Yoga enthusiast, speecher, dancer, volunteer, instrumentalist and leader: junior Shruthi Kumar does it all. Kumar explained that Marian has helped her grow to be the involved and active individual that she is today. She elaborated that there have been teachers and students at Marian that have showed her how to get involved and become active in her school and community.
She also feels that the Marian community encourages its students to get involved and do service, even though it is not required. “After seeing Marian girls volunteering all the time, I do it because I want to do it,” Kumar said.
Every week for the past four years Kumar has volunteered at CHI Health Lakeside Hospital and it has greatly affected her as a person. She said she loves helping people out and helping out the hospital. “Volunteering is important to me because sometimes I take my life for granted, and it’s a good reminder every week to go and help someone who really needs it,” Kumar said. Kumar is making a difference in the Marian community, and greater community as well, by getting involved and using her talents to help others.
At Marian, Kumar has made an impact in many ways. She is involved in Marian’s orchestra and has played the violin since fourth grade. She has taken part in UNO’s Bach Music Festival and plans to do so again this year. Kumar has also formed many friendships through her involvement in music.
Kumar was involved in Campus Ministry her freshman and sophomore years and was on shadow crew her sophomore year. She feels like being involved in Campus Ministry and taking part in retreats has helped her to bond with her class.
Kumar is also on the Operation Others Core team. She said she loves working with Mr. Mark Koesters and meeting with a bunch of high schoolers from different schools to work together towards their common mission. She said it is a lot of fun helping out the community and participating in their drives.
She has also been on the Burn literary/arts magazine staff for two years. She said she loves seeing all the talents of Marian girls and putting together this magazine for them.
For the past three years, Kumar has been involved in Yoga Club which she was co-president of her freshman year and president of her sophomore year and this year as well. She said she loves getting the opportunity to help everyone at Marian bring awareness to their bodies. “Not a lot of schools offer different kinds of things to learn about yourself and learn about the world around you and about new arts. I think it is really cool that we all have so many interesting clubs to get involved in,” Kumar said.
She also teaches yoga to kindergarteners and first graders at the Universal Peace Foundation of North America (UPFNA.) Kumar has also partaken in many leadership activities like the Youth Leadership Omaha (YLO) program at Creighton University. “It’s really cool to see all the different things happening in Omaha and meeting with leaders of our society,” said Kumar. She also participated in the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) program over the summer.
Kumar has also been involved in the speech team since her sophomore year. Kumar has gained confidence in public speaking and feels like speech has pushed her to find her voice. It has also helped her become more aware of what is going on in the world and made her realize how important it is for teens to be aware of the news and current events. Kumar said, “I became really passionate about spreading awareness for different things that I was passionate about and using my words to change the life of someone in my audience.”
This year Kumar is the Vice President of FBLA. “The state leadership conference is a huge deal. So many kids from all across Nebraska came from schools I didn’t even know existed. It is really cool to see all these people in one place having fun and learning about business,” Kumar remarked. This year they are trying to focus on being more accessible and focusing on healthy business.
Kumar is also very active outside of Marian. Kumar is on the NSAA Student Advisory Committee. This is a group of high school students that meet with NSAA directors to promote getting involved in extracurriculars. They also help promote sportsmanship. Kumar is a role model for getting involved and she likes being part of this group to help students find their passions. “It is a lot of fun to work with them because you meet a lot of people, and you are working to help students get involved in extracurriculars,” Kumar said. Kumar was chosen to be on the committee after submitting an application. The group meets once every two months.
Kumar is interested in law and medicine for her future, but she isn’t positive what she wants to pursue as a career. Kumar has been involved in Mock Trial for two years. This is where she became interested in law and had a lot of fun working as a team and meeting with practicing attorneys.
Kumar feels strongly about the common question, “What occupation/job do you want to do in the future?” “You shouldn’t be asked an occupation, you should be asked what difference you want to make because that is what your job is supposed to do,” Kumar said. So what difference does she want to make? “To help people see their life outside of themselves. To help people everywhere find out why they are born, their purpose,” Kumar said. She also wants to help third-world countries and children who do not have the same opportunities that the average Marian girl has, especially with education.
Kumar advises future Marian girls to get involved in anything that peaks their interest. Kumar said, “Instead of making it your mission to get really good grades and to be the best in the world at anything and instead of striving for those material goals, strive to find what you’re passionate about because if you find something that you really love, it’s so much easier to enjoy your life in general and especially high school.”
Kumar inspires Marian girls with her active schedule and her participation in a variety of activities. She also encourages her fellow students with her wisdom. Kumar said, “If you have that one thing in your life that you just really love, it makes everything else easier. My advice is to find your passion.”