Humans of Harker: In tune with the community

Annesh Ghosh-Dastidar helps others through his community service organizations


Esha Gohil

“Caring about others is something that’s very important and is sometimes overlooked. I believe that this is the central part of what everyone’s character should be, to not be self-centered, and to focus on others as well,” Annesh Ghosh-Dastidar (12) said.

At first, there is complete silence. Annesh Ghosh-Dastidar (12) sits down in his room, his violin in one hand and his bow in the other. As soon as his bow graces the strings of the instrument, a brilliant, soulful note soars through the air. It sings with a simultaneous melancholy and sweetness, and as the melody follows, the music flows through the room.

Ever since he was young, Annesh was encouraged to pick up an instrument, though he initially did not enjoy it much. However, over time, he grew fond of playing the violin, and music became a way for him to relax. Because Annesh has orchestra as his first period, music is also a calming way to begin his school day. 

“Music is like something to destress in a sense, and I don’t mainly pursue it for an accomplishment or anything like that, but as something to take my mind off of academics,” Annesh said.

Music has also led Annesh to realize that not everyone has access to the same opportunities that he has, and he strives to give back to his community by doing volunteer work.

“I have a focus on alleviating some social problems with anything that I’m trying to pursue and having the community in the back of my mind,” Annesh said. “That’s very important for me moving forward and try[ing] to not lose that as one of my focuses while going to college.”

In addition to orchestra, Annesh volunteers for several organizations, such as Coding For All and the Me2U Foundation. The Coding For All campaign aims to teach underprivileged children to code, and through it, Annesh, wanting to involve himself more with the programming community since taking a computer science course in freshman year, encountered several others who enjoyed programming. 

“The start of high school, I had an idea of involving myself in the programming community here. I got to meet a lot of people that were interested in programming,” Annesh said. “After my first few weeks with [Coding For All], I found that it’s a really nice way of spending my time and exploring programming through a different light.”

Annesh’s first experience with Coding For All was when his peer, Sahil Kapur (‘18), introduced him to the organization. After participating in the program and realizing that he enjoyed it a lot, Annesh started to focus more on volunteering and giving back to his community.

“[Coding for All] was one of the main turning points where I got to meet with others and see how passionately others were devoted to helping people that they don’t know, for a cause that isn’t exactly related to their interests,” Annesh said. “And from that moment, I had [striving to care for others] as one of my goals.”

Witnessing his peers’ dedication to Coding For All and making a positive impact inspired Annesh to expand his volunteer efforts to other organizations. In his junior year, Annesh began volunteering for the Me2U Foundation, founded by senior Sachi Bajaj, which targets the homelessness problems around the Harker campus and other areas. Annesh was also introduced to the issue of food wastage through the organization, and he views his contributions to the foundation as a tangible way that he can make an impact on his community and help others that are less privileged than he. 

Caring about others is something that’s very important and is sometimes overlooked. I believe that this is the central part of what everyone’s character should be, to not be self-centered, and to focus on others as well,” Annesh said.

Annesh cares not only about helping his community through these organizations, but also aids his close friends and family with their own personal problems.

 “Whether it be helping people understand simple math problems to working on projects as a group, I strive to [help the community] with my close friends as well,” Annesh said.

Close friend Shray Alag (12) appreciates how he cares for the people close to him and how he tries to brighten the atmosphere. He enjoys being with Annesh, whether they are conversing outside of class or working together during it.

“He’s very thoughtful in everything that he does, but at the same time, he has a genuine compassion for those around him and those close to him. He also tries to always strive to uplift the atmosphere, or whoever he’s talking to,” Shray said.

Close friend Nicholas Yi (12) also acknowledges his kindness and friendliness towards others.

“I know if I have any physics help or any troubles in any of my classes, I always reach out to converse, because not only will he help explain it to me if he gets it, but if he doesn’t, he’s super open to working through something together and ensuring that we both make the best of our learning experiences,” he said.

 Physics and science research teacher Chris Spenner has noticed that Annesh never gets frustrated and always stays calm during class, no matter the circumstance. Over the years, Spenner has also watched Annesh become more confident and willing to take on bigger challenges. 

“He is unflappable, he stays calm no matter what’s going on. He’s willing to take on challenges, but he doesn’t let them bother him if it is challenging,” Spenner said.