Humans of Harker: Redonner

Cordelia Callaud-Guyart gives and grows with her community


Anika Mani

“I don’t know if it’s part of a culture, but in our household, one of the main emphasis was always giving back and appreciating what you already have. I feel like giving back … everybody can just do that,” Cordelia Callaud-Guyart (12) said.

Redonner. The foreign word is simply a way to say “giving back” in French, yet it perfectly encapsulates a major aspect of Cordelia Callaud-Guyart (12).

“I don’t know if it’s part of a culture, but in our household, one of the main emphasis was always giving back and appreciating what you already have,” Cordelia said. “ I feel like giving back everybody can just do that.”

After moving from her birthplace in Paris, France to her childhood home in London, England as a young girl, Cordelia and her family regularly volunteered and participated in drives. Now, in Silicon Valley, Cordelia continues to give back, working for Piece by Piece, a nonprofit organization that helps women in impoverished countries find jobs. She feels pride when she realizes she is able to make a change for people around the world.

“Actually having people asking you to do stuff and reaching out to me for me to do stuff, I feel like that’s an achievement,” Cordelia said. “You’d never expect to be trusted that much by a 50-year-old. I feel like that has been [fulfilling].”

Cordelia has acquired various perspectives while growing up in three different places and traveling around the world, recognizing their influence in her commitment to aiding others.

“We all go to Harker, so we all live in a bubble,” Cordelia said. “It’s [important to] acknowledge that you do have that privilege and try to help others and lift them up instead of letting them be and ignoring them. As teenagers, we can’t really single-handedly change poverty as a whole. But we can try and do our part [to fix] the problem.”

Cordelia’s kindness and generosity are what characterize her as a warm and welcoming person to be around. In the occasionally pressuring environment at Harker that is solely focused on academics, Cordelia’s authentic personality is a refreshing factor that draws others towards her.

“Her openness, her honesty and her willingness to help people and really tak[e] the time to show that she cares about you is a really amazing trait that she has,” close friend Emma Andrews (12) said.

Along with Cordelia’s generosity comes a bundle of joy and positivity that lifts the mood of those around her.

“Cordelia always makes me laugh,” close friend Natalie Vo (12) said. “It’s always a good time with her.”

The way Cordelia motivates and supports her peers gives way to her excellent leadership that she demonstrates through her experiences as Harker’s cheer team captain. Despite being busy, Cordelia always manages to engage with her team and ensure that all of them are prepared for their performances.

“We’ve had the same coaches, too, since freshman yea. We all know each other super well, we can always help each other out,” Cordelia said.

Though cheer was a completely foreign experience for Cordelia, as she only had knowledge of it from “High School Musical,” she decided to try it out spontaneously; it was another adventure to add to her list.

Adventures with Cordelia range from spontaneously traveling to Tahoe over the summer to blasting One Direction at top volume in her car while driving along the coast on Highway 1 just for Dunkin’ Donuts.

“We’ll go to coffee or drive to a city far away. Cordelia’s always being pretty adventurous and trying new things,” close friend Sophie Durn (12) said.

Yet, one of Cordelia’s biggest accomplishments is her growth, whether it be in cheer or business, a subject that barely attracted her interest at the start of her freshman year. After missing the chance to take journalism as an elective, Cordelia chose business, initially approaching it with a more reluctant mindset. However, a few months later, business, specifically the marketing and PR aspect, captivated Cordelia and led her to want to further pursue it in the future, demonstrating her tremendous growth in just a few months.

Throughout the years, Cordelia has evolved from being a young girl in London to a caring person who works towards bettering the lives of many using her strengths and interests.

“I’m very proud of the person she’s become. And I can’t wait to see where life takes her and go along with her,” Emma said.