Harneet Gulati, a Sikh teen from Hicksville, New York, was recently honored by Boys & Girls Clubs of America as New York State Youth of the Year. She was congratulated by New York State Senator Jack Martins:
“Harneet is a shining example of the leadership our young people show in giving of their time and talents to improve the lives of others. Her perseverance and the encourage of the Hicksville Boys and Girls Club says a lot of our community. Congratulations to Harneet and thank you to the Hicksville Boys and Girls Club,” Senator Martins said.
In an essay in which she describes her experience with the Hicksville chapter of Boys & Girls Clubs, her volunteering, her academic work, and her future goals, Harneet also reflects on being a young Sikh American:
Because of how I was, there were several instances at school where I was verbally harassed and all I could really do in my power was ignore the taunts. However, I soon learned that pleasing others wasn’t the right solution in solving anything. All I really needed was a positive environment that accepted me for my personality and my natural self.
State-level Youth of the Year honorees are awarded a $1,000 scholarship and move on to regional-level competitions. Congratulations, Harneet!