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Humans of Harker: Smiles all around

Abhinav Joshi strikes a balance between being there for himself and for others

%E2%80%9CWhether+it%E2%80%99s+small+or+big%2C+the+things+you+do+can+really+affect+people.+We+have+a+lot+of+people+who+come+into+our+meetings+just+to+make+cards.+And+those+cards+make+a+huge+impact+on+the+kids+receiving+them.+I+just+want+people+to+feel+that+they%E2%80%99re+helping+in+some+way+and+making+a+difference%2C+and+that+you+don%E2%80%99t+have+to+donate+millions+of+dollars+to+make+that+difference%2C%22+Abhinav+Joshi+%2812%29+said.+
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Humans of Harker: Smiles all around

“Whether it’s small or big, the things you do can really affect people. We have a lot of people who come into our meetings just to make cards. And those cards make a huge impact on the kids receiving them. I just want people to feel that they’re helping in some way and making a difference, and that you don’t have to donate millions of dollars to make that difference,

“Whether it’s small or big, the things you do can really affect people. We have a lot of people who come into our meetings just to make cards. And those cards make a huge impact on the kids receiving them. I just want people to feel that they’re helping in some way and making a difference, and that you don’t have to donate millions of dollars to make that difference," Abhinav Joshi (12) said.

Kathy Fang

“Whether it’s small or big, the things you do can really affect people. We have a lot of people who come into our meetings just to make cards. And those cards make a huge impact on the kids receiving them. I just want people to feel that they’re helping in some way and making a difference, and that you don’t have to donate millions of dollars to make that difference," Abhinav Joshi (12) said.

Kathy Fang

Kathy Fang

“Whether it’s small or big, the things you do can really affect people. We have a lot of people who come into our meetings just to make cards. And those cards make a huge impact on the kids receiving them. I just want people to feel that they’re helping in some way and making a difference, and that you don’t have to donate millions of dollars to make that difference," Abhinav Joshi (12) said.

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It doesn’t matter whether you have met him or not; Abhinav Joshi (12) will always greet you with a charismatic smile and charm you with his cheerful, upbeat personality. Dressed in muted tones of blue, black, brown and white, it’s really the infectious aura that surrounds Abhinav that makes him stand out.

Abhinav’s friend Andrew Skrobak (12) credits Abhinav’s lively demeanor to his ability to balance fun and thoughtfulness.

“He’s very good at balancing being present in the moment with then reflecting on what his experiences mean to him, and I think that’s what makes him so dynamic and causes people to gravitate toward him,” Andrew said.

Abhinav attributes his cheery disposition and expressive personality to his upbringing, saying that his family has greatly defined him as the person he is today.

“I think that it comes from the way I was raised. My dad, specifically, is a very outgoing person, and I try to reflect his personality in my own. I’ve just always felt super comfortable connecting with people,” Abhinav said.

While Abhinav tries to emulate his father in terms of his character, he looks up to his older brother, Shantanu Joshi (‘13), as a role model and an inspiration when it comes to his interests, such as his love of building things, whether it be computers or cars. Abhinav joined Car Club this year and particularly enjoys understanding the culture around cars. He describes the process of building cars as never-ending, saying that there are always tweaks to be made, but in the end, that’s what makes the process so enjoyable for him.

“To me its a type of freedom, being able to know exactly what screw goes where, and being able to choose the systems and layouts, and just the fact that I can do it myself. I don’t need a mechanic or a professional to do it for me. It’s sort of like a puzzle that needs to be pieced together,” Abhinav said.

Fellow Car Club member and friend Christopher Leafstrand (12) admires Abhinav not only for his extrovertedness, but also for his caring and brotherly qualities.

“He is very sociable. He’s willing to talk to anyone about anything. He looks out for people around him, which is another aspect of him I really appreciate,” Christopher said, adding that Abhinav is always willing to offer a ride to his friends.

Upper school teacher Ohad Paran, who has established a close relationship with Abhinav over the years, having been his English teacher in his sophomore year and currently teaching him Literature of the Holocaust along with advising Car Club, has noticed that Abhinav extends his amiability past his close group of friends.

“Within the first few days, he was very friendly with a lot of people in class, not just the people who were his friends outside of class, but also with other people that he knew only in a classroom setting,” Paran said, describing his impressions of Abhinav after first meeting him in his sophomore year.

Being in the moment and having fun may be half of the puzzle that is Abhinav’s personality, but Abhinav acknowledges that the other half, taking the time to reflect on his experiences, is just as essential.

“There’s times to be thoughtful and there’s times to kick back and do whatever, and I think being able to recognize which is which that is really valuable,” Abhinav said.

Abhinav looks to channel the more contemplative and compassionate side of him in a way that impacts other around him, starting with his involvement in Make A Birthday Wish Club. The club organizes birthday parties for kids in the community who likely wouldn’t have a party otherwise. According to Abhinav, their main goal is to “give back and make [those kids] feel special.”

“I joined the club in my freshmen year, and funny enough, it was to get community service hours. Once I joined, I fell in love with the underlying message and looked for ways to get more involved,” Abhinav said.

Currently the president of the club, Abhinav seeks to impact others through small contributions and actions.

“Whether it’s small or big, the things you do can really affect people. We have a lot of people who come into our meetings just to make cards. And those cards make a huge impact on the kids receiving them,” Abhinav said. “I just want people to feel that they’re helping in some way and making a difference, and that you don’t have to donate millions of dollars to make that difference.”

Abhinav is also a team leader at Second Harvest, an organization that helps less fortunate families get healthy meals when they need them.

Ultimately, Abhinav feels that he feeds off of the happiness and joy that are on the faces of the people he has helped and the visible impacts he has made on them.

“When I’m done volunteering, I have more energy than what I started with. Everytime I go to a Make A Birthday Wish club meeting or a Second Harvest event, it makes my day so much better,” Abhinav said.

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Humans of Harker: Smiles all around