Imagine sending your kids to school on the first day of the new academic year without any supplies: no backpack, no pencils, nothing. At Baltimore Highlands Elementary School in Lansdowne, this scenario is a reality for too many students. When Gilman senior Anuj Khandelwal first learned about the needs of the students who attended a school that’s about 10 miles from his own—but a world apart in many respects—he staunchly refused to accept that it was okay.
Anuj’s decision to reach out to the Baltimore elementary school had nothing to do with a community service requirement. In fact, when he initiated the wildly successful fundraising project dubbed “Hope for Highlands” to raise money for the students’ school supplies, he had already met and exceeded his 50-hour service graduation requirement. But, as Anuj has since proven, his community service work was only just beginning.