Humans of Harker: Details make a difference

Krishay Mukhija finds inspiration to help others

%E2%80%9CThe+birth+lottery+is+this+idea+that+says+when+you%27re+born%2C+you+have+no+determination+to+decide+which+family+you%27re+born+into+%E2%80%A6+It%27s+like+a+lottery.+You+can%E2%80%99t+control+where+you%27re+born+or+what+circumstances+you+end+up+in%2C+or+what+you+want+to+do.+I%27d+like+the+ability+to+change+that+up+%E2%80%94+it%27s+worth+it%2C%E2%80%9D+Krishay+Mukhija+%2812%29+said.

Provided by Krishay Mukhija

“The birth lottery is this idea that says when you’re born, you have no determination to decide which family you’re born into … It’s like a lottery. You can’t control where you’re born or what circumstances you end up in, or what you want to do. I’d like the ability to change that up — it’s worth it,” Krishay Mukhija (12) said.

Dressed in a polished and refined suit accentuated by a striped blue tie, Krishay Mukhija (12) focuses on the boy in front of him who is buttoning the cuffs of a crisp white shirt. Watching the boy fix his shirt, Krishay dons a slight grin, finally seeing his vision of helping students pursue their interests through something as simple as clothing come true.

Krishay’s vision is Suits2Empower, a nonprofit organization he started in 2017 to provide individuals with formal clothing they can wear for activities such as debate and DECA. His inspiration comes from the concept of the birth lottery and giving back.

“The birth lottery is this idea that says when you’re born, you have no determination to decide which family you’re born into … It’s like a lottery. You can’t control where you’re born or what circumstances you end up in, or what you want to do. I’d like the ability to change that up — it’s worth it,” Krishay said.

This idea has always been at the back of his mind, but one specific moment when it truly occurred to him was after a speech and debate tournament in eighth grade.

“There was a student who didn’t have access to formal clothing … After the round, we were talking to him, and he said that he wasn’t really interested in continuing [the] activity because he came in jeans [and] a polo shirt,” Krishay said.

Initially, Krishay’s interest in speech and debate began back in sixth grade, when he first joined the elective. He enjoyed the idea of being able to converse with other people and hear their viewpoints and perspectives to approaching different problems or topics, and it has been interesting to him ever since.

“When I started off, I was a little bit intimidated by the environment, as in the whole competitive nature of speech and debate. But since then, I’ve learned to enjoy the activity a lot more,” Krishay said. “My perspective, in terms of how I debate, and even though the academic part has remained the same, has changed significantly as I’ve learned how to have a lot of fun, especially with my friends who do it too.”

As time has passed, he has become more comfortable in the field, evolving from having sweaty palms and being nervous before rounds to happily engaging in the activity with his friends. The time he spends with them has shown his personality as a caring, compassionate, and hardworking person.

“One time, my brother [had] just gotten into speech and debate, and Krishay is really good at that. So he said, ‘just call me anytime you need me, and I’ll help you,” said Keshav Bhanot (12). “Every time we called him, he would give us all this advice: how to do it, and what to go into, and it was really, really helpful.”

While Krishay is very serious about his goals and activities he is passionate about, he still often showcases his duality as both a jokester and a committed person.

“When he wants to mess around, he always tries to mess around, like listening to music, playing ping pong, making jokes [and] playing basketball,” close friend Deven Parikh (12) said. “But he’s also very serious at times … [and] very goal oriented.”

His dedication and determination also carries out into his pastime of running. Even though he’s not on the school team and does not do it professionally, Krishay runs daily to help unwind after hours of work.

“One thing that’s really impressive is his dedication to something … the thing that comes to mind…. [is] his running,” close friend Srivishnu Pyda (12) said. “He was running six, seven miles, seven, eight miles, every day.”

Running everyday while blasting music through his headphones and gazing at the cars and trees around him gives him a calm and therapeutic feeling. For Krishay, choosing to start running is the best decision he has made, as it has changed him. He has learned to notice little details about the world that he had never seen before, like the tiles on roofs or the trees that line the streets.

“I never used to go out in the open air in nature that much … [but] especially when I’m running or seeing the different cars … [I was able to] absorb what’s going on,” Krishay said. “[It’s] made me appreciate the smaller things.”