Student Spotlight – Anjali Kunavarapu


Siona Manocha, Staff Writer

For the five years that I have known Anjali, she has always brought smiles to those around her. Whether it is cramming for biology tests together, crying during emotional Spanish movies, or watching cute dog TikToks in the senior lounge, Anjali always knows how to make those around her have a good time. I believe this speaks to Anjali as a person — her compassion, vitality, and her ability to light up the room around her. Although our time at Keystone together is coming to an end, I will always cherish the memories we built together and the smiles we shared along the way.

Anjali began her Keystone career in eighth grade, after transferring from BASIS Middle School. Five years later, as a Keystone senior, Anjali now involves herself in Academic WorldQuest, National Honors Society, and the Sex Education Group in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Council. After winning first place in the regional competition, Anjali’s Academic WorldQuest Team will soon be competing in the National Competition. In addition to these three clubs, Anjali has participated in Science Fair, Student Council, Yearbook Club, Wellness Council, the Foreign Language Club, and has managed the Varsity Volleyball Team in past years. 

As a member of Keystone’s newly formed Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Council, Anjali looks forward to the future impact the club will have on the Keystone community: “I’ve wanted this sort of organization at Keystone for pretty much the entire time I’ve been here. So this is the chance to bring about a change, at least in the Keystone community.” As a part of the sex education group, she is working to create a new program that covers more than the current sex-ed program in place. She has already helped to start a new program for seventh and eighth graders and is currently working on a new one for all of high school as well. Additionally, Anjali is helping to organize Keystone’s International Day, set for April 22nd. “We are hoping to bring more  awareness to Keystone,” Anjali states, adding “but hopefully reflect the things that Keystone hopes to see change.” 

Anjali cites Practical Ethics with Dr. Armentrout as her favorite class during her time at Keystone. “It was a tough class because there was a lot of reading, but I think the topic of ethics is really interesting,” Anjali claims. The aspect she enjoyed most about the class is that it is centered around the debate on different ethical topics: “It was really interesting to see what different people deem as good or right and how it may be contrasted to your thinking because there is no objective ethical standard. Everybody has different beliefs on what is right and wrong. It’s interesting how much we think of morality in our everyday lives, but how little it is figured out in that field.” 

Anjali’s passion for questioning the world and the society around her is seen in her response to which person, dead or alive, she would like to eat dinner with. Her answer: Jesus. “I want to see if he is everything that people make him to be,” Anjali claimed. She describes the contrast between the two interpretations of Jesus: the side that believes him to be the son of God, an influential figure with mystical powers, and the other side that believes him to be an ordinary man that happened to be in the right place at the right time in history. “I would want to have dinner with him just to see what is the truth, but I wouldn’t want to spread that truth because I think it is nice that people have these differing views. I don’t want to crush one view and favor the other. I just want to know the truth for myself.” This inquiry into the truth behind Jesus relates to a personal query of Anjali’s — half of her family is Christian and the other half of her family is Hindu; this has led Anjali to question which side she wants to identify with and which side holds the most truth. 

Outside of school, Anjali involves herself in volunteer work and service with her close friends and family. “That’s kind of our thing — getting and hanging out with each other is just doing something for our community. We go to the Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, and foster seeing eye guide dogs. In addition to volunteer work, Anjali plays racquetball with her father and is working to get her Electrocardiogram (EKG) Certification. If she wanted, Anjali could get her EKG Certification now as she knows how to take an EKG. However, Anjali wants to learn how to interpret the readings on the EKG before she gets her certification. “I want to know how to interpret these things because it is baseline knowledge. But, also if somebody is having some sort of health crisis and I am taking their EKG, I want to know what is wrong and tell that to the attending nurse.” To get her certification, Anjali must pass an EKG Certification Test that encompasses knowing how electrical currents run through the heart and how it makes it pump and contract and see how this translates onto an EKG. Anjali plans to take this test in the coming months, and she plans to work as an EKG technician in a hospital while in college. 

When asked who has had the greatest influence on her life, Anjali cited her three grandparents: her grandparents on her mother’s side and her grandmother on her father’s side. Anjali describes her grandparents as being her other set of parents: “They’ve raised me because my parents’ jobs are very demanding,” Anjali added. She emphasized how big of a role her grandparents have played in her life and in growing into the person she is today. The stories they tell and the life lessons they teach because of their diverse life experiences have been very impactful on Anjali as a person. 

In ten years, Anjali sees herself in a residency program. However, in the end, she hopes that in ten years she is doing something she loves and something that brings her happiness and fulfillment. “There are a lot of uncertainties in life, so I just want to, in the future, be happy with the life that I have,” Anjali concluded. 

As Anjali’s time at Keystone draws to an end, she cites the small size as her favorite aspect about the school: “Compared to other schools I’ve been to, it’s a lot smaller, which is nice because in other schools you can get drowned out in the crowd. You have your little group and click. You are acquaintances with everybody, but you’re not really friends. Keystone is different. It is smaller, and I get to know everybody on a personal level. It is better in terms of friendships: everyone is very nice at Keystone.” Anjali describes Keystone as a very happy and fun place to be where all the students share the same values of hard work and motivation to do well. Keystone has given Anjali many opportunities to express and do the things she loves. In her previous schools, Anjali felt as if she was not given the avenues to participate in many activities. Whereas at Keystone, Anjali has participated in Science Fair and has done Academic World Quest, something she never thought she would do. “Keystone is special in that it doesn’t stifle your creativity; it doesn’t force you to fit into one box and force you to do just one thing. Keystone gives you a lot more freedom to do what you want to do and do it on your own terms,” Anjali claims. She says that Keystone has shaped her into a person that is more confident and more open about the things she wants to do. 

Anjali advises all current and future high schoolers to not focus on grades and the competitiveness of high school but to enjoy the friends around them. In the end, the people you are with are going to be what you remember most about high school. Now is the time to cherish these moments. The relationships you build in high school are going to be what lasts you even beyond high school. Anjali advises anyone reading this, simply, to focus on and embrace the present.

As Anjali embarks on her senior year, she is closing the door to one phase of her life and opening the door to the next phase of her life. Through this newly opened door, she will have endless opportunities, yet she will also have to persevere and show valor in the face of rising challenges. Through Anjali’s intellect, determination and creativity, I have confidence that these opportunities and challenges will shape her into the person she is meant to become. Through hardwork and perseverance, Anjali will positively shape her world in unimaginable ways. We wish Anjali luck in her future endeavors, and we are looking forward to what the future brings her.