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Student Riya Chandra Summits the Highest Mountain in Africa

This past summer, Riya Chandra, a junior at Hastings High School, successfully summited Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa and the highest single free-standing mountain above sea level in the world.

An outstanding feat for a 15 year old, Riya was the youngest person on the mountain during the time she was there. 

While at the summit, she also helped raise awareness for her organization HYPE - Girls Hiking Youth Program for Equity, which encourages teenage girls of color, an often underrepresented group, to explore nature, hiking and the outdoors for its many mental and physical health benefits.

"This climb showed me that I can push my boundaries and it taught me the importance of training and confidence," Riya said.

"Hiking has always been a big part of my life and being able to summit Mount Kilimanjaro showed me that no goal is too big."