Homewood-Flossmoor High School alumna Anjali Kumar believes setting a career path is fine, but one should never shut out the value of curiosity.
As the guest speaker for the May 11 National Honor Society induction program, Kumar said the coronavirus pandemic is going to force this graduating class to become creative in finding a path forward.
“I’m asking you to push the boundaries of what this moment of uncertainty has to offer,” she told students on the virtual program.
Many students plan their path by the adage: Find your passion/make it your purpose. Kumar believes it’s okay not to have a single passion. She learned that “following your curiosity can lead to unexpected places.”
She veered away from medicine into law and from there she developed interests in a number of areas, including serving as the founding general counsel and head of social innovation at Warby Parker, a lifestyle brand and a socially conscious business.
She spent six years as senior counsel for Google, where she initiated the Google Speaker Series inviting prominent and influential people as guests. She delivered the TED Talk “Stalking God: My Unorthodox Search for Something to Believe In” in 2017. It has been viewed by 4 million people and translated into 20 languages.
“Curiosity isn’t going to grab you by the shoulders and shake you for attention. It’s not something you can major in. It may be something more subtle than that. Right now people are talking about ‘the new normal’ but it’s not normal. It’s just new. Embrace it,” she urged the graduates.
The virtual program was led by the NHS Executive Board: Brianna Bridges, president; Lena Fantroy secretary; Taylor Harvey, community outreach; Kennedy Jones, public relations.
Assisting the board were senior representatives Macy Campin, Lawrence Cook IV, Makiya Jenkins, Daijah Johnson, Haley Rampage, John Russell and Haley Sawyer.
NHS is the nation’s premier organization recognizing outstanding high school students who meet the criteria of scholarship, leadership, character and service. At H-F, specific rules include students completing 25 hours of service work, maintaining at least a 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale and serving as exemplary models of students for H-F’s NHS chapter.
During the virtual commencement May 31, NHS seniors will be recognized and will wear special cords distinguishing them as NHS members. Senior NHS members are:
Wilhemina Aboagye, Alicia Adams, Selena Adetunji, Aisha Al Amin, Jeremiah Alfred, Lala Allen, Nicholas Amuh, Journey Barsh, Margaret Bauer, Shyanne Bennett, Louis Berman, Kevin Berner II, Ella Bohlman, Rebecca Brandt, Jania Breland, Tamara Butler.
Jalee Cannon, Kevin Cawley, Ann Chaney, Sarah Chevalier, Erykah Cottrell, Ariel Davis, Brooke Deckelman, Lilly Donkel, Amber Dowd, Mia Dyson, Uriah Elliott, Boaz Epperson, Olivia Fortman, Xavier Frazier, Ava Freeman,Michael Garrity, Jacob Goldberg, Devin Gorton, Larkin Hagerman, Andrew Hansen.
Troy Harbin, Maya Harrell, Bria Harris, Mishaye Hearn, Steven Hinich, Caleb Hoereth, Liam Hughes, Joshua Hur, Jack Hurley, Gloria Ikoh, Jazz Jabulani, Kaitlyn Jackson, Caroline Johnson, Danielle Johnson, Journey Johnson, Destiny Johnson, Ava Jones, Lina Jursa.
Duffy Karstrom, Adekemi Kasali,Grace Keigher, Jazmyn Kelley, Nala King, Julia Koyn, Jonathan Kriarakis, Isaac Latman,Luke Lesimple, Elizabeth Lipscomb, Laila London, Kyla Luna, Miles Maltbia, Nathaniel Martinez, Rayna McCoy, Sammari Meeks, Fiorella Michelis, Mia Moore.
Noelle Oh, Abimbola Oyefeso, Carolyn Page, Kaden Paris, Emily Pearce, Eric Piros, John Pohrte, Kayla Polk, Aranda Porter,Jadyn Powell-Cork, Eliza Rex, Janellie Roach, Mattison Schneider, Tai Shonkwiler, Lia Sidberry, Aria Simpson, Calahan Smith, Phillip Smith II, Ania Staples, Olivia Streitmatter, Alex Szczender, Keydi Tejeda, Javon Thomas, Anna Thompson, Nicole Thompson, Jurni Tollerson, Nia Valdez, Kelly Van Etten, Kelsey West, Jack Williams, David Winicky, Sophia Youpel.