When did you move to Issaquah Highlands?
I’ve lived in Issaquah Highlands practically my whole life! My family moved here from Bellevue when I was just three months old.
What do you like best about living in IH?
My favorite part about living in Issaquah Highlands is our compassionate community in which everyone is so willing to learn and grow from each other. The Global Grub and Groove events are perfect examples of the diversity we have in the Highlands and our community’s beautiful desire to support and promote the education of different cultures and traditions.
Tell us about your family.
I live in the Highlands with my parents and my older brother, who recently went back to college at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
How did you become involved as a volunteer in IH?
My brother Aadit was one of the original members of the Highlands Youth (HY) Advisory Board. Following in his footsteps, I joined the board as soon as I could. I thought joining the HY would be a great way to become involved as a volunteer in the Highlands, and I wanted to give back to my community. (I also wanted to be a little bit like my cool older brother!)
Tell us about your experience as a volunteer/on the HY board /with planning Global Grub & Groove.
I have absolutely loved being on the HY Board for the past four years! This year has been special because I’m one of the oldest on the board now; along with increased responsibilities, I also have more opportunities to be a leader and role model for younger members. Helping plan the Global Grub & Groove to celebrate Indian Independence Day was such a cool experience. It was amazing to contribute my voice, celebrate a piece of my culture, and see everything that happens in the background to put on such a beautiful event.
What advice would you give to others about volunteering in Issaquah Highlands?
The best piece of advice I would give to others about volunteering would be to start small and think about your “why.” Volunteering can sometimes be a daunting experience if it’s your first time, so starting with smaller responsibilities and getting to know other volunteers in your community (especially for teens) is a great way to start to be regularly involved. I also think it’s super important that people think about why they want to volunteer. Is it because you really care about the environment? Do you want to make sure everyone in the community always feels welcome? Do you love bringing people together? When you think about the reason behind wanting to volunteer, you can find great ways to help the community and do something you’re passionate about.
Photo (top left): Anika with her parents and brother Aadit. Photos provided by Anika Mehta.
Anika Mehta is a 12th-grader, a member of the Highlands Youth Advisory Board, and an Issaquah Highlands resident.
Are you inspired to get involved in the Issaquah Highlands community?
Opportunities are available!
Click here to discover all the different ways you can get involved in our Issaquah Highlands community, including opportunities to join boards and committees, as well as urgent needs at local nonprofits.
Questions? Contact Lindsey Pinkston, Highlands Council Program Manager.