Braves: We are thrilled to introduce you to our newest student-journalist, Indian Hill High School senior Vandita Rastogi. Vandita is interning with our District Communications Department and will be sharing stories from Indian Hill.
My name is Vandita Rastogi, and I am a current senior at Indian Hill High School. Like many, I am a proud Brave. But this hasn’t always been my home. I was born in India, and have since then moved many times to Texas and Illinois, before finally calling Cincinnati a new home. Through these experiences, I have been able to observe many different cultures and traditions which has opened my eyes to the diversity around us.
I’ve seen through the eyes of society the passion and the spirit within each celebration, something that isn’t lost at Indian Hill. This atmosphere has allowed me to become involved in various clubs such as DECA, Chieftain, National Honor Society, Red Cross, and Indian Hill Serves. It has also allowed me to create a space for like-minded individuals to capture the essence of community beyond the bubble of the school. I created the Students Making Individual Lives Enjoyable (S.M.I.L.E.) club in my sophomore year as a platform to spread empathy and compassion within my peers for the society around them. Through the club, we’ve been able to work with senior citizens, the underserved families, and those struggling with homelessness. Allowing ourselves to immerse into their environment has opened our eyes to better impact their lives. We’ve been able to increase interactions between the seniors; we’ve made learning fun and engaging for those we tutor; and, we’ve made the stories of the homeless heard. This passion for change and spreading the compassion to all different demographics really begs us to appreciate diversity. It also creates avenues into individual passions. Because of this club, I’ve been able to delve into neurology and connect it with dementia, a neurodegenerative disease that affects the elderly we work with.
Passion can mean many things. While my passion took me on a path of community service and civic engagement, the students at Indian Hill have found other grounds on which to pursue their interests. Stay tuned as I explore the passions of these high school students and how their club and activities have made a lasting impact, not only on themselves but on their community as well!
Photo caption: Indian Hill High School Student Experience Journalist Vandita Rastogi