Heart of Harker: A positive snowball effect

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Heart of Harker: A positive snowball effect

by Krishay Mukhija, Guest Writer

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Two years ago, I was debating against a talented opponent at the California Debate Tournament. While waiting for the judge’s decision, I asked if I would see him at an upcoming tournament. Shockingly, he answered no, explaining that he did not have a suit and felt “out of place” at these events. This student was brave enough to say it out loud, but I imagined hundreds of others who avoided important academic opportunities for similar reasons. Realizing that I had an undersized suit in my closet, I wondered how many other people had a surplus of suits in their wardrobes. I shared the idea of donating suits to less-fortunate aspirants and was given an opportunity to speak at a school assembly and start a donation drive. Soon after the assembly, my inbox was overflowing with emails from parents and staff wanting to help, and Suits2Empower was born.

The Suits2Empower journey has been challenging, yet gratifying and a great learning experience. At every roadblock, doors have opened and presented me with new opportunities. These ultimately allowed me to learn valuable skills in effecting change.

It may feel overwhelming to look at the big issues that plague society, but focusing on one small thing that can be fixed will naturally attract a collective energy to help tackle the larger problems.”

However, the most valuable lesson I have learned is the ability to empathize with others and develop human connections. The photo of the first student who wore one of our suits decorates my back wall and the smile on his face and the poise and confidence in his posture is the reward that I get. At times, an empty donation box disheartens me, and I believe that the project is futile. But after meeting the youth at these events and hearing their inspiring stories, I feel reignited and have a stronger passion to continue.

Our motto at Suits2Empower is “clothes that are too small for you can make a big difference in the lives of others.” It may feel overwhelming to look at the big issues that plague society, but focusing on one small thing at a time will naturally attract a collective energy to help tackle the larger problems. One of the most famous equations in physics is Momentum = Mass x Velocity. At Harker, we are a unique, creative, and passionate student body, “the mass.” All we need is an intention to bring a change, “the velocity” and we will inevitably tackle the larger problems.

This piece was originally published in the pages of The Winged Post on February 20, 2019.