Student Spotlight: Anushka Kumar


Anushka Kumar

Anushka Kumar ’23 founded The Promise We Share, an organization that has grown quickly.

Daniel Rublin

SHS senior Anushka Kumar ’23 has already made major steps toward helping to solve a problem she noticed in the world.

During her freshman year, Kumar volunteered at an after-school program. “I was the after-school program director at the YWCA in White Plains… I loved working with the kids, but I felt like their after-school programming was really locking something,” said Kumar. Kumar noticed a gap in education based on socioeconomic status. “So I started working on creating this… community building and competency-based activities, curriculum for younger students. And my goal was that that would kind of address educational socioeconomic gaps,” Kumar said. As a freshman, Kumar was already making a difference.

During COVID, Kumar’s focus expanded. “I realized that I… also needed to address so many other different factors and that it would kind of be naive to just address education. So I… brought in the work I was doing to anything, basically, but I was like, ‘well, I can’t do everything,’ so how we’re gonna structure this is we’re gonna partner with organizations and do what they need from us,” said Kumar. From there, Kumar started building curriculum development teams, and soon friends got involved, and the organization grew into the organization it is today, called The Promise We Share. “Now we have about 20 students who do full curriculum development meeting once [or] twice a week and do lots of asynchronous work to put together these curriculums,” Kumar explained. 

Beyond The Promise We Share, Kumar has many other passions. “I’m really into research. I do public health and psychology research. I’m in the schools science research program. And then I intern at the Harvard department of psychiatry for science research,” said Kumar. Kumar has written several papers associated with her work with her internship, and right now, her focus is the impact of childhood trauma on PTSD outcomes and ways that those negative outcomes can be buffered.

Kumar is also interested in political campaigning. “I work closely with Congressman [Jamaal] Bowman’s team, doing community-building initiatives with them,” said Kumar. Kumar also helped to organize a Non-Sibi Day event where Congressman Bowman came to visit SHS.

Kumar has other interests as well. “I’m in Speech and Debate, and I’m also really into creative writing and I’m on a social justice committee where we build social justice programming through literature,” said Kumar. Kumar is also a president of the SHS UNICEF club.

Kumar offered advice for other SHS students. “Stop comparing yourself to your peers because you’re gonna feel overwhelmed by [others’ accomplishments and experiences], but you have to realize it’s just the comparison track,” said Kumar. “If you’re passionate about something it’s inherently gonna… show… find niche things that you like and don’t feel… obligated to do what everyone else is doing,” Kumar added.