Jashandeep Anand arrived to the United States at 14 years old, apprehensive about the environment he was walking into and struggling to understand an unfamiliar language and culture.
Born and raised in New Delhi, India, Anand’s worries and concerns began to dissipate when he and his family first walked onto the California High School campus prior to beginning his junior year.
“When I first came to the United States, I was really scared about possible bullying and the new culture and differences and whether I would like it or not,” Anand said. “But when I came to Cal, every student and teacher made it feel like it was my home and I’m so grateful that I found my dream high school. I don’t even think about going back to India now.”
Affectionately known as “Jash,” Anand has been embraced by his Condor family, gaining a reputation for his hard-working nature, optimism and joyful demeanor. Since arriving at Cal, Anand has refined his American English, joined a variety of clubs and academically challenged himself to maintain a 4.0 GPA.
For his dedicated efforts to overcome obstacles, Anand was recently recognized with an Award of Merit by the Whittier Union High School District Board of Trustees – showcasing the degree to which students can succeed when they embrace the full high school experience.
“With a wide range of interventions available and the numerous ways our students have to get connected on campus, from academies and clubs to academic programs and athletics, Cal offers a highly effective and very supportive, comprehensive high school experience,” Principal Bill Schloss said. “Jash is taking full advantage of all we offer and he is an excellent example of the outstanding kids at Cal High.”
Anand has been on the varsity soccer team for two years and is a member of the National Honor Society, Interact Club and Spanish Club. He is also an Academic Mentor and Link Crew leader, helping to tutor and mentor younger students.
Carrying a 4.0 GPA, the straight-A student is taking Advanced Placement (AP) calculus and physics, is on his way to earning his Seal of Biliteracy in Hindi and completing his senior project on the subject of world hunger by volunteering at the Beatitudes Catholic Church in La Mirada, distributing food to local families.
The avid reader speaks four languages – Hindi, English, Punjabi and Sanskrit – and is learning Spanish.
“Jash specifically chose to attend one of our schools because of the outstanding services, teachers and staff we have available to provide students with the care, support and education they desire as they pursue their personal and educational endeavors,” Superintendent Martin Plourde said. “Cal High is lucky to have a student like Jash and we are so glad that he found a home at Whittier Union.”
Anand plans to study computer science at UCLA after graduating – a momentous occasion that will be shared with his grandmother, who is expected to fly from India to attend the celebratory event in 2017.