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Humans of Harker: Dipping into different lives

Mahi Gurram reaches beyond her community

%E2%80%9CEven+though+there+are+a+lot+of+stereotypes%2C+we+are+in+a+little+bubble.+We+live+inside+a+bubble%2C+but+at+the+same+time%2C+with+all+the+resources+we%E2%80%99re+given%2C+we%E2%80%99re+able+to+explore+and+expand+our+horizons%2C+like+we+dip+into+other+lives+or+other+communities%2C%E2%80%9D+Mahi+Gurram+%2812%29+said.
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Humans of Harker: Dipping into different lives

“Even though there are a lot of stereotypes, we are in a little bubble. We live inside a bubble, but at the same time, with all the resources we’re given, we’re able to explore and expand our horizons, like we dip into other lives or other communities,” Mahi Gurram (12) said.

“Even though there are a lot of stereotypes, we are in a little bubble. We live inside a bubble, but at the same time, with all the resources we’re given, we’re able to explore and expand our horizons, like we dip into other lives or other communities,” Mahi Gurram (12) said.

Arely Sun

“Even though there are a lot of stereotypes, we are in a little bubble. We live inside a bubble, but at the same time, with all the resources we’re given, we’re able to explore and expand our horizons, like we dip into other lives or other communities,” Mahi Gurram (12) said.

Arely Sun

Arely Sun

“Even though there are a lot of stereotypes, we are in a little bubble. We live inside a bubble, but at the same time, with all the resources we’re given, we’re able to explore and expand our horizons, like we dip into other lives or other communities,” Mahi Gurram (12) said.

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As she jokes around with her friends outside of the Athletic Center, Mahi Gurram’s (12) gentle smile and twinkling eyes exude kindness and compassion towards those around her. No matter where she is, she always tries to contribute as much as she can and is not afraid of failure.

During the summer of her freshman year, Mahi visited Tibet for a community service trip where she taught at a local school and participate in a cultural exchange program.

“I don’t know any Tibetan people living in the US, so getting to experience their culture was cool, and they’d never seen an Indian person before, so they were super amazed by that,” Mahi said.

The year after that, her passion for community service led her to work at an Indian nonprofit organization called Kakatiya Sandbox, which includes a several programs grouped into one. She worked for “Save a Mother,” where she visited impoverished villages and taught pregnant women about nutrition and what their babies needed. Mahi also taught English and science at a local school for four weeks.

Beyond teaching, she also was able to learn about her culture and was able to find gratitude for her life in America.

“I was definitely more thankful for where I was from, and I also connected with my culture because I am Indian,” she said. “Culture has been a huge part of my life, [and] just because I am Indian-American, I am part of both cultures.”

She feels that by participating in community service helps us to explore the larger world.

“Even though there are a lot of stereotypes, we are in a little bubble. We live inside a bubble, but at the same time, with all the resources we’re given, we’re able to explore and expand our horizons, like we dip into other lives or other communities,” Mahi said.

Mahi’s love for helping others is accompanied with an outgoing personality and “this really intense love,” as close friend Cameron Zell (12) said.

“Mahi is one of the most thoughtful people and greatest friends that I’ve had. She has this fierce love for everyone around her, and if you’re lucky enough to be friends with her, then she will be there, and she will be your best companion whenever you need her to be,” said Cameron.

She says she can always count on Mahi to try new things with her, whether it is trying new foods or new sports.

Although she had always played golf, in her freshman year, Mahi decided to try out for the softball team without any experience.

“I was really bad at softball my freshman year, like actually terrible, but my love for this sport just grew,” she said. “So I worked harder and spent more time conditioning and practicing, so I could be better. Although I’m not the best on the team, I still support my team and keep trying because I love it,”

When she’s in the moment, Mahi describes everything except for her and the pitcher “shutting out.” She tells herself as she prepares to bat, “Come on Mahi. Smack it.”

As she speaks of batting, her hands and arms rise to her shoulder as if she were preparing to swing at a softball speeding towards her, the letters on her grey “Harker athletics” hoodie shifting. Her legs, clad in black leggings and sneakers, perch upon the footrest of the wooden stool she sits on.

If she misses the pitch, she knows that she still has more chances to hit the ball. If she strikes out, she will go behind the batting cage to practice swinging the bat and will ask a teammate to watch her batting form. After her teammate gives her feedback, she usually performs better because of the feedback.

“Obviously, any athlete is going to be hard on themselves, and at first, when I missed a lot and didn’t get on base, I would be upset about it. But then, in my sophomore year, I [started thinking that] if I miss it, I’ll get the next one, and if I strike out, I have more opportunities to hit it,” she said.

In the classroom, Mahi holds onto this mentality.

“[Mahi] had a tremendously positive impact on our English class dynamic and she is a delightful person to be around,” said Tia Barth, her English teacher from last year.

While Mahi keeps herself busy with her varied interests, she also devotes time towards her relationships with others. She always finds time to comfort and help her friends.

“She’s kind of like my rock; she’s always there for me when I need her. [If] I need to be hyped up, she’ll be super energetic and transfer her energy to me, and [if] I need to be calmed down, she’s always there for that as well,” said Donna Boucher (12) another one of Mahi’s close friends.

When being asked about who she wanted to be remembered as, she said, smiling into the distance, “I want to be remembered as a person who tried everything. I did a lot of stuff while I was here. A lot of it, I didn’t completely follow through, but I’m still so glad I did it.”

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Humans of Harker: Dipping into different lives