difference. The fifty hours of service help the girls gain skills and confidence that will help them throughout their lives. 

“For the Silver Award, I worked with the Peninsula Village,” said Sharma. “I’ve gone to members’ houses to keep them company, helped them organize rooms and clear space and gone on walks with them. I also helped organize the Village office for Mrs. Propst. Right now, I haven't been volunteering for them, but I’m available for events like their Volunteer Appreciation event or their activities that take place at the library.” 

Marianne Propst, the executive director of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Village is grateful.

“The Village looks for and welcomes volunteering from young people such as Shivani," Propst said. "It is an opportunity for developing friendships between the generations which is something I would love to see more of in Palos Verdes."

Sharma gives back to the community in many ways. She's an ardent animal lover who volunteers at animal shelters and collects donations for them. 

In her “spare time,” the well-rounded teenager enjoys spending time with her family, her eight-year-old dog, Yoda, and friends. She draws and paints, enjoys traveling, spends time at the beach and she’s passionate about volunteering. 

“I enjoy volunteering because it makes me feel good that I helped someone out,” she said. “Someone has liked my company and I feel great that I made someone happy. I especially like being with members of the Village because I can interact with them and be helpful.”

Her mother, Archana, credits the strong bonds in the Palos Verdes community with her daughter's success.

"We know being part of PV and its schools that there is significant nurturing of children, their growth, development, and their education," Archana said. "That is why we chose to move here.”

Upon graduation, Shivani Sharma said she plans to attend college in California and follow her father into the medical field. 

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